Sunday, 1 February 2015




If I write a blog about gay Catholics priests - or nuns having babies - or how many millions a particular bishop is spending on his palace - I get over a thousand "hits", 60 comments and a whole lot of praise and criticism.

But if I write a blog about Christianity or Islam or spirituality I get only half the "hits", a couple of lame comments (if I'm lucky), no praise and no criticism?    

What is the problem?

Is the problem that we live in a world and a society that has a "Red Top" mentality?

Or is the problem that we live in a world where people like to see other people getting criticised and hammered?

Or is the problem that, in the main, we have become a superficial people and society that is attracted by lurid headlines and negative stories but not attracted anymore to the more profound aspects of life and existence?

 Don't get me wrong. I am as prey to the sensational as another man. 

Of course my ears prick up when I hear that Lord Leon Brittan might have been a paedophile and have abused - and even been part of killing - little innocent boys around the Houses of Westminster.  

But that is only a small part of my hunger for information, knowledge and stimulation.

I am also - and indeed more passionately interested - in what is happening in the politics of Greece, Pakistan, Iran, Washington and China.

I am interested to hear that Mercedes have just launched a new S Class hybrid saloon that returns 106 miles to the gallon.

I want to know why the Filipino Government imprisoned the poor street children when Pope Francis visited.

I want to keep track of Mr Putin's behaviour in the Ukraine and his despatch of bomb carrying planes to fly around the The Irish Isles :-)

I want to know all about the latest developments in medicine, psychology, philosophy, geology and space travel.

I want to know what is happening in Coronation Street and Emmerdale - and which play or musical is doing best in the West End.

And what's more I could easily write a BLOG about any of the above or any aspect of the above.

But I find that many of my readers are more interested in knowing - and more motivated by  - blogs about the price of poor Bishop Treanor's door handles or how many priests in "mufti" attended the gay sauna this week.

I am more than happy for this Blog to be a good mixture of topical and even controversial items but mixed in with more serious and thought provoking items.

I know that there are some readers out there who wished I ceased blogging completely. I do not intend to please that camp anytime soon.

But in the meantime I would like 2 things:

1. For folk to tell me why Tabloidy blogs get more notice that serious ones.

2. For folk to suggest future blogs.

+Pat Buckley

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  1. Pat, funny you should raise that subject because I had noticed exactly what you describe. The "heavy" subjects get little or no comment but those about the foibles, scandals and shortcomings of those we know or are familiar with receive much attention. Possibly, there may be a historical reason in that many Northern Irish folk have been so consumed with the goings on within the 6 counties that they have little or no time or interest in greater world affairs. Just a thought. "The Portrush Flyer"

  2. Could it be that the "heavier subjects" of conceptual or theoretical nature require more thought and energy to respond to. I too had noticed the absence of comment to some thought provoking blogs and comments, yet plenty for the more "concrete" topics.
    What is additionally interesting is the absence of the previous personalised vitriolic comments to the heavier topics. It has seemed that such comments were from a small number of narrow and closed minded persons (clerics?) with limited capacity to depart from an outdated mindset. Maybe it's easier for them to criticise practical issues they disagree with than to exercise critical faculties to debate difficult issues.

  3. It's called "human nature", Pat. I'm sure you've heard of it. Also "entertainment" - and this blog of yours is as good as any soap opera!

  4. If I might expand on an earlier contributor when he/ she talked about people from NI being wrapped up in their own politics etc. I think they may be right. Last year a friend from Co Down visited me in London. He was accompanied by a priest who was from Belfast. Both educated men but both completely lost in matters cultural here. Facts and information which other friends of mine from other parts of the world were aware of concerning the arts and history were alien to my guests. For example I thought everyone knew that Nelson overlooked Trafalgar Square or that the royal standard only flew over Buckingham palace when the Queen was in residence. These men knew so little yet we're very well versed in matter political in Belfast

    1. Interesting comment that. Having lived in Scotland/England for 40+years, I have found a lot of Norn Iron attitudes, thinking and politics incredibly insular and parochial. Given its history though, that's hardly surprising.
      But I wonder to what extent such parochialism is a feature of relatively static communities linked to low educational achievement?
      Yet one might expect more outward interest and knowledge given both the North's relatively good educational standards, certainly in comparison to large areas of England, and high degree of mobility with movement for education and/or work commonplace to elsewhere in UK.

  5. Yes I agree. I've worked in London now for 15 years and when I have family and friends over they always compare things with things " back home". We went to see Jersey boys and as we walked along Old Compton Street towards the theatre there must have been a thousand people mainly gay out standing and drinking on the street. They were amazed! Also Oxford Street on the Saturday afternoon was greeted with " This is much busier than Royal Avenue on Saturdays. Reference and comparison back home was constant without them realising that back home is so insular, introvert and behind the times it beggars belief.

  6. Tabloid sells papers but these papers have a very short shelf life. Bad news or that which puts the "Other" down makes the "masses" feel good about themselves for a brief moment. Tabloids can be ruthless in the way they treat the subjects of their articles and photos. The fact that we seem to be attracted to "stereotypical Tabloid" says something about human nature. Sean

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