Friday, September 29, 2006

Antidote to Celebrity-centric Insanity

Here are some curmudgeonly tools in the struggle against entertainment celebritism.

1. Do not read stories about them.
2. When in stores, cover up celebrity magazines and books with more thoughtful magazines and books or turn the covers around.
3. Don't refer to them in sermons; or if you do, do so only negatively.
4. Do not dress like them.
5. Do not speak like them.
6. Do not watch them on television.
7. Do not attend their ridiculous movies.
8. Don't strike celebrity-like poses--for cameras or otherwise.
9. Pray the celebrities will repent of their shabby, hollow, and empty egoism and embrace the Kingdom of God.
10. Fill your mind with ancient and more modern thinkers whose ideas last and bless: Augustine, Pascal, Jonathon Edwards, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Os Guinness, and so on.
11. Read biographies of great and godly people.
12. Get interested in the lives of the people who are near you, people you love, people you can influence for righteousness.

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world, love for the Father [a] is not in you. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful people, the lust of their eyes and their boasting about what they have and do—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. - 1 John 2:15-17

6 comments:

Mark said...

Douglas, I think those are actually some pretty good suggestions.

I think the vast majority of celebrities are very shallow and we would do well to disregard their example.

What is ironic is that in a culture which appears to emphasize individuality, the call going out is to conform and to lose our individuality.

One thing that bothers me as a relatively young 20-something is the way people swallow popular culture hook-line-and-sinker.

I don't think it is necessarily a wrong thing to see someone as a "role model" of sorts in some limited fashion even though we know they have certain flaws which we would not like to emulate. But what scares me is when you have throngs of people going ga-ga over shallow (and usually immoral) hollywood culture. And what scares me even more is that so many people have no meaningful, descent, genuine role models whose fame will last more than 20 years and whose fame will outlast their youthful looks. That bothers me a lot.

I'm inclined to think that it would be better in the whole scheme of things if people would induldge themselves in reading and learning from serious minded atheists and agnostics as opposed to going ga-ga over wishy-washy unprincipled hallow celebrities. There are many skeptical books which appear to have destroyed many a persons faith or demolished many a persons hope in God, but I have yet to see one which is as subtley and quickly capable of numbing and drowning out a persons thrist for the things of God as celebrity-mania and hollywood gossip.

I think your last point is particularly great:

12. Get interested in the lives of the people you are near you, people you love, people you can influence for righteousness.

I would just add that in the process of getting interested in "normal" peoples lives, we also can be influenced for the better.

Santos Berrios said...

Excellent post

Douglas Groothuis said...

Mark:

On individualism: "There goes another herd of them..." Americans really aren't individuals in the Kierkegaardian sense of being themselves before the audit of eternity. They are too taken with the immanence of the crowd, the trend, the style, the mass stupefactions. They are not communal, but not really individuals either.

Think of people who stalk around wearing their iPods, each listening to a pop star, each isolated from the rest. Is that individualism?

Fletcher said...

I was walking around this morning listening to my iPod, but I was listening to a lecture by this guy named Dr. Douglas Groothuis and it was 6:30 AM. :-)

Fletcher said...

... sorry for the substanceless post that contributed nothing to the discussion.

Well, other than the point that sometimes people are being edified through headphones. This must be less than 5% of the time though.

Douglas Groothuis said...

5% is optimistic.