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New show, old medium

April 28, 2016
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There’s always something new happening at the S+L studios, and this spring is no different.  One of our most anticipated projects is a new book show entitled Subject Matters. The show is written, produced and hosted by Sebastian Gomes, and will premiere on Pentecost Sunday (May 15th) at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT.
In an era when printed books are on decline and e-books are on the rise, many people are asking why we’re creating a TV show based on this seemingly outdated medium!  Indeed books have been around for a long time.  They have been the primary vehicles for communicating new ideas and preserving old ones.  The centuries-old art of book and manuscript writing is the only reason we know as much as we do about ancient civilizations and cultures, religions and exceptional individuals.
Something that has withstood the test of time, as books have, is not likely going to disappear forever.  Books are to communication what Benedictines are to the Catholic tradition.  There’s something very stable about them.  No informed person would believe that books are heading toward extinction any more than the Benedictines are.  If anything, amid the rapid changes in communication in the 21st century, books might prove once again to be a staple of communicating ideas and preserving culture.
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Books are also very healthy.  They are the organic foods of the communication world: good for the mind (sparking imagination, creativity and critical thinking), good for the body (fostering moments of peace and quiet in an otherwise chaotic, noisy culture), and good for the soul (depending on what you’re reading!) And, despite their high cost, books are worth the investment over the long term to sustain a healthy life.
Finally, a word on silence.  Silence, as Benedict XVI wrote in his message for World Communications Day 2012, is an integral element of communication.  “In its absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves. By remaining silent we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself; and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested.”
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Simply reading a book can promote that healthy balance between word and silence, something we all need to be effective and respectful communicators.  Our new show Subject Matters serves to promote the ancient practice of quiet reading, to introduce viewers to new ideas and to spark creative discussion.  We cover a broad range of topics of interest to both Catholics and non-Catholics.  By featuring relevant and readable books in a visually rich setting, we hope our audience will rediscover the old medium of the printed word, infused with new ideas for building a better world and living a joyful life.
It is of the new things that men tire—of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young.
G.K. Chesterton

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