Life in the Early Holocene
The Scandinavian Model

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Los Angeles Times/Joel Stein Edition)


Joel Stein: Have something to say? I don't care - Los Angeles Times: Not everything should be interactive. A piece of work that stands on its own, without explanation or defense, takes on its own power. If Martin Luther put his 95 Theses on the wall and then all the townsfolk sent him their comments, and he had to write back to all of them and clarify what he meant, some of the theses would have gotten all watered down and there never would have been a Diet of Worms...

But... But... But... But...

Luther did put his 95 theses on the wall. And he asked for everybody interested to send him comments. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther mailed his theses to Pope Leo X, the Archbishop of Mainz, his friends, and scholars at other universities besides Wittenberg. He probably posted them on the Castle Church door as well--the standard way of advertising a theological event. He asked readers to come to Wittenberg to discuss and debate his theses, and if they could not do so, to debate him by letter.

Here's Martin Luther:

Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences: Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (1) Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance...

I don't know what I'm going to say in fifty years when my great-grandchildren ask me, "Great-grandpapa, what were newspapers?" Perhaps: "Well, they were big buildings located in cities, where managers paid people to be ignorant and write about things they did not understand..."