A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Celebrities Behaving Badly

The older I get the more I despair that pop celebrities rely less on their singing ability and more on their ability to show off skin. Apparently it's called "embracing your sexuality" and a rite of passage in the entertainment business. Singing ability which used to be a requirement in achieving success in the music industry is now secondary to flaunting one's physical assets. No doubt I could be accused of being a tad envious... I've had 2 babies and the cellulite around the thighs aren't anything to sing about... But sing I will... in the shower or at church or in the car... of love and many other splendoured things. At least while I can still tell the difference between music and the other stuff.

Tell me something... is this something that people tend to say when they see 40 in the horizon? Or is it just me?

It's no accident that when communities believed in the transcendent... in a Creator God, we were gifted with music that touched the soul... we were given Bach, Handel, Mozart and even Beethoven, who was more of a pantheist. Even when others believed less in God and more in love, we still had some semblance of music in the 20th century. In our post-Christian, post-modern age, when everything is relative, what we get is Lady Gaga, a 21st century gadfly.

I can't see that Lady Gaga cares that much about music at least not as much as the power it brings. Her public stunts, her sacrilegious music videos and garrish costumes say it's all about Lady Gaga or what it is that persona represents.

Last week, Lady Gaga went to watch a baseball game and brazenly flouted all conventional dress sense and her natural assets. The last time I saw a woman show her underwear in a public place was for breastfeeding purposes. But Lady Gaga knows the fame game and plays it up for whatever it's worth.

Have you figured out that I'm not a fan?

In a sense, this isn't really about Lady Gaga. She's a symptom of a bigger problem. The impulse to shock, to disparage Judeo-Christian values is nothing new but what is "new" is the extent to the media pushes the boundaries on their behest. Celebs and movie stars behaving badly is obviously nothing new but giving such widespread coverage to the outrageous antics is in my opinion giving tacit approval to such behaviour. The media may claim to be amoral, non-judgemental or neutral but by giving overt attention to those who trade on notoriety is to elevate their position in society. Scandals used to be something scandalous... explosive secrets to be hidden. These days scandals are paraded and some thrive on their coat tails.

I am a minor conspiracy theorist in that I believe that there are various conflation of interests in the wider culture. There's a kind of mutual back scratching... celebs crave publicity, the media provide the means and if it means selling more magazines or newspapers the lap up the bad behaviour. Large portions of the public are avid consumers of gossip, relying on the celebs and the media to provide an escape from their humdrum lives.

Why do I bother with such things? Well, I am a mother of girls so it is guaranteed that I will be paranoid about what the world teaches them about their bodies. I want them to be like the man who built his house on the rock... to have strong, not just traditional values but biblical values that they can stand on in tough times.
Someone once said to me that if girls have enough self-esteem, they will be less likely to fall prey to the consumerist impulse around us. I'm not convinced of that. I don't believe that bolstering self-esteem is the answer. Look at Lady Gaga, for example, she has plenty of self-esteem... and look at what she gets up to.

What our girls need is to look at who they are in Christ... they need to know that the Son of God came to earth to die for them and they can experience forgiveness through the work of the cross. They need to know that the love of Jesus is so powerful that it transforms lives and has the potential to influence society. What they need is heavenly wisdom... not wordly-wise thinking.

What they need is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

  1. I've not heard of Lady Gaga until April this year. But then again, I don't listen to English songs. Even the Chinese singers are dressing less and less. I have come to a stage where I can more or less hear a good voice to a raspy one. And I don't like raspy singing, no matter how good the lyrics and music are. A good song, to me, needs good music, good lyrics and a good voice that comes from within.

    I can't quite sing to pitch, but I love singing to children. They learn so quick when something is taught through songs.


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