In his Letter from Rome Robert Mickens of RU-486 (aka The Bitter Pill aka The Tablet) offers these observations about the older form of Mass and Pope Benedict’s "emancipation proclamation" Summorum Pontificum. Shall we have a look in the usual way?
Monday marks two years since Pope Benedict’s moto proprio, “Summorum Pontificum”, came into effect and allowed general use of the Tridentine Mass. The papal document changed our liturgical terminology, redefining the old and new rites respectively as the “extraordinary and ordinary forms of the one Roman Rite”. Until recently I had seen only portions of the extraordinary form. [Lemme get this straight. After all these years of sniping at the older form of Mass and the people involved with it, Mickens finally got around – good reporter that he is – to going to one. It has been available in Rome for years, long before the 2007 document Summorum Pontificum. But he has now gotten around to it.]
But last Sunday I decided to go to the vicariate of Rome’s designated parish for the “extraordinary form” of the Mass. [and all the sacraments.] Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims) is run by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP), the first group of former Lefebvrists to return to communion with Rome. They pride themselves on saying the old Mass with great care and reverence. [Which is, in this day and age, something to be proud of. He could have walked into nearly any other church in the centro for a very different celebration of Mass.] In fact, last Sunday’s rite featured a magnificent schola, unobtrusively situated in the choir loft at the back of the lugubrious baroque church. [Nota bene: That’s what choir lofts are for. But, "lugubrious" SS. Trinità?] The music was gorgeous and spiritually moving, at least for meditation. But the rest of the liturgy was not. The church was half full, [It’s a big church.] mostly with regulars who had their own missals – or rosaries. Without the black book it was impossible fully to participate. [Hardly. If you are entirely of your own Rite, it is perhaps more challenging, but it is not impossible. You are going to have to go in with a little good will, first of all, and determination to try to participate. It would also help to have a fuller understanding of what "active participation" means.] The sacred ministers (priest, deacon, sub-deacon and several altar servers) did everything. [Wrong. The people in the pews were also doing something, something very important.] There was lots of criss-crossing in the sanctuary, bowing, a constant moving of books and the removal and replacement of hats. More than prayerful, I found it distracting and even dizzying. ["dizzying"? He must be very delicate.] Except for the Gospel, the readings and prayers were done ad orientem and inaudibly. The paternoster was chanted by the priest alone. We faithful chimed in only on the last line – “sed libera nos a malo”. [A final stab.]
I wonder how he managed to see only “portions” of the TLM up until this point? Was he watching snippets on YouTube?
Nothing like singing in the Key of ME.
People forget that Mass is prayer, group prayer. You are always able to do something.
If he really doesn’t like the Extraordinary Form THAT much, he can, um … not go. The Extraordinary Form was once the ONLY form (omitting the Ambrosian rite, etc), and I wonder what he would’ve done in 1830- become Protestant? At least those Protestant ministers don’t perform those “dizzying” acts of silly reverence and humility, like kissing the altar!
I understand the inner, contepmplative part of ‘active participation’. That’s first, obviously.
The Church has also made clear that it is desirable for the people to also sing or say in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertain to them.
Do the tradtional parishes do that in Europe? i know they do in France, certainly, say at the magnificient SSPX church St. Nicholas du Chardonnet.
My family went to our first High Mass on Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis. I have a different perspective than this author. If Father would like to read it could he please “fisk” my post here in red as he always does and give me permission to e-mail him. I will also give the perspective of my wife and my kids as well as my parents.
In short, Mickens the Dickens hasn’t a clue as to what worship really is, he confusing it with drama, concert performance, group therapy, spectator cheers at a football game, and a live food preparation demonstration.
Thanks, Patrick, for the “Nothing like singing in the Key of ME.” How about “Key of Me major.”
If this guy Mickens dislikes the TLM so much, then why does he write for a [so-called] Catholic paper?
The Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini church is not the best place to attend a TLM as a first experience: it needs more restoration and a good cleaning!
Typical of the N.O.M. mentality, thier ignorance and arrogance amazes me. I have the same thing in my family. God help us.
Currently a lot of things are being called “progressive” that are just really old ideas. Maybe we should start calling the TLM “progressive” or “enlightened” and these peolpe will flock to it and love it. At St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN I have heard a few people that say they go for the music, and the “church stuff” is just extra.
Having been to Ss. Trinita I would also say it is not the best place to first experience the EF Mass. When I have gone to small FSSP and SSPX chapels for the Mass I have found it much easier to see, and understand the Mass even without a Missal. When you are a huge Church that has a massive sanctuary or even a choir chancel if you do not yet understand the Mass, it can feel distant. The intimacy allows you to watch a lot more closely what the priest and servers are doing, this will help you feel connected and help you learn a lot quicker than sitting 30 pews back in a church built for 500+ parishioners. The only weekly EF in my diocese has this problem it’s a 50’s flying saucer church, and because it can seat around 450 but there is usually only 30 to 50 people in attendance there is a lack of intimacy. The liturgy feels transcendent but not imminent for new comers. Hopefully as my school is now going to allow the EF in a new small (modern…) chapel we will be able to provide a good first experience for new comers.
So grab a balloon and go back to the Novus Ordo..
“More than prayerful, I found it distracting and even dizzying. [“dizzying”? He must be very delicate.]”
Isn’t this this same Mr Mickens who reportedly (cf: Holy Smoke) burst into tears upon the election of Pope Benedict XVI? He probably is very delicate.
‘Delicate’ how about ‘Goofy’?
I suggest that Robert Mickens is exactly the kind of Catholic that TLM supporters should try to engage and not attack, simply for the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Catholics like him. To the extent that he had a positive experience with the music, he clearly wasn’t trying to find fault with everything. I’ve had discussions with people who have been open and attended one TLM and have had very similar experiences. If one doesn’t have a book or a knowledge of Latin, the TLM is like jumping into a cold pool without a lifeguard if one is used to the average NO mass. The blame doesn’t belong with any given Catholic but with the bishops and priests who let the N.O. mass get so out of hand.
It might be a good idea for TLM churches to offer a little info session in the half-hour before mass starts in an adjacent hall or auditorium, just to cushion the plunge for the first-timers.
My Goodness DO I LOVE MITCHELL, NY’S Reponse as mine was close to what he said!
Maybe, maybe not. Anyone who does much opinion writing knows that when you want to attack something, you have to open by saying something good about it, to set the frame of an objective viewpoint before you go on to slam it. There’s no way to know if that’s the case here, but one positive statement really means nothing.
I agree that we need to do whatever we can to “cushion the plunge” for newbies, though. The TLM is very different for people who are used to the NO, and it can seem to them like they aren’t participating. I used to try to show people how to use the missal and proper and all that, but I found that was just too much for them the first time. Now I tell them to forget all that and just watch the priest and really think about what’s happening at the altar. (Something they may never have done before.) Once they “get” that, there will be time to learn the rest later.
Some people go to Mass to worship; some people go to be entertained.
Dr. Eric: My family went to our first High Mass on Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis. I have a different perspective than this author. If Father would like to read it …
Sounds interesting. Have you posted it somewhere?
Has he ever seen the Charge of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion? It can be downright dangerous to get between the EMHC’s and the sanctuary. Frankly, at times, I wish the organist would break out the William Tell Overture!
On Monday I watched (via DVR) the Solemn High Mass from EWTN. Nothing was hurried, everything happened in its own time in its proper place. Movement was slow and dignified. The chant and hymns soothed you, not jar your fillings. Humility was the order of the day.
I would also note that the celebrant looked all of 21, but was not out of place and did a great job (if that is the proper term).
Perhaps our friends at The Tablet have become accustomed to a more hurried, less orderly pace?
Two years after SP. Wow. I am really glad he got around to it.
shec0002, occasionally I see people walk out after the chorale is done singing the Agnus Dei. Not too often anymore. I almost blocked someone one time to say, “Oh, I’m sorry, Holy Mass isn’t quite done yet. Why don’t you have a seat?” Almost. Not quite that uppity yet.
But these concert-goers are the people I seek out to sit behind with my seven children! ;-P
Well, a lot of Protestant observers traditionally were quite bowled over by the sights and sounds of a regular old Low Mass, much less a sung one with all the bells and whistles. President Adams Sr. was rather overwhelmed by his first Mass, for instance, and it wasn’t even as if he’d never set little toe in an Episcopal or other church. And New England churches back then were pretty nice, although austere.
Nowadays, a lot of liberal Catholics attend very… well, not austere churches. “Austere” is attractive. “Barren and boring” churches. Churches where if you want imagery that’s attractive, you have to play mental connect-the-dots on the acoustic tile ceiling. The kind where you spend your time planning massive baroque frescos, just to avoid sensory deprivation.
So it’s as if this poor person has come out of forced bedrest in the most boring room possible, into a world of light and color. Of course he is dizzied and it makes his poor confused head hurt. He comes from a place where anything goes and nobody worries much about souls and stuff, into a world where liturgical actions matter and where the very walls are dedicated to a solemn purpose. Of course he thinks it gloomy.
But it’s funny, because if anything, I’d think of the EF as slo-mo rather than dizzying.
I do wonder why this person is so parochial, though. Wouldn’t a reporter for a Catholic journal seek out Masses in all the various Rites and Forms and Uses, at least once? Certainly at times when they are news, like when the motu first came into effect…. And wouldn’t you expect some commentary about “This bit reminded me of the Maronites”?
Here’s what John Adams wrote to his wife after visiting a Catholic Benediction service for the first time. I’ll take him over Mickens any day!
I don’t think anyone’s a fair judge of the TLM who hasn’t gone five or ten times and really tried to follow and understand. I didn’t like it myself at first, at least not as much as I liked the NO. I had to grow in understanding. If there was a complex work of art full of subtleties, and some hack glanced at it and said “Worthless,” would you think less of the artwork or less of the hack? (Not that there aren’t also aspects of the TLM that are readily accessible, like the sense of reverence.)
I agree that some sort of instruction prior to attending a TLM for newcomers is needed to minimize the disorientation they may feel. It especially helps if that person that person is accompanied by someone experienced to act as a guide (it helped me!).
Also, my FSSP pastor suggested that newcomers attend the TLM at least ten times before coming to a conclusion. He himself said that his first experience with the TLM was weird not that edifying but grew to like it after attending it several times.
If Catholics can understand the word “lugubrious” in a sentence, they should be perfectly capable of comprehending “ineffable”.
Poor guy, he obviously came into this with his own judgements already in place. You can tell from the tone of his article, and those are the hardest people to talk too. At my first TLM, I didn’t even know it was a TLM. Having been raised in the NOM all of my life, I wanted to go, but didn’t have friends who would take me. Then one of them offered and so we went to St. Agnes for their High Mass at 10 on a lovely spring morning. I know that the 10 A.M. Mass is always said in Latin there, but they switch weekly between the EF and OF and I went in, not sure which one we were attending. Afterword, I asked, so, was that an EF? My friends said yes and I was so happy. I’d loved it from the beginning. The EF seems more… adult. People aren’t there to gab and saunter around the church like it’s an airport. They’re there for Mass, and even though I was unsure of when to kneel or stand and sit, I wasn’t alone. Heck, my life’s always been like that at times, but people didn’t mind. I said to my friends after, that it was an actual relief that the congregation well… shut up. I loved the silence, the reverence, the total attention and adoration of God. I didn’t care that I couldn’t see what was going on. I actually felt that, as someone who’s blind, I got more out of the TLM than I ever have out of the NOM. Especially a terribly done NOM. I think it’s because of the singular focus on the altar and the Priest and what he is doing, rather than focusing on the Priest, then the reader, then so and so singing whatever Dave and Marty show song they can shriek out… Anyway, I’m rambling now, but I just loved my experience the first time, and I try to get back as often as I can.
If I can prepare for several hours before a Wagner opera by rereading the German-English parallel text and refreshing my memory of the leitmotifs, surely Mr Mickens has to be particularly ill-willed or boneheaded to attend a High Mass – presumably not having attended one before – without any preparation and without taking a handmissal (or even mass leaflet).
If even a smidgeon of preparation can enhance one’s appreciation of an opera performance a hundredfold, what should one not do for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the form in which it has been celebrated for centuries?
Ill-willed or boneheaded. Either way, I don’t think I like Mr Mickens.
And a further thought – does a good journalist go to an assignment without any preparation, especially if he is self-confessedly ignorant of the subject matter and all possible helpful materials are freely and plentifully available?
Is Mr Mickens a good journalist? Suggestions on a postcard to …
(with apologies to those who first saw part of this comment on Fr Mildew’s blog on the 12th and Damian Thompson’s on the 15th)
Wait, so you’re telling me that a journalist who writes about the TLM actually attended a TLM? Talk about stellar journalism! With these kinds of journalistic insights Mickens has got to be up for some kind of outstanding Journalism award, for he is no doubt writing a new page in the history of investigative journalism! What’s next? sports reporters actually attending sporting events?
I don’t know about you but Im rushing to nominate him for a nobel prize.
Give the guy a break, it was his first Latin Tridentine Mass. I grew up after VII and
for most if my life attended the New Mass, and due to my own ignorance I thought this
was the only mass. When I first went to a Tridentine Mass it was hard and some what disorienting.
The main reason is I was not used to it. It does take concentration and effort,
most of all first when it is new.
A lot if the time the Church is in silence. There is no shouting of the prayers, no
scurrying around of lay people around the altar, no “extra ordinary” ministers. One thing I was grateful
right away was the music, no guitars and tambourines!
Now is more familiar, the missale is easier to follow, and I even understand a lot of the Latin.
The post Vatican II generation is so used to the Paul VI Mass that the Traditional one
may seem imposing after all the years of Kumbaya.
I think there is the problem that the NO Mass frequently “spoon feeds” the faithful with narration, explanation and a lack of symbols, instead substituting texts that describe what the symbols would be denoting were they there. At a recent baptism, a priest actually said “in many parishes, we give the newly baptized a white garment as a sign of their baptism. This white garment would symbolize the cleanliness of their soul that results from conferring baptism. We don’t do that here, but it is a beautiful symbol of the meaning of the sacrament in many parishes”. All I could think was “why not just give them the white garment and keep your mouth closed!”
This type of substituting explanation for symbol has become so common that when confronted by symbols, observers such as Mr. Mickens see nothing and wait for an explanation, either in a missal or from the altar. When it doesn’t come, they complain that they’re not allowed to participate fully.
To be fair, someone should remind Mr Mickens that all good medicine can taste bad the first time. Its only after repeated doses, when the patient is getting better, that they notice the healing and that the taste is actually better than they perceived.
That bunch would put any normal person off the Old Mass. A ghastly collection of North American homosexuals. I remember that the saner (French) Fraternity of St Peter Priests kept their distance.
No, I haven’t posted anything on my thoughts on experiencing the EF.
My experience was much different than Mickens’.
If somebody who is entirely used to a Western Rite, (ANY western rite) attends Mass in a Byzantine Church, the first time he actually stays for the whole thing, and finds the music nice, but snipes at the rest of the liturgy (all those bows and procession, just DIZZYING!!!) and criticizes the way the regular parishoners choose to pray with the Liturgy, … the safe money is bet that they are not in good faith.
I realize that I may be opening myself to Congressional censure but think it my duty to that Mr. Mickens lies. There is a daily Latin Mass in Westminster Cathedral, and has been for some years.
Dr. Eric: My experience was much different than Mickens’.
An account of the first impressions of you, your wife, children, and parents could make a very pertinent report. Why don’t you send it to Father Z at the e-mail address he’s posted at upper left on this page as an invitation for people to write to him.
rgarcia149, Mr Mickens is the Rome correspondent of a paper which currently purports to be (and indeed once was) the leading Catholic journal of Catholic opinion in the UK. As such, he should display more journalistic professionalism – which means adequate preparation – than a curious bystander coming in off the street. As a Catholic, he should also be aware that this “distracting and dizzying” performance is a Catholic Mass and, as a Catholic, he should have made efforts towards “active participation” – which in this case also means adequate preparation.
Give the guy a break? I repeat, ill-willed or boneheaded, and certainly unprofessional. He was given rope, and hanged himself pretty neatly.
Sorry for the repeated “Catholic” in the first sentence of my last post. I shall severely castigate my sub-editor!
Tourists see what they come to see. Travellers see what is there. As said Chesterton, in so many words.
It’s only natural to be confused by something new the first time you try it. I’ve only attended EF masses a few times. I understand some Latin, so that helps things along, but I see where it can get confusing at points. Still, there’s obviously something beautiful about it.
I would like to point out that though I love SS. Trinita in Rome very much, I do not think that lugubrious is a bad description of it, and do not think that it is particularly large.
What Mr. Mickens fails to recognize is that you must have an open mind and a willing spirit; both of which clearly were absent.
Someone pointed out that Mickens was already closed minded before coming. That is probably the case as he praises the music (a good thing but not the most essential aspect of the the Mass) but then straight away proceeds to inconsiderately attack the rubrics of the Mass which are necessary in order that the Mass be correctly celebrated. He praises a small thing and attcks the essentials. The progressives are not disturbed by good music (which I agree is important just not as much as obedience to the rubrics) as much as a proper reverence to authority (hence God) as is demonstrated by a authentic obedience to the rubrics. Besides if he had an open mind he could have purchased a missal before attending. I am sure that they are easy enough to locate and he is financially able to afford it. No respectable journalist goes to a foreign country without an interpreter at least not if he wants to understand what is going on.
If he didn’t care to bring a missal I wonder what is his view of a NO celebrated in Chinese (or some other language he doesn’t care to study) would be. Would he be upset if it was done ad orientum (as permitted)? Would he find it troubling that no one considered translating the entire Mass on the loudspeaker system just because he was present? Would he feel it necessary to vent his pet peeves about a Byzantine Mass when he never bothered to properly prepare? After all it is celebrated in Greek and there is much more liturgical movement than the TLM (which is much more simple and austere than all the Eastern rites I am aware of). These criticisms leveled against the TLM could also be leveled against those rites- if they dared.
I sympathize with those who have difficulty understanding the older liturgies. Expressing confusion over the rites/ language are understandable as it is a much different experience than most are used to. After all I am a convert of two years and though I loved the Tridentine from the beginning I am still not proficient. It also took a while before I could afford a missal so I understand those who are in the same position. However, you can easily tell by the tone in the end the author has contempt for a treasure of the Church and is ridiculing it. Why else mention something so small as hats which is not a noticeably prominent portion of the liturgy?
“There was lots of criss-crossing in the sanctuary, bowing, a constant moving of books and the removal and replacement of hats.”
Besides this criticism of movement is foolish. There is more movement and distractions in the NO. What with the temporary readers, the procession of gifts, the long journey to the tabernacle (usually kept somewheres that is truly liturgically inappropriate- even if it does not violate the GIRM) when there are not enough consecrated Hosts. The ineffably long and tumultous sign of peace which uses a sign that is more indicative of concluding a business deal and has very little of the sacred nature (at least here in the US). In most parishes it concludes sometime after the beginning of the Agnus Dei and is more prominent. The legion of “EMCs” rushing the sanctuary. Add this all to the cacophony of noise that barely subsides when Mass begins and then raises to a crescendo when Mass is ending (as if people can’t wait to leave) would seem to be more disturbing. Besides congregations many do not recite the responses in unision, correct tone, etc (due to lack of proper training). This is not even mentioning such liturgical abuses as the “liturgical dancing,” etc.
If the writer does not find the above practices distracting but is made “dizzy” by the Tridentine then either the above practices precipate him into a comatose state during which he is not aware of his surroundings. Or he is disingenuous. Of all the criticisms I have heard of the TLM too much liturgical activity/ movement is not one of them. I find the only logical conclusion to be is his article is indicative of his contempt.
Sed libera nos a proud progressives
Now I get what Robert Mickens means by “active participation”…observing, just plain observing. Pretty active!
Even without a Missal, the EF Mass provides the aura and sense of wonder and awe that makes you stop, think and say to yourself “God is here. I will worship.”
Mickens goes to Mass to observe…not worship. No wonder he got dizzy. Too much holiness in the area made his world spinning.
Perhaps the cause of Mr Mickens’ dizziness was the incense? I’ve been to Masses where the altar boy really cranks up the thurible and then spins it in ostentatious 360 degree circles. But then, I’d rather smell incense than sulphur!
The Tridentine is not for everyone. Some people are not drawn into what others experience in this Mass as “holiness”. This is not bad faith or ill will, just honesty. There is no need to be defensive. If you love this Mass, then love it without apology or excuse.
I think that perhaps Tominellay was quoting the poet Alexander Pope who wrote:-
And some to church repair
Not for the service
But for the music there
Sed libera… wrote, “Someone pointed out that Mickens was already closed minded before coming. That is probably the case as he praises the music (a good thing but not the most essential aspect of the the Mass) but then straight away proceeds to inconsiderately attack the rubrics of the Mass which are necessary in order that the Mass be correctly celebrated. He praises a small thing and attcks the essentials. The progressives are not disturbed by good music…”
I have to disagree. I know plenty of liberals who think that the congregation should sing every note of every mass, so it seems quite likely or at least the worth giving the benefit of the doubt that Mr. Mickens did have an open mind going into it.
Dizzying? The EF?
Mr Mickens has obviously never been to an Irish OF Mass. The whole Mass takes 15 mins – tops.
You can imagine how fast someone has to talk to get everything into that time frame – now that’s dizzying.
shoofoolatte. No the Tridentine Mass is not for everyone, just real Catholics, Saints, and Popes who were nourished by it for centuries. I suppose you are for Clown Masses, Gay Masses, Kiddie Masses, anything but a Catholic Mass. Tom
Ioannes you misunderstand. I basically I said just because he liked the music does not mean he was not closed minded. Saying that he was open minded because he liked the music ignores the more serious aspects of his article. I know of solid conservative (liturgically and doctrinally) priests who feel ideally in the Tridentine all the congregation should sing the propers and make the responses. His appreciation of the music is not as critical as his views concerning the Mass and its peoper celebration. Besides many liberals like to go to concerts.
Whether he came with an open mind or is just inept (it has to be either of the two) the end result is that he is contemptful of a sacred thing. That is presumption and arrogance. You feel he was inept but open minded I think he is intelligent (enough to at least veil his contempt a little) but lacks integrity. Either way he is lacking. His contempt for the patrimony of the Church makes his arrogance obvious. That arrogance is due to ignorance or ill will. While we may debate which is the cause the end result is that he is arrogant and should be corrected.
The reason I used such language in describing some aspects of the NO is to demostrate that his critique is is not honest as the NO would be a graver offender in all matters except bowing and hats. I respect the NO in its essence but not any abuses. Evidently he favors the NO in some form and obviously the more distant from the Tridentine the better he feels about it. His criticism makes his closed mind quite evident- as well as his contempt.
The British are quite intelligent and his making an issue of moving books, hats, etc is intentional. It is meant to trivialize. I enjoy British literature- they are a better master of the subtle than Americans.
Another note is that his contempt is of long standing. It is evident, as Father pointed out, from his previous attacks. To give him the benefit of the doubt is like saying- Well I know this dog bit me before and growls at me all the time but that is all changed since I am wearing new clothes (ie the moto propio). Obviously the dog isn’t likely to care much what you are wearing. No you can’t see what is going on in his mind but you can make a fairly accurate judgement by previous behavior and his growling.
Please read the rest of my previous post. Thank you and Best Regards.
That is true Shooflate…
There are also the Ambrosian, Coptic, Byzantine, Maronite, Syrian and Malabor, etc rites. Just kidding. The NO is also valid although it needs some adjustments so that it is more evident as to what the essence of the mystery that is being celebrated is. It contains some aspects (and mostly abuses albeit some are currently permitted) that are not conducive to that purpose. Thankfully the Holy Father is addressing this issue.
I think most are upset since he has attacked the patrimony of the Church (which the TLM is undoubtably a portion of it). He has done it in a patronizing and contemptful manner. Neither is he intellectually honest. Apparently this is the first time he attended one so it is evident that he didn’t feel it was important to actually know what he was attacking/ ridiculing in the past. At the very least he didn’t care and it is a sign of arrogance when he speaks so lightly of the proper celebration of the Mass. I don’t believe it is that he prefers the celebration of the NO. His criticisms are incredibly childish. On second thought even a child would be more logical. They are just plain foolish.
People need to guard the treasures of the Faith from those such as Mickens who despise them. It is good to be angry within due measure when something sacred is being violated. Our Lord even used a whip to drive the money changers from the temple. I don’t think any of us have gone that far yet.
Besides none of us probably have the biblically correct whip and so far he is more of a Sadducee than a money changer if one wants to be technical.
For those who are unaware of Mickens background and still think he has an open mind just google him. You will quickly find that this article is only the tip of his unorthodox views and contempt for all that is sacred.