Abdul-utely Ridiculous

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The most notable observation about the charges Corey Clark made about Paula Abdul is that they weren’t front-page news the next morning. The second most notable observation is that many people thought they should or would be. To be commended are those of you who have no idea what I am talking about.

In yet another meltdown for “American Idol,” Corey Clark, who was booted off the show a few years ago for failing disclose battery charges involving beating his little sister, accuses Abdul of “helping” him with song selection, wardrobe and personal grooming and then luring him into a sexual relationship. That these charges were made on national TV and just before the release of his new album is transparently self-serving as is the decision of ABC to feature the story attacking a rival network’s crown jewel as a one-hour special during ratings sweep.

Ironically ALL these behaviors are fair game in the world of modern celebrity where striving for notoriety is essential and people are “known for being known” more than known for having actually accomplished something significant.

In celebrity-land it appears there are no “victims” only contestants and observers. Why we would watch the spectacle says as much about the poverty of our lives as it does theirs, and one suspects that Bob Arnhym, who runs the Miss California Scholarship Pageant, is right when he says in today’s coliseum environment people are “cheering for the lion not the gladiator.”

Last night Doug Gresham, CS Lewis stepson, was asked what Lewis thought of the cinema. He replied, “Jack did not much like the cinema, not because of the artistry, but for the use to which it was being put.”

That followers of Jesus could develop an appetite for such frivolous pursuits proves the point that I often make; we think we are consuming media when in fact it often consumes us. Returning to the coliseum metaphor, if in the first century Christians were eaten alive by lions, today we risk being devoured by the popular media culture. From the standpoint of the darkside it makes no difference, lion or TV, either will do.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in May 6, 2005 by | No Comments »

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