Alrighty…it’s that time of year again when the gaskets in my head begin to contort…yep…they can’t take much more…they are about to blow.
I’m going to ask you all think about this one question, one more time (it’s becoming a yearly tradition which follows the American Idol auditions). Why is this entertaining? Why do we find humiliating people in front of millions upon millions of people amusing? What is going on in our twisted culture that finds exploiting people, mocking people and degrading people so much fun?
We’re not far from the Roman Coliseum folks. Whole families would go to the massive Coliseum in Rome and cheer and laugh as animals would bludgeon themselves in events that would make Michael Vick go, “now that’s just messed up, bro…” Of course it wasn’t just animals being battered to grotesque deaths. No, people (slaves, criminals, Christians) were stripped naked and chased around the Coliseum floor by Gladiators and/or wild beasts until run down and disemboweled for the joy of the perverted Roman culture. Gladiators would also square off, before tens of thousands at a time and beat each other till one was dead and the other would live (to one degree or another) to fight another day.
There is something within human nature that is perverted, badly perverted. We take pleasure in watching another experience pain. It’s the same thing that would motivate me to hit my little brother when we were real little kids…I can remember being happy when he would start that scream/cry combo and would run to mom even though I knew my mom was going to whip me. Or the drive to see the look on my sisters face when I would rip the arms off her Barbie dolls. We don’t have a little devil on our shoulder whispering naughty ideas into our heads…no…we are the little devil. We enjoy watching people make fools of themselves. We’ll even sit our kids down and laugh together as a family at people who make fools and morons of themselves on TV. Hey, after all, we’d never do anything like that. Those people are really stupid.
Now I’m seeing this new show called The Moment of Truth. Oh…does this look tantalizing and titillating or what? Watching greedy people totally and utterly expose themselves for our amusement is just what the doctor has ordered! Oh yes, watching the pain on the faces of the family of these foolish and greedy people is going to be just deluxe! The Newlywed Show was fine for its time…watching silly husbands forget their wives birthstone in front of a live audience and on TV was great fun for awhile. But how boring is all of that at this point? No…we need it more bloody...ERRRRRRRRRRRR...I meant to say...juicy.
What is the matter with us? Why do we flock to such spectacles?
We need a Savior.
This is a slippery slope my friends. I really want you to think about why shows like these entertain you. Think about the immaturity of it all…little kids like to hurt each other and pinch each other for kicks and giggles…what is so fun about mocking people? Those aren’t actors, they are real people with real problems and real families. For crying out loud…they are made in God’s image and it’s not ok to dehumanize even a fool! Just because one is screaming for such attention doesn’t mean it should be given them…we can’t just say, “Hey…they wanted to go on TV and make dumb donkeys out of themselves…then fine…” NO! It’s not fine! Exploiting a fool is WRONG! They are FOOLS for crying out loud! Foolish people do foolish things…WHY DO WE ENCOURAGE THEM? How outrageously arrogant!
Yes, a slippery slope is what this is. Oh…we used to giggle and squirm when people were eating maggots and backstabbing each other right off the island. But…well…that isn’t shocking anymore. Now we want to see real relationships...not the shallow ones which are superficially formed on these reality TV shows...no real relationships need to be blown up. What fun! We need to get people whose IQ's are just above mentally retarded, literally, and see arrogant and pompous jerks rip them to shreds. Hopefully we'll just get over it and start shredding full blown retards...the kids in the school yard have been doing it forever so what's the big deal? Of course all of that will soon be seen as old chestnuts also. So, I’ve got a great idea for Fox to try out next. Oh…this one will be good.
What we need first is a convicted child rapist and murdered. Get a real filthy creep who molested and killed a child. After all…these people are the most disgusting of all, am I right. Then…set up a game where contestants have the opportunity to personally execute this guy by flipping the switch to his electric chair. What’s at stake? 1 million dollars. Each season the viewers would be able to learn of the convict’s story, his background, his abuse and his illnesses. We’d also get to meet the contestant and find out about his or her background and story. Each week we would get to see the contestant interact with his or her family as they all agonize about what to do. Can he or she really do it? Can he or she really flip the switch and fry this man for money? Maybe even they could tape messages from the convict and play them for the contestant and his or her family every week. Hey…the contestant could even meet the convict either in person, through glass or on a video conference. That would really amp things up! All of it would lead to the season finale…live! If the contestant flips the switch and electrocutes the murderer/child rapist he or she will win 1 million dollars. If in the end the contestant can’t do it…then onto the next season the murderer/rapist would go. Can you imagine all the drama?
Wow, that would be great TV…
I wonder what Jesus thinks about what amuses us?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
Keep in mind with American Idol…tens of thousands of people show up and try to get an audition with these judges. The producers of the show hand pick the most foolish hopefuls of all and instead of weeding them out…they pat them on the back, pump them up and pass them onto the next level of screening. These people have their backs patted and are encouraged for hours and hours as they go through various screenings before they ever get before the TV cameras and these judges. That is just screwed up and American Idol ought to be ashamed. If Paula Abdul was such a sweet heart she ought to demand they stop this. I guess I wouldn’t be so mad if they were taping outrageous acts out on the streets as the lines wrap around the building to get in. But to give these foolish people so much hope for so long, having the producers give them the idea that they just might have what American Idol is looking for. And then escorting them right before these “judges” knowing full well that they are sending them in there for a humilating overkill and scorching…is just mean and sick. It’s wrong. They are basically lied to for hours, propped up and then slam dunked…all with the hopes of seeing tears or some other embarrassing reaction from the hopefuls. Think about it. Just think about it next time your shoveling popcorn in your mouth and laughing while watching these fools on American Idol.