I was in my early twenties during the Nixon years, and being half a world away, was only vaguely aware of the implications of the Watergate scandal. Thirty years later, having viewed Frost/Nixon, I recognise having gained a certain amount of understanding through hindsight. The film takes some dramatic license as it describes some behind the scenes setting up of the series of interviews by David Frost with Richard Nixon. Essentially the interviews are presented from the historical records, yet the screenplay is not just documentary. Both David Frost and the ex-president are portayed as having high stakes in the inteviews, both in it for their own reasons, and thus the film becomes a fascinating character study, revealing the paranoia of Nixon and the ambition of Frost. Frost got his coup, the broken admission of Nixon of the crimes of Watergate. This was not a bad thing for Nixon, however. His confessions allowed the beginning of healing in varying measures for himself and the American people. The wounds and scar tissue remain however. If there was ever an era of innocence on the political scene under any regime anywhere, the Watergate affair blew it clean out of the water for some time to come.
Trish supervising in our church kitchen
News from the Middle East is not all that good right now as Hamas and Israel hammer at each other again. But we’re in the business of celebrating small candles that light the way in the darkness.
Nazareth Hospital is one such candle – a Christian place of healing where both Jew and Arab are treated equally no matter what ideology or faith stance.
On Christmas Day we commissioned Trish Bevan for her return stint at the Nazareth Hospital and two other Galilee projects for some maintenance work. This feisty septuagenarian wields more than a paint brush. She is passionate about the cause of building peace amongst Jews, Muslims and Christians. Without fear and with sustained high energy, she immerses herself in the work parties that travel from Australia to to Nazareth under the guidance of Paul and Merrill Kitchen. Follow the unfolding news on the current project blog here.
Been quietly seething about the damp squib of a carbon trading scheme offered by our PM this week – 5% reduction by 2020 is a flea-kick. Then there’s a transparently deceptive attempt to get us all to put our shoulder behind the wheel to reduce it further. Scott Vawser spells it out here.
*sigh* – just when we thought we were turning the corner.
… see what I mean? There’s kind of a Mexican stand-off between Advent and Christmas observance. We had our annual community Christmas party last night – barbecue followed by games and carol-singing.
Maybe Advent and Christmas weren’t in conflict; maybe they kissed!
It all comes together in the end!
… fa lalala la, lala la la!
I usually feel like King Canute at this time of the year – raising my arms, seeking to hold back the relentless tide of Christmas festivities washing tsunami like over the beaches of Advent – the “little Lent” – the season of preparation, reflection and fasting. My church folk, Christmas decorations in hand, have regarded me quizzically when I go into one of my “It’s not Christmas yet” rants, shrugging their shoulders as if thinking “How odd – another one of his eccentricities!” as they set about decorating halls and singing carols. And me – I’m thick into the round of “end-of-year” parties (I refuse to call them Christmas parties ‘cos it’s not Christmas yet!) and – just to demonstrate my inconsistency – shamelessly promote The Christmas Bowl – a seasonal fund raiser for the aid arm of the National Council of Churches.
So this year I’ll mellow out a little. Some battles you throw in order to win bigger ones.