“Out of touch”

If someone were described as “out of touch” I would define them as being unaware of current issues and advances in technology. It also means that you are out of touch with many more of the simpler things to life. Not being able to communicate or socialise with other people can be seen as “out of touch.”

Someone who is “in touch” with the modern world, would therefore be the complete opposite; they would know some fashion and music, as well as are up to date with current affairs and advances in technology. They would probably have only a few moral values in life.

Some people would argue that many programmes portray religious people as “out of touch.”

One example would be the character Dot Branning from the BBC1 soap opera, Eastenders. Chain-smoking Dot is a religious woman, with an endless capacity for the latest gossip. From her position in the launderette, she keeps a watchful eye over Albert Square. Dot’s a bit of a hypochondriac and she can have a cruel tongue, but she’s kind-hearted with a loyal and protective nature.

She is sometimes seen as a busy body that likes to become involved in other peoples business. She often quotes from the Bible much to the annoyance of those around her.

A few years ago Dot’s friend Ethel was dying of cancer. She asked Dot to help her die (Euthanasia), but because Dot was a Christian, she found it very difficult (Christians believe it is wrong to end a person’s life). Eventually Dot agreed, but she was so overcome with guilt that she turned herself over to the police. She was never prosecuted for the crime.

Another character portrayed, as “out of touch” with the modern world would be Edna Birch from ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. Edna is a woman in her late 50’s who frequently moans, on how the younger generation are losing faith. She is also ridiculed when she does not agree with much of the goings on in the little village or listen to any of the latest gossip, such as affairs and murders, because she does not believe in such talk.

The character Ned Flanders from the popular cartoon series, Simpsons, is also regarded as “out of touch”. He has to young boys who have been brought up to be devout Christians.

Religion informs nearly every aspect of Ned’s life, from the doorbell that chimes “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” to his air horn that blares the Hallelujah chorus. Together with his family, he prays at meals and before bed. He attends church three times a week; contributing to seven congregations, just to be on the safe side. He belongs to a Bible-study group and keeps notes stuck on his refrigerator.

Like many believers, he thanks God for things as small as a beautiful day. Even Ned admits that most of the time he is “about as exciting as a baked potato.”

On the other hand, television doesn’t always portray religious people as “out of touch”; there are many programmes that show religious people as “in touch” with the modern world.

One example is Geraldine Granger, from The Vicar of Dibley. The Vicar of Dibley is one of many religious-themed sitcoms. The character is kind-hearted, fun, chocolate-loving, joke-cracking vicar who is like breath of fresh air and immediately became popular with the villagers. She is definitely not out of touch and great fun to watch.

Another character not represented as out of touch, is from the film Sister Act. Whoopi Goldberg plays the character Deloris who accidentally witnesses a brutal murder carried out by her gangster boyfriend Vince. Under the protection of a detective who’s trying to bring down Vince, Deloris is placed in custody at a San Francisco convent.

Hiding away as a nun, she is renamed Sister Mary Clarence. Deloris shakes up the convent and the sisters lives, particularly enlivening their choral efforts. The new, jazzed-up musical act becomes a huge hit in the community, even drawing the attention of the Pope. Deloris was definitely religious as she grew up in a Catholic school with nuns as teachers.

Although Eastenders has the character Dot Branning it also has the character Yolandi, who is the complete opposite when compared to each other. Yolandi is extremely religious and is a regular churchgoer; however she is very outgoing and fun.

She is from Trinidad and recently left her cheating husband for Patrick Truman. They fell in love while Patrick was on holiday, which slowly developed in to being partners.

When she first came to England she was despised by Dot Branning who thought Yolandi was not religious and was just pretending to be. Soon Yolandi shows Dot how religious she really is and they become good friends. She even teaches Dot to loosen up a bit and live life to the full. I therefore think that Yolandi is portrayed as in touch with the modern world.

In my opinion I think, most television programmes present religious people as “out of touch” with the modern world, because there are more middle aged and older presenters in the area of religion than anywhere else in the media, and therefore they must be seen as out of touch.

If a character is religious and “in touch” with the modern world, they are usually in a comedy, and to be laughed at rather than be serious. Although, I do think that religious characters are usually in the heart of most soap communities, as they bring culture to a programme.

I do not think this portrayal of religious people is right. I think this because many religious people can still have faith but still be in touch with the modern world. Someone having faith does not make them different to someone with out, like someone who is black skin is no different to someone who is white. We should not discriminate colour or creed.

This portrayal can also mean that the younger generation and other viewers can stereotype all religious people to being “out of touch” with the modern world. It teaches people that someone with faith is different; this is can later cause many conflicts, like today.

In some ways having faith is better as it means many people look for comfort and it also gives people morals to live in a modern society.