WHEN "GODS" DIE
June 28, 2009
I live in an area of the country where a number of celebrities reside. Seeing them in stores, restaurants, churches and in the car next to you is as common here as running into friends or family in a small town. In fact, many celebrities from other parts of the country have moved here to “Music City” and surrounding areas, in part, because we don’t really have paparazzi – at least not yet – and people generally leave them alone.
This allows them to exercise their godhood elsewhere, take their profits and praise from starry-eyed ticket buyers out on the road and return home to a semi state of normalcy – something that is undoubtedly necessary for both sanity and survival.
The sudden and tragic death of Michael Jackson, like many other superstars before him, underscores that need. Unfortunately, like drugs and alcohol, those who become addicted to fame are all too often destroyed by it. And strangely, celebrities themselves, and those around them, can often see it coming, but do little to stop it.
In Michael Jackson’s case, his ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, reportedly recalled him saying to her years ago that he expected to meet the same end as her father, Elvis – and that it was Michael’s self-destructive behavior that eventually compelled her to leave him.
Watching a star fade is a lot like witnessing a terrible hangover or someone undergoing detox. It isn’t pretty – but then, ugly sells tabloids and TV shows, doesn’t it? So the market for shameless behavior and self-destruction is huge. The fact that a large segment of our society would find entertainment value in depravity, suffering and death only signifies how near the end we are as a nation. After all, what’s worse: being eaten alive in the coliseum by lions or being devoured day after day by the media and the masses? At least, with the lions, it’s all over in a few terrifying moments.
It must be excruciating to descend from the mountaintop of celebrity worship and adoration into the cruel and crowded streets of apathy and indifference to finish living a once glorious life as a has-been, or worse, a laughingstock. And, the younger you are, the longer that terrible torment and withdrawal must be endured – which probably explains why so many child stars have self-destructed over the years trying to regain what they lost.
Yet, one need only look at a few of the American Idol auditions to see how desperately people want that kind of stardom. They will cry for it, lie for it, curse for it and die for it.
And sadly, many have.
Still, we applaud those that succeed and pity those who fail – making ourselves part of the problem rather than part of the solution, which is giving glory and honor to Whom it is due: the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worthy of praise and adoration and we are not; and the moment we think we are, the lions are loosed and our fears and fragility are revealed for all to see.
Like many others, I was recently moved by the video performance and inspiring story of Susan Boyle from the show, Britain’s Got Talent – only to be shocked and saddened by how severely the pressure of the contest adversely affected her later. The moment her anticipated win was threatened by the outstanding voice of another highly praised contestant, she lost it emotionally and never fully recovered – and her endearing image was forever changed.
Even now her handlers and counselors help her cope day to day as she struggles her way to stardom. She’s living the dream – or, at least, trying to, while those around her hope and pray that it won’t become a nightmare.
If only the world’s star chasers and stargazers would see that there’s real peace and joy in living a quiet life for God. The Bible encourages us to do just that. The view may not be as breathtaking, but we’re a lot less likely to lose our minds in the madness or die from the fall.
� 2009 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�