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The Sight in the wilderness Версия для печати Отправить на e-mail
04.03.2008

Dmitry Skvortsov

Christ called his messengers “the human hunters”. Many of us today would eagerly get into their traps. But in fact we don’t have enough time for it. But we do have time to surf through TV channels. What are our chances to fall into spiritual webs when doing it? And are the good messages the television network broadcasts really good?

Motes and Logs

The believer’s day begins with a prayer. So the “Morning prayer” on “Era” channel can be right to the point. It can be appropriate even for those believers who do not watch TV at all. This is a dream of any Christian indeed as your morning starts in the temple and a priest prays for you. He sings in a right way and the stresses in Old Slavonic words are blameless. You can learn to pray in a right way even if you weren’t going to. The TV camera appropriately zooms in the icons being mentioned during the Morning Prayer.

But suddenly the service cuts down short and the church choir starts singing a song about Ukraine. Well, this is not bad, but it is the prayer that is mentioned in the name of the program. However, the emphatic orthodox style of the clip can help you answer this question. The fact is that the “Prayer” is anticipated with the state anthem on the same channel. And its Video sequence, that is meant to be “extremely Ukrainian” shows the Hungarian castles, the Polish and Lithuanian Roman-Catholic churches, Turkish fortresses (ours were razed to the ground by our “Great Euro integrator” Daniil Galitsky) and, to crown it all, a Catholic nun, who is gaily walking with the step that really looks like defile. Of course one can’t imagine Ukraine without all of mentioned above. But the question is the percentage of these things, as the Pecherskaya Lavra, the main monastery of Ukraine can be seen just like an outskirt of our motherland. Well, after it you are somehow able to understand the editors of the “Morning Prayer” who use their tome on air for the “alternative anthem”.

But if the “Morning Prayer” is a present for the church-going people, the “Orthodox calendar” that is also broadcasted on the “Era” channel must be a missionary program. Does it achieve its goal? The program last for about three minutes, but the only thing it can do is putting to sleep the audience who is still half-awaken. A monk with a sorrowful air is narrating with a mournful voice a hagiography of a regular saint. As a rule, “the saint has sacrificed his childish pastimes when he was an infant to become closer to the Lord. At the time of his adolescence he made a monastic wow”. Some boring picture that doesn’t seem to be related with a story included. Be sure that the first thought of the audience is “he definitely made it to become as dull as the narrator is”. Actually you only come to the conclusion that the orthodox saints are made of those who hated toys when being a child.

After the Hagiographies the same narrator gives a quotation from the Holy Writ without any reference to the biblical event. The program ends. Don’t they know that the information lacking of the context is usually understood vice versa?!

And no longer than a year ago on “Era” there was a program “I do believe” where reverend father Andrey Tkachev told fascinating parables that illustrated the commandments of the Holy Book. The program was supreme.

Now father Andrey is a person of a “Kyiv Rus”. This channel is considered to be an orthodox one as well as “Glas”. But in fact “Glas” is both more religious and more professional. It is evident that its personnel can use the attest computer technologies and technical feasibilities of TV. The musical illustration, chosen by Victor Krysko, one of the leaders of Er. J. Orchestra, is also very high-grade. But “Glas” has got a drawback. Its credo is “we tell only about good things”. I think that if they made a sketch about Hitler, we would find out that he was a gifted aquarellist, a hero of the First World War and that he loved sheepdogs. Nothing else. Its hard to believe that such a conflict-free position can hold the audiences’ interest, especially if we speak of the audience who is aware of not that good situation in Ukrainian Orthodox religion.

But let’s get back to our morning topic. During a break between the prayer and the calendar on “Era” the audience has time to assess the production made overseas.

How much is the Lord?

As soon as you switch to NTN at 6.30 am you get to watch “the Triumphant Voice of the Believer”. The TV evangelist with the look of Bulgakov’s Sharikov supposing he was an American (you know that anti-Kurt Russel type) and manners of Danilo Yanevsky is insisting that the audience should admire their creator. For those who don’t feel like admiring the preacher turns into the analog of Kashpirovsky. He looks so horrible that it looks as if a mass case of enuresis is going to happen in the studio. As a whole, you definitely feel that the project is not exactly in its first blush if we can say it about a TV program. The stage decorations really remind of the soviet holidays and it is shot only with one or two TV cameras.

On Saturdays, “the Voice of the Victory” takes “the Triumphant Voice’s” place. (According to the pastors look the victory of religious traditions from some African country over the common sense is meant). On Fridays you can watch “The Good Message” – the other American product. At the time of this program two twin brothers (if you don’t count their being of different height and nationality) walk together and translate each other’s words copying even facial expression and emotional state. During the first half an hour you think that this is a funny parody of all the NTN programs. This can even cheer you up in the morning.

The morning tone on “Tonis” is made with the help of “Club 700” – a set of cheap mini-serials. They tell about the tramps, Latin-Americans, Chinese and strange people whose name is Ivan come to American Jesus. After the part of art you get an “intellectual” part. The crucial point if the program is discussing of the most vital theological problems like “Did Jesus tell that one must put on his suit and a tie when going to pray?”

And some time ago “Tonis” broadcasted the “Kamo Gryadeshi” program that addressed the high-brow audience. The theologian, the psychologist and even the humorist were discovering vivid sides of the dogmata and canons that seemed to be dull and strict. By the way they managed to do it all in a relaxed way while drinking tea. At that very time, the “Dialogs with Vladymir Cenderovsky” and “the Nart” sank into the oblivion.

As for the “Intellectual club” on today’s “Tonis” such programs are produced in CIS by a charity association “Emmanuel”. One of the features of its production are the station breaks for the teleshopping called “do the shopping right on you sofa”. Well, if they even pray sitting on their sofas…

Our analog of “Club 700” is broadcasted on “Kyiv” channel and has the name of “The House of the Living Stories”. The advertising campaign for the product that can combat the strongest dirt in your life (Jesus is meant) uses our national specific features. To be accepted by the consumer, the authors of the program even use the orthodox attributes (the domes of the churches and the crosses are shot in spite of their being hated by Protestants) and invite the orthodox activists such as Elena Tsyplakova, an actress and a producer. In one of her interviews for “Weekend” Elena Oktyabrievna told that she does not mind the type of platform that she can use for the glorification of the Lord). Well it looks more of “Emmanuelle” than of “Emmanuel”.

While “Tonis” “Kiyv” and NTN give us the adapted for the “retarded” civilizations, KGRTRK falls to other extremes. To be more exactly, they broadcast some kind of theological and philosophical nonsense called “Logos”. The repeated now and then (and thus vulgar) revelations telling us that Tripillya embroideries were the codes from the space and that the Mother of God was in fact the collective image of all the pre-Christian gods are narrated in terms that one can understand just in case he is a Ph.D. So, whom do the producers address? I managed to decipher the flow of sacral terms just because some time ago had the experience of reading this rubbish, not because of my vivid mind. The result of the deciphering is the following “Ukrainian language is the Ukrainian god itself”. However, it is doubtful that the audience will wait until they get to this very insight. And if so, who needs this project?

To answer this question, you should be patient enough and wait for the captioning data. You will find out that “Logos” is a digital version is a flow of consciousness of Pavlo Movchan, the poet. Yet, the fact that this case of an ex-deputy’s self-assertion has a video sequence of a very high quality (that cannot be cheap) is surprising. Whatever, the wonderful work of a camera operator is fascinating; it captures the audience’s attention. One stops trying to understand the narrator’s gibberish and even the author himself doesn’t mind now that the quotation of the orthodox philosopher Florensky is illustrated with the pagan characters and astrological formulas that hardly coincide with Christianity.

«Logos» on KGRTRK is anticipated with the children’s program “Super book”. According to the linguistic preferences of the new generation this is an advanced naming of the Holy Book. And if all the other projects sponsored by sects were considered to be a profanation, this one seems to be oversimplified even for children. The last “Super book” program is a good illustration of taking the quotations apart from the context. It is dedicated to the commandment “Look for the peace and strive to it”. With the help of some stories they show how those, who offended their friends got all they could only wish as soon as they begged pardon. “Jesus would do it this way” – say the presenters (supposing that Jesus wasn’t that sinless sometimes, I guess). But the commandment tells about quite different things! It tells that the one who is offended should search peace! When you look at the quality of the cartoons and the “Super book” characters’ costumes, they are sponsored by Emmanuel by residual system. The main character of the program, Robic the robot looks more like a crusader. Well, even if this could remind a robot, this would be a robot, made of a household manager in a nursery school – just in case he would take part in a children’s morning party. That’s why “Super book” isn’t popular at all among kids.

Main stuff

The main TV channel of the country has got the appropriate programs. It’s UT-1 that was chosen as an official herald for the Moscow and Kyiv patriarchies of the Ukrainian Orthodox church. During the «Gospeller» program the acknowledged patriarchy shares its time on air with an unacknowledged one. And if the first one looks like a soviet news program (replace the members of the Political Bureau with the members of synod and let them meet arch pastors instead of workers and you’ll find no difference), and the second one is more of a chronicle of the cult of personality period. With a voice that trembles with thrill, the presenter tells about a saint who lives among us (we are supposed to be wicked ungrateful people). This saint combines his work of a holy man with a job of “the only church in Ukraine that is really patriotic”. And it seems that the lack of time on air doesn’t let her burst in tears.

Besides, now and then UT-1 organizes discussions of various religious problems. One of “Tolocks” was dedicated to the question of the manorial of the Orthodox religion in Ukraine. Though the topic itself is rather ticklish, the discussion was held on the top of the participants’ voices. And it was not only for the membership – and among a hundred of them only a couple were orthodox. The manners of the presenter are much to be desired too. In fact, he cannot ask questions without yelling.Besides, it is really hard to find a person who is able to keep calm if he at the very beginning of his answer he’s interrupted with “thanks a lot” and his opponent is asked the same question.

The benefit performance of his good manners was at the program dedicated to the Golodomor where the presenter proposed to pray for the victims while holding hands in his pockets.

We all know that that prayer ended with a fight.

 

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