Therein lies the problem, though: While it's great that I have something positive to be known for...it's a problem when I start to turn snobbish about my favorite entertainment. I doubt you know anyone who watches all the various shows I do. My rule is: As long as it's not morally offensive, it's fair game. That's why my entertainment diet ranges from decades-old classics (Mork & Mindy, Hart to Hart) to '90's favorites (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Diagnosis Murder) to various Disney Channel sitcoms (ranging from Even Stevens to I Didn't Do It). Sure, you might know someone who watches some of those shows--or, at least, used to--but such a broad taste in entertainment is rare; at least, in my experience. The reason I choose to consume such entertainment is because I believe it's the right thing to do; these days, too much immoral filth is coming down the entertainment pipelines these days. Such trash would have been banned a few decades ago, but is now everywhere you look. It's hard to walk into a store that sells entertainment--other than a Christian bookstore, such as LifeWay--and refrain from seeing a book, magazine, or DVD cover that objectifies someone--usually a woman--or implies something obscene. Just like other businesses, entertainment producers are interested in making money; if consumers--such as myself--use their money to support the right kinds of entertainment, that will cause more of it to be made.
While I know what I'm doing entertainment-wise and why I'm doing it, there are plenty of people, including Christians, who don't subscribe to that mentality, and will watch anything short of outright pornography, if they even are that discerning. A comment on the Plugged In Facebook page called entertainment "one area where the Devil has a serious foothold," and I completely agree; Christians everywhere are watching shows and movies that would make Jesus weep in anguish. I can't say that I've stayed on the moral path completely entertainment-wise; I have willingly watched some movies that could be classified as trashy, such as Satisfaction and Mean Girls 2...but, I regret doing so to this day. Still, many people consume such media without another thought...which, to discerning viewers like me, is a problem.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I think my pride in my entertainment has gotten to the point where it bothers others, almost as if they feel that I look down on them because they don't do what I do. Some years ago, the teacher of my high school Sunday school class was using a CD of stand-up comedy for a lesson; as he was setting it up, I asked him if the performer of the album was Mark Lowry. He said it wasn't, and the class quickly asked me who that was; when I replied, one of my classmates said, "You shouldn't think you're better than us because you know who that is and we don't!" I quickly countered with, "Did I say I was better than you," to which she immediately retorted, "No...but you implied it!" It wasn't my intent to convey any such message; it was just a simple question. Still, looking back, I can kind of see what she was saying; I tended to be a bit snobbish with my different entertainment diet...and I still do.
Back in 2000, I once saw a conversation between an older church member and a young guy who was new to the church that broke my heart. The young guy asked the older guy about some computer/video games, and the older guy huffed and said, "No! I'm a Christian! I don't play those games!" and walked off in disgust; as the older guy walked away, the young guy said, "Well, [another fellow church member] is a Christian, and he plays those games!" It was very unsettling, especially since the older guy was supposed to be acting as a father figure to the younger guy, who essentially had no father. Looking back, I can kind of understand both sides of the issue. Gaming may not have been that older guy's thing, and it may have been a point of contention for him...but there was a better way to express such feelings than coming off as snobbish, as if he was "too good" for such an activity. I don't really have much room to talk, though; I've spent years looking down on those who did things I didn't, especially sports fans. Yes, my entertainment diet is different from most others'...but that doesn't make me superior!
The one thing I wonder is: How do I discuss what I do and don't do--even outside the realm of entertainment--without coming off like a snob or a jerk? I have my reasons why I don't do the "normal" thing...but, unfortunately, my approach makes it appear that, by doing what I do, I am superior to those who don't do the same thing...which is pretty much everyone! It's a mystery I've never been able to solve.
In conclusion, I will say this: Celebrity obsession is a big thing these days. I remember a joke article in the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of CCM titled "Signs You Might Be An Amy Grant Groupie," which had a few ones only Christian music fans would get, and some that were so generic they could apply to anything, i.e., "You’ve been stopped before by people you thought were total strangers, and they say, 'Hey, I know you, you're "The Amy Grant guy"!'" It may have been humorous to the editors of that music magazine, but, some people do take their "love" for famous people to great lengths. I remember reading a story in Reader's Digest that went like this:
Last Thanksgiving, my niece came home with her school project: a beautiful autumnal leaf with the words "I am thankful for my mommy" printed on it.Whether or not you laughed at that, now that I think about it, I can't find something like that humorous...because, when I was a kid, that was me, and it wasn't the least bit funny to my family members. Over the years, I seriously hurt various people's feelings, especially my mother's, because I seemed to care more about my technology and my entertainment than I did them. Even just a few years ago, after an incident my friends know the story of all too well, a former friend lamented, "That's just great! Some actress you're never going to meet gets more respect than a real-life friend! Yes, I'm being sarcastic!" That's one of the reasons I started my Midweek Salute meme: to give respect to people who actually know and care about me, instead of singing the praises of people who have never met me, and likely never will. It's great that I've found a hobby...but, it shouldn't overtake the things that are truly important, such as family, friends, and God. I could say that fixating is just a trait of my condition, but, I'm past that now; it's time to let such habits go...for good!
Her eyes tearing, my sister said, "This means so much to me."
Her daughter nodded. "I wanted to put ‘Hannah Montana,' but my teacher wouldn't let me."