Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dinning out

No matter where SFC McG and I have traveled outside the wire in support of Catholic Soldiers, even the smallest and most primitive DFACs (Dining Facilities) have wide-screen television monitors -- often multiple units, almost always set to different channels, and almost always tuned up to the threshold of pain decibel level.

It makes for an interesting dining experience, especially if one attempts to carry on a conversation while eating. Very often, given my old ears, I find myself not saying very much, simply because I can't discriminate well enough between the background din and the foreground of interest.

One of the DFACs where I often eat has a 'video room' which at least has only one flat screen monitor, and enough separation from the rest of the facility that it's generally fairly quiet -- as defined by being over here, anyway. I try to eat in there when I can, as a respite from the bedlam elsewhere.

The choice of video often proves to be a bit idiosyncratic, however -- and is not something concerning which the diners seem to have any input.

This is not so bad when they're running old classic comedies like "Ghostbusters." But lately I've been in there and they were showing "Blood Diamond" -- which is actually a pretty good movie, but a bit violent for the dinner hour. There have actually been more violent, bloody, gory movies than not.

The worst so far has been one the name of which I didn't bother to learn.

What kind of people think those things up? Honestly!

However, the choice between being assaulted aurally or visually usually has the visual winning these days, since I can at least avert my eyes!

Scripture says make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Ps 95:1, 95:2; 98:4; 98:6). I don't think the Psalmist had our DFACs in mind, somehow....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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p.s. Speaking of noise, my neighbors to the east (Tatoo and The Musician) have just begun blaring their music -- it's louder in my CHU than I would ever listen to it myself.... At least it's a joyful noise! Praise God.

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