Advent 1 – Monday
Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle & Martyr (translated from 30 November)
I’m constantly amazed at how society seems to keep dumbing down things. Take for example music. Popular songs used to have rhythm and melody. Now if you look at most of the popular music world, you find plenty of rhythm (case in point: Madonna in the 80s compared with now, gimme her earlier stuff anyday) and some “singers” can barely even hold a tune down. Hip-hop doesn’t really count in this analysis because it’s essentially poetry that is supposed to flow with the rhythmic backing beat.
In the Christian world, theology now needs to be “broken down” into such small pieces because very few seem to want to move on from drinking milk to eating solid food (to use a metaphorical analogy that St. Paul used in one of his letters, I think it is 1 Corinthians). We seem to be content with suckling on milk even when we have passed our time as kids in the faith. We want to remain as kids because you know, it’s all fun and stuff like that.
Now don’t get me wrong, Christ tells us that we are to have a faith that is like a child’s in that we are to have that childlike faith that trusts in our heavenly Father. But, that doesn’t mean that we remain at that same intellectual level. We progress through (hopefully) and our faith becomes deeper rather than always remaining in the shallow end of the pool.
Which is why I absolutely loved watching Idiocracy on Showtime+2 tonight on Austar. Mike Judge has outdone himself with this one compared with his 1999 flick, Office Space. And yes, another reason why I loved it is that Maya Rudolph looks hot in this flick (I always loved her work on SNL – her impersonations were dead on at times).
Given that there was always a propensity when I was younger to ‘dumb down’ my speech amongst my high school peers lest I be shunned (I was shunned half the time anyway for being one of the squares), Idiocracy really resounded with me. Not that I’m trying to toot my own horn here, but if you were remotely intelligent, once the square tag was placed on you by the kids that were popular, you felt like absolute **** because you weren’t exactly popular and never had many friends (unless it was around exam or assignment due time).
And even today, it seems that the dumber you are, the more famous you become (think MTV’s Jackass series). In some cases, you even make a buck out of it (which may make you the smart one if you view the acquisition of money and fame – notorious or otherwise – as the benchmark of success). Think of it as a mixup of both the Dilbert Principle and the Peter Principle outside of the business world and into the realm of the entertainment sector.
And this dumbness is not just intellectual dumbness. Some of the smartest people I know didn’t even attend university or become a doctor or lawyer – conversely some of the dumbest people I’ve seen and had the pleasure (or is it misfortune[?]) of meeting have been doctors and/or lawyers. What I’m also talking about is the ability for people to not have wisdom in making their choices in a meal, a car, their career, their job tasks, the economy (take note: all you greedy buggers who tried to securitise sub-prime mortgages and sell them off to gullible idiots who were even greedier than you at wanting ever higher returns on their money) – and that is the real killer in the world today. I’m as guilty of this as anyone on any given day.
If you can grab a copy of Idiocracy at your local video rental place, by all means do so. It’s a dark comedy that exposes the road our children could be facing if the dumbing down of society continues onwards. And looking at it with a Christian slant (especially an Evangelical slant), a frightening picture if the dumbing down of worship, theology and spirituality continues unabated so that the ultimately, the Christian community ends up melding seamlessly with and being overtaken by the surrounding culture.
Now, I’m off for a shower and then sleep. I have yet another anxious and long day ahead of me tomorrow. I can’t wait until I go on holidays. Which reminds me that I am going to have to sort out a time and place for a monastic retreat next year to get my bearings on course again – I’m shot after this year.
+ bf 2207hrs