This is largely a placeholder, and I'll be back later today. But I do want to add to yesterday's post about Morag Zwartz's article. A couple of the comments seem to be trying to explain why Zwartz might be offended, given the values she has. The thing is, I understand that. All sorts of people are offended by all sorts of things, and if you have a set of ascetic values closely entwined with religious beliefs then you will be offended by much in the popular culture. Modern pop culture is not big on asceticism, and it's not surprising if ascetic values are treated with a degree of disrespect - not necessarily openly mocked, and note that the Tourism Victoria campaign is what usually gets described as "tasteful" - but treated with disrespect in the sense of given short shrift and treated rather playfully in a kind of po-mo way.
As far as I'm concerned, this is a good thing. There's too much asceticism in the world. I have my own criticisms of pop culture, which also tends to take a dumbed-down (and not especially respectful) approach to art and science, and to valorise a certain kind of trivial glamour. But that's life, and I don't go around making demands that advertisements or TV shows get withdrawn, apologies get issued, and so on. One of the things - there are others - that I find offensive about Morag Zwartz's article is that she seems to feel entitled to demand that her very contestable values prevail in every public setting - including a tourism ad that promotes such non-ascetic, positively sensual pleasures as those on offer from Daylesford's fine restaurants.