Friday 24th June 2016: Shazam the 23rd June!

I know what you’re thinking. What on earth does “Shazam” mean? Unless of course, unlike me, you’re au fait with the well-known and well used [over 100 million people worldwide] App.

Shazam works by analysing the captured sound on your mobile phone which then seeks a match based on what’s called an “acoustic fingerprint” in a database of more than 11 million songs. The user tags a song for 10 seconds and the application creates an audio fingerprint. Once it creates the fingerprint of the audio, Shazam starts the search for matches in the database. If there is a match, it returns the information to the user; otherwise it returns a “song not known” dialogue.

I only came across this app this week and I was amazed I had not heard of it.  But then again, I only started blogging two years ago and using social media earlier this year!

But what intrigues me is that people now utilise the descriptors of these modern technologies as if they were new verbs. So for example, I saw an advertisement the other day which literally said: “Shazam this poster” which was promoting a pop concert of some kind…I think! And then I saw another advertising the University of Sussex with the slogan: “Let’s move beyond ‘male’ and ‘female.’”  So I thought, if I were to “shazam” that particular slogan what “song” or melody would the app find me? Short answer? None. The response would be “song not known” so to speak. There is no song or melody, metaphorically-speaking, for the denial of sexual difference. There’s only a cacophony of noise. The denial of the beauty – the via pulchritudinous (way of beauty) – of sexual complementarity emits dissonance not harmony, the jarring sound, instead of the perfectly pitched note that resonates deep within the soul of the one who can hear it and feel it.

So when I contemplate the 23rd June, it is not that it was this unrepeatable and historic day in British political and social history upon which the nation voted to remain in or leave the European Union.  By the time you read this, the outcome will be known!  Rather it is the fact that 23rd June was my son’s 7th birthday.  And when I “shazam” it, i.e. the memory of it, the melody and song that comes back to me is that upon reaching the age of reason, where he can now and must begin to distinguish for himself, with the right help from his parents, all that reflects the authentic way of beauty, the song that fills his heart and soul, mind and body will be what he witnesses from us, his parents and grandparents, to the “sacrament of creation” as Pope Benedict called it – Matrimony.

So when I think about how to help my seven year old boy reflect on the culture around him that is increasingly anti-Christian, anti-family, intoxicated with the ‘anthropological heresy’ of so called gender theory aggressively promoted by the lobbying organs of the EU, it will be the unchangeable authoritative Word of God and Catholic Tradition which I will encourage him to “shazam” so that the melody returned to him is that of human love glorified in the Song of Songs.


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