Monday, 31 January 2011

Epiphany homily

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." The words God addressed through the prophet's lips first to Israel are redirected at Epiphany. No longer is the 'you' God calls 'you' a race, or 'you' a nation, but you, just you, whoever, wherever, whatever you are. In the shining forth of the glory of God, the Old Covenant is transfigured into the New: no more the birthright of just one race or nation, but opened to the whole Creation. At Epiphany, the Church of the Jews, a Church of one people, gives birth to the Church we call "Catholic" - which means universal, complete, without exception, the Church that is given for all.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Solve the libraries' problems: close them all.

Please try to take a moment before you gasp in horror at my suggestion.  Maybe it looks reactionary, anti-intellectual, even an act of cultural vandalism.  But when did you last actually go to one of the public 'knowledge centres' formerly known as libraries?  And what do you expect to find there?
That's not a trick question.  Museums, Libraries and Archives' research, available as a rather plush .pdf here, acknowledges that most people expect and indeed want to find books there.  And indeed they will: although perhaps fewer than before, because libraries have also conceded to users' demands for more computers and, highly recommended by the MLA, coffee shops.  After all, you'd probably have to walk, oh, minutes from your library to find the nearest Costabucks.