I've been marinating on this for a couple of days now, and I'm finally ready to talk about it. I'll try not to go off on too many tangents, but I make no guarantees this early in the post.
Tuesday night, a couple million of my closest friends and I pledged our allegiance to the Fox network and the ideals it would have our country espouse. Chiefest among them: the ideal that each person is more special than everybody else. Seem silly? Of course it does, but only if you're being rational.
First, we tuned in at 7 central to see an average Joe become an object of worship over a matter of weeks. Heart-wrenching drama. Then, we stayed tuned to see what the critics were all raving about. I won't give you a play by play as to the reasons I loathed Glee. I will instead tell you that I watched with awe the gifted young nobodies who performed with such artistic and athletic excellence. Most of them will remain nobodies within the show's economy, except for the characters with whom you as the viewer are supposed to identify. They're gonna make it, after all. It reminded me of a good friend of mine who is every bit as talented as they, and who is struggling in Los Angeles against all probability toward the hope of fulfilling his Hollywood dream. He, like everyone else within earshot of America's saccharine sales pitch, has a dream of rising against all odds and being that somebody.
The problem is, for every American Idol, there hundreds of thousands who were not chosen. You, my friend, are MUCH more likely to be that person. You may even be more gifted than the guy who actually makes it; that clearly happens all the time. (Who keeps buying Taylor Hicks' albums? Seriously.)
So then, what about all the rejects? Hollywood wants to convince us that rejects are always somebody else, so that they can keep selling us whatever product that will help us rise above the losers and BE the somebody. Nevermind that if everyone were somebody, no one would be special. So the dream rises and falls on the idea that everyone should do everything in his or her power to be that .001% who ever sees fame. (Don't focus on the work of maintaining once it's arrived. Paltry details).
I am told almost daily that my daughter will be the smartest, most beautiful and talented young woman the world has ever seen. Let's be real: that's not likely. Of course she's got better odds than many kids, but just look at the sheer improbability. And I'm not willing to push her to reach for that goal when I know that it's nearly impossible goal to attain. Think of the terrible investment of our time and energy toward such a maybe. Especially when, even if it were to be reached, it's worthless as an end. Even if she were the supreme specimen of female, what then? Then she dies.
So why do we do it to ourselves? Because we have been given a desire and a need to be a part of glory. We're just wrong about the aim. Some of us will be more well-known or liked by virtue of the fact that some of us are more impressive than others. But this is not the point of our abilities. They are given us to give back to our communities in service to the only One who deserves fame at all. So I'd rather train my daughter to love God and serve people. Honing our skills is only a worthy venture inasmuch as it helps us minister to others.
I had intended to be much more sarcastic and harsh in this criticism, but I just don't have the heart for it anymore. I'm just so sad for the people wasting their lives in pursuit of a rainbow. A mist. A vapor. Especially when Shekinah glory is palpable and everlasting.