Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Addicted to Mediacrudy

I tried to read the Schaeffer book 'Addicted to Mediocrity'
but I got bored and didn't finish it.  I don't even think that it is in print anymore.
I probably shouldn't have been watching TV while trying to read it.
But, Tombstone is an awesome movie.
I love that movie, it's one of those movies that I have and will continue to watch over and over again.
It's a great movie, but it's not a great movie.
I love it, but it's not very stylistic or thought provoking.
It's a good movie to watch from the couch while working on a blog.
(have I breached the fourth wall yet?)

so check it, here's the best top ten list in the world.
1. Tombstone
2. Point Break
3. 13th Warrior
4. Lost Boys
5. Men In Black
6. Galaxy Quest
7. Cars
8. Near Dark
9. Big Lebowski
10. Wild Wild West

okay, so there are movies like Grave of the Fireflies or Ordinary People or Thin Red Line which are way better than anything on this list. But, I can't watch Thin Red Line everyday or even every year.

It takes a lot of energy to digest something heavy like that.
At then end of a long day there are just some things that are easier to relax with.
I go to McDonalds from time to time. It's terrible, the worst thing in the world that I can do for myself, but hey, the human condition is programmed for entropy.
(anyway, back to my cheeseburgers) It's simple, predictable, mediocre 
and the only challenge is in my body's recovery.
Given the choice, I would rather have a Big Mac any day over Fois Gras (which I do like).
However, on a day where I do take on something well done, if I am not in the right mode, it may as well be another cheeseburger of cheesy movie.  Although a creator may put a lot into a work, it will be wasted I don't put any effort into receiving the work.  You only get out of something what you put into it.

Back to McDonalds.
I know I'm not alone here. "54 million customers can't be wrong"
Yes, McDonalds serves nearly 54 customers world wide each day.
And yes, 54 million customers can be wrong.  If you've ever worked in retail you know I speak the truth.
Popularity doesn't make a thing good or right, it just makes it average.
(and to all my fellow non-conformists, popularity doesn't make something bad or wrong either, the zebra that strays from the herd dies just a well as the lemmings)

If you've never heard of the show 'Mr. Show' then you are right at home with 54 million other viewers that have never heard of Mr. Show.
It was crass comedy that was just over the heads of mainstream America,
and therefore didn't rate well and it was cancelled.
But it's only natural, that's how the bell curves (R.I.P. Firefly & Arrested Development).
The further you stray from mass appeal,
either higher (like Shakespeare)
or lower (like Russ Meyers)
then more narrow your audience is going to be.

This is why I love living in the digital DIY age.
I love that easy to use and affordable home recording, web based promotion, and file distribution has empowered so many independent musicians, artists, writers, and film makers.
I love that geeks can make movies on par with Saving Private Ryan on a shoe string budget.
People can now be as artsy, crass, and pretentious as they like and you can put it out there for all five of your friends to see.
Well, getting back to my point.  I think that our appetite for mediocrity is why there is such a thing as popular Christianity versus true or orthodox Christianity is because of fast food religion (I'm so clever).
There are certain things that are just easier rather than authentic.  There are some things that are just more convenient because everyone else is going that way.  It is less complicated to recite a script when talking to your family instead of getting tangled in the commitments of intimacy.  

But when someone decides to follow God they stick out.  When you hit a bell it's the outer rim that resonates, that makes noise.  Since the beginning of humanity there have been millions of people that claimed to follow God and yet there are so few people that stood out.  
I know someone is thinking, 'but I follow God in quiet and humble ways, I serve people and pray and read my Bible and go to Church."  
Good for you. You stick to that cluster in the middle, let me know how it works out.

So the reason I've been thinking about all of this is because I was just reminded of a retreat that I went to where there was this goofy kid speaking about following Jesus.  The speaker threw a lot of things, but among them was the gauntlet. The theme was 'Get Out of the Boat'.  The idea was that following Jesus meant going where mortal man cannot go, walking on water (don't do it, I've tried), and that following Jesus put you on a supernatural journey.   He challenged everyone to look at their lives and see if they were on a supernatural journey.  I failed the self assessment, but I fixed it.  I have since tried to make the habit is taking up the 'God sized task', Blackaby's idea that you see God work when you take on the challenges that only God can do.  By acting in a way that makes you trust God, you get to see him work.

It makes sense for me to hear atheists say that they don't believe in God because they have never seen God.  What concerns me is when Christians say they believe in God but have never seen him.  Once again, you only get out of something what you put into it.


Karswell said...

My all time favorite bad movie is Lucas starring Cory Haim. I'm not sure why but if I'm flipping channels and it's on I must watch it wiether it just started, is half way over, or just minutes left. I even have the dvd. Possibly it's not a crappy movie but a very good coming of age movie that I identify with? Whatever it is, I do not know a single other person on the planet who has watched it but I know I have at least 77 times.

Karswell said...

And speaking of Mr Show, have you seen this news?


Meta-Tribes said...

lol Lucas? I'm going to have to check that out.

Man, I hope the ‘David’s Situation' makes it. That sounds great.