Have you noticed?

September 2, 2014
Have you noticed?
How idolatry has penetrated our culture

Have you noticed? Have you given it much thought? Lately the entire world seems tied up in the rich, the famous, the celebrity, or the notorious. Even the bad guys are not really bad. Have you seen any of the Disney movies lately? (Spoiler Alert) Maleficent whose name in essence signifies evil, is not the bad guy of the movie she’s the good fairy. She’s the protector, the bad guy I the king.
The message is completely twisted around. In recent years we have seen how the culture and idolization, a nicer description of idolatry has penetrated every aspect of our culture. We that live in the United States have seen it in the now not as flashy or popular American Idol shows. Where the entire nation stopped just to watch. It even became an attraction, a ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Disney or Hollywood or entertainment but my issue is how we American’s, a culture that prided itself in thinking big, being generous, fair play, reaching for the stars, have allowed the triviality to penetrate our lives.
In this postmodern world where everything is allowed, there is no good or bad, only relativity, no truth, just perspectives of reality, we have allowed the triviality of celebrity worship to penetrate our lives.
I used to be a fan of ABC’s Good Morning America, I would love to watch the interaction the way the brought the news, but slowly very subtly the show has changed. It is now 90% frivolous trivia such as “The first pictures of Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress”. You would hardly hear anything about the investigation on the shooting of Michael Brown a man from Ferguson Missouri just for walking down the street. When we do hear something all we hear is that he was “involved in an incident of stealing cigars”.  You see our culture now needs to make him a criminal, a desperado that had to be put down.  We  hear no evidence,  did he did indeed have any cigars from the store in his pockets, or if did an all points bulletin (APB) with the description of the perpetrator go out. This young man was walking down the street and because he was on the street instead of the sidewalk a police stops him has an argument and empties his gun on him. What happened to due process?, Innocent until proven guilty. Trial by jury of our peers? All left out to dry because obviously the man is guilty, you see he is black, so he must be guilty. The same applies to Hispanics, or anyone that is a person of color (by the way that means not white) in the United States.
I see our country more and more polarized, since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, with have become a bitter nation, a paranoid people, that sees anyone that is not part of the “majority” as suspicious and we are distracted by the constant swirl of triviality from the media.
With all due respect to Brad and Angelina I could care less what color the dress was in their wedding after living together for 10 years. I really don’t care if your adopted children (kudos for that) drew on it or not, it is simply none of my business and it does not affect my world, my apologies for disappointing you.
Astronomer Carl Sagan called the Earth, the home we all share and have “a pale blue dot”. And really that’s what it is, Carl was the consummate observer, and when he convinced NASA to turn around Voyager 1’s camera in 1990 for one last look, that’s what he saw just a pale blue dot. But that pale blue dot is in trouble, we have big problems to solve and this world will need big people to solve them, not cardboard cutouts of celebrities with a depth of 0.25 inches of foam but real people with a depth of knowledge of humanity, economics, science and of course theology to guide this planet into how it needs to correct the mistakes of the past so we can have a future for our children.
To do so we need to recognize our mistakes. Its the first step to correcting them, if we don’t we will have the same trivial discussion we keep having, why is congress stalled in gridlock? guess? We have serious problems and it is time that we stop looking at what color was the dress celebrity x had. And we see what my neighbor’s needs are.


Manuel Collazo
Minister for Stewardship Education