Celebrity Worship

Oprah for president. She is reported to have received a thundering applause from celebrities attending the Oscar whatever. Yeah, yes, go for it. Her home was one of those hit by the recent mud slides in an affluent neighborhood of California. She’s a TV star. She hosted her own show entertaining millions of us for years. She’s African-American. She’s a woman. She’s known all over the world. Her name is familiar to everyone. She’s a world traveler. She supports civil rights. She’s been seen giving food to the homeless in Africa. She can give a speech without a script. She’s rich and famous. What more could we want.

According to some recent polls, Oprah would out star Trump in the 2012 elections by 10 points or more.

Trump was a celebrity. Obama was provided celebrity status. Clinton was a celebrity.

Merriam-Webster defines it as “the state of being celebrated.”  Society celebrates these icons, luminaries, megastar somebodies as standouts and super-stars because they’re a VIP, because one-day in the past they were a nobody, or they were born as a VIP.

One must be a celebrity to win the adulation of enough people to win an election. Your name must be known. Your face must be recognizable. What you have said must be popular. There must be an attractive nature to your voice. You must be good on the eyes. When the media likes you, they will hold back private investigators from digging deep into secret pages of your history.

If you’re not known well-enough to get the attention of the media, forget it.

The media? An entire cyclopedia collection could be and has been written about the media, about the effect of television and this global internet on the populace. Newspapers are losing ground, are looking for ways to keep and attract more readers. Newsmagazines are losing subscribers. Broadcast news finds something to grab our attention in-between commercials that grab our attention.

So, what are we doing with the time? Quietly listening to Beethoven and Bach is out and Hip Rap Rock is in. Kids are spending play time playing games on-line and the 60” screen. Riding a bicycle thru the neighbor hood is dangerous. Playing choose-your team games after school has been handed over to professionals. Education is common-core so no child should repeat a grade or get a “D”.

Technocracy has taken over. Social media is outdoing personal conversational time together over a hot cup of coffee.

We must be busy all the time. We must be involved in something all the time. To sit and just watch nature for ten minutes, for half an hour is not even imaginable. To be quiet enough to hear the trees whistle, the birds chirp, the waters ripple has been put aside for the noise on the screen.

In these retirement years I spend the mornings reading the latest that technology brings to my eyes. Push a button and there it is right before me to digest or just read passing the time: the newest and latest, the newest updates on yesterday’s new news. On and on it goes, day-in day-out 24/7. I have my favorite tabs ready to be opened to pass more time, and then saved in the history folder to be brought up to read and watch again.

We get irritated when someone offends our sensibilities. We write a comment if the writer of a post missed a point that was more important than the point the originator of the post was pointing out.

Are we there yet? Have we become a nation, a world that amuses ourselves to death? Have we become a nation of heretics?

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

  • Neil Postman | Penguin Books Publisher

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

  • Ross Douthat | Free Press Publisher

Too busy to be still.

We’ve all got a navigational system built within guiding us and leading us to and down a peaceful loving fulfilling confident path, but along the way we may see another path that looks and appears to be the one as the footprints are too many to count. It sure looks neat and easy, so why not. Yes, do it. After some time following the deep footprints, getting involved in the brush, shooing away wild dogs, we settle on a neat comfortable grassy plain by the rippled waters watching others doing the same. Yes, this is it. This is the way. I’m happy as a lark.

Then that guidance system knocks on the door. Take another look.

I once was too busy reveling in the pursuit of the comfortable grassy plain while periodically fighting off the dogs, I was following the footprints, negating my own built in guidance system into unconsciousness. Too busy to be still. Too occupied to know. Too comfortable enjoying the entertaining fellowship.

Then one day I noticed a trail of ants, a hummingbird, a butterfly, an eagle doing what they do.

How do they do it?  What path are they following? Can an ant fly? Does a hummingbird get mad? Does the butterfly smile when full? Does an Eagle laugh at the conquest? Do they talk, leaving footprints?

I was watching. I was intrigued by the wonders. I was still. I began to know. I was being renewed. Oh, that peace that is beyond understanding.

  • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
  • He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
  • Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
  • Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
  • The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46: 8-11