This makes me think about my own "somebody-ness." Why don't I fret more about writing this regular column for thousands of readers? Am I in denial about being a "somebody"?In some people's eyes this makes me a "somebody." I blame this upon our culture's desperate need to create heroes, celebrities, saints, experts, pundits, geniuses, superstars . . . you get the picture. This wide acceptance of the "cult of celebrity" is highly problematic and un-Mennonite.Our culture thrives on the elevation of a few above the others. These are the dominant actors in what Guy Debord called the "society of the spectacle." In a culture saturated with material goods, only that which is new and spectacular is worthy of fresh attention and allegiance (this includes stories from pulpits and television networks alike). Some people become spectacular, the rest banal.
10 Canadian Mennonite January 25, 2010 E Two-state solution may achieve was the comment by Ken Seitz, former MCC rep- Micah’s vision of peace resentative in Lebanon, that MCC does not see the continued existence of the nation of Israel (“the Jewish While visiting Canada recently, I read with state,” he calls it) as an essential part of its vision of interest the series of editorials and letters in response peace in the Holy Land (“Walking the talk,” Oct. 5, to allegations that Mennonite Central Committee page 2). (MCC) maintains an “anti-Israeli” position with re- Seitz is implying, I take it, that MCC is not commit- spect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ted to a “two-state solution” that would recognize and What particularly caught my attention in this debate protect Israeli sovereignty, while granting Palestinians New Order Voice The ‘cult of celebrity’ is As Mennonites, we know that each un-Mennonite member of the community is valued: the preacher and teacher sit next to the cook and the caregiver, and they discern together. At best, we listen to and elevate Aiden Enns the needs of the weaker brother or sister. This is profoundly countercultural and T his week, in my work as a magazine me to co-write this column for Canadian why I’m keen on being Mennonite. editor, a writer rejected my invita- Mennonite and to edit a magazine with But in our communities (in church tion to write, citing reasons of not the tagline, “Holy mischief in an age of circles and beyond) we still fall prey to wanting to be a “somebody.” fast faith.” the cult of celebrity and give inordinate This person, I’ll call her Angel, said she In some people’s eyes this makes me attention and power to some over others. had problems with famous people, how a “somebody.” I blame this upon our cul- This is the time for caring confronta- we treat them, and what it does to our
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