True Lies: True Truth?

I was saddened by a combination of stories about Hollywood today. Maybe its because I just read “True Truth” (see CW next Tuesday for transcript and audio) and was reminded of the loss of meaning that follows the abandonment of truth.

Nowhere is the disregard for truth more apparent than in Hollywood. In a place dedicated to creating entertainment experiences that engage, hold attention and don’t bore, we should not expect them to “get it right” in the details and we should be aware that they are unconcerned about “getting it right” at all. In a relativistic, post-modern age, there is no right so how could you ever arrive at it?

This is obvious in the new movie “Day After Tomorrow” scheduled to be released Friday (the day after tomorrow!). In this film our collective environmental tomfoolery results in an Ice Age that comes upon us in a matter of days. Scientist’s have dismissed the film’s storyline as preposterous, but many environmental activists think the film is a positive event because, “it will get people talking about” something that matters. Al Gore has readied speeches and young actor Jake Gyllenhaal is happy to have worked on a summer movie that is “about something.” So we face the prospect of a movie about something which is based on something that is not true being a positive development because at least we’re talking about something that is not true that matters.

Then there is Hollywood’s pursuit of spirituality. What do Madonna, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Rosanne Barr have in common? They are all practitioners of a popularized brand of an ancient form of Jewish mysticism Kabbalah. It is being dismissed as a cult, but Yehuda Berg the popularizer says it can’t be bad because it is helping people and anyway he quotes Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie who said, “The difference between Kabbalah and Catholicism is the amount of people. You don’t call Catholicism a cult.” Even the dullest among us must see the irony of an alleged spiritual leader quoting an alleged movie director as a reliable verification of the un-cult-ness of his movement. For what it is worth, I interviewed Berg and found him anxious, fretful, a tad pedestrian; not what you would expect in a guru. Is Madonna’s embrace of Kabbalah a conversion or just another reinvention?

When truth is lost so is history. Europeans are hassling over whether to include a reference to the influence of Christianity on their history and nations seeking the inclusion seem befuddled that a “historical fact” could be disputed. “The amendment we ask for is aimed to recognize a historical truth.”

As a news and information source the web has not proved to be the paragon of truthfulness, so one wonders at the stunning success of matchmaking sites online. Unfortunately we have every reason to believe that their greatest success is in matching your money with their bank account. Even a faith-based site like BeliefNet can’t resist getting in on the multimillion dollar action.

Finally, tonight we will find out who wins American Idol. One of your fellow online readers forwarded me this piece about the faith of Fantasia.

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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