A little idol non-worship

The very face of John Kerry made me want, in 2004, to burn every Dave Matthews Band CD I owned.

An ugly campaign against George W. Bush, who I continue to admire, made me see the true nature of the band that I had come to adore so much: pro-abortion supporters, eager to see the war-monger Cowboy kicked out of the White House, eager to play at a $5MM fundraiser for the Kerry campaign.
(Incidentally, Whoopi Goldberg performed at the same event, but my media collection is happily Whoopi-free.)

Perhaps if Kerry had won the election, I would have followed through on my threat. A big bonfire of liberal intentions, gone forever from my life! I would be cleansed! No longer hypocritical! (Of course, whether CDs are good candidates for burning is another matter. I suppose the crackle-and-thrill of microwaving them would have proved more cathartic.)

But. I didn't burn anything. I didn't burn the DMB disks, I didn't delete the Bruce Springsteen MP3s off my iPod. I might have even obtained a copy of "Some Devil" in 2004.

What brings all this to mind is a little post from Matthew Archbold at CMR. Archbold laments that one of his favorite writer/directors, Joss Wheedon, made an unfortunate little speech at Harvard while receiving (what else) an award. After calling God a "sky bully," Whedon goes on to praise Obama for recognizing atheists (when? what?), and making Whedon feel like "I matter. I'm a person," he said.

Archbold takes particular issue with this rant:

"I think we should have more Popes. Like you know I just think there hasn't been a good schism in a while. So maybe like you know you've got three different guys saying they've got God's here. Or town Pope's. Or maybe a Fox show, "So you wanna be Pope" or "You think you can Pope."

Ugh. Archbold's reaction is right on:

"Joss, I want to like you. I liked 'Buffy' and 'Angel' and 'Firefly.' ... Just keep your anti-Catholic humor to yourself and just write and direct please so I can continue to like your work."

Isn't this the dilemma we all confront, faced with a Hollywood teeming with loud and proud atheists, pro-aborts, entrenched liberals and vehement anti-Catholicism? Heck, why limit it to Catholics? As last year's battle over Proposition 8 in California demonstrated, any Christian or Mormon was fair bait too.

How about the election of our current president? I had no idea that political disagreement was a tried-and-true litmus test of racism. Thank you, out-of-work-except-for-MSNBC-appearances Janeane Garofalo.

It brings anyone of conviction back to the unsettling question: When you know exactly what convictions the actor, director, musician, artist, or under water basket weaver has at heart, what will or won't you watch? Hear? Pay for?

And should you decide to draw that line in the sand, what will it cost you? Popularity? Familiarity with today's news and culture? A form of entertainment you once held dear? A distraction from today's sad world that was a treasured escape?

And finally, what will you gain? Will knowing you purged your entertainment cabinet of objectionable content and providers comfort you, once you've only got Veggie Tales and a few recorded episodes of "Little House on the Prairie" left in the DVD box? How about when your Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CDs (plus that Veggie Tales soundtrack) are the only plastic cases kicking around?

Well, at least you'll always have the AM radio with Prairie Home Companion.

Wait--scratch that.

I'm not professing to have the answers to these now. I suspect that if I was a stronger woman, I could indeed exist without the distractions in my life that come at the cost of supporting people who, if they knew me, would scorn me and my beliefs.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, interesting. I have often heard actors express their frustration with the paparazzi. The reason is that too much information about an actor's personal life can ruin the roles he plays. We look at actors, entertainers, musicians, as artists. Their job by definition is to create art. Michaelangelo had some unpopular political aspirations and questionable moral practices. However, the art he created was masterful. It's Ok to appreciate beauty when it comes from the flawed hands of humans. There is more to be said here about what constitutes art and what lies at the heart of beauty, but alas a comment should only be so long. So, for now I am going to go pop in a Dave Matthews CD.