Monday, June 17, 2013

But...But...But...I Saw It On the Internet ! ? ! ? !

      The photo accompanying this has been edited to remove the stupid comment attached as an attempt at humor.  And, I suppose some people would find it humorous.  I didn’t.  I thought it was, well, stupid; the stupidity of which being amplified by the incorrect dating attached to each piece of the composite image.

      Einstein is alleged to have quipped “People are stupid.  Individual people have the capacity to be highly intelligent, but people as a collective whole are generally stupid.”  It’s probably an urban legend.  The attribution, I mean.  Of the voracity of the conclusion itself, I have no doubt and concur completely.  I just can’t prove it was Einstein who said it.  Not Albert Einstein, anyway.  Ralph Einstein, maybe.  Could even have been George Carlin.  After all, almost everything else clever or witty on the internet is attributed to either George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, or that tough sheriff in Arizona, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the sheriff guy.  It wasn’t Dub’ya or Obama either, so it stands to reason it probably wasn’t Einstein.

      It makes sense, though.  Statistically, I mean.  People individually are smarter than the herd.  Every presidential election since Reagan should prove that to you. The ‘crowd’ may be hip, ‘cool’, ‘in’, and all that, but generally speaking, they’re generally statistically wrong.

      After all, the ‘crowd’ told Chris Columbus he was probably going to fall off the end of the earth – if the dragons and sea serpents didn’t get him first, that is; the crowd told Galileo the Sun orbited the Earth which is the center of the universe (a fact many still believe today, albeit on a somewhat more localized level)  and the crowd shouted to a bewildered Pontius Pilate, who himself proclaimed, “I find no fault in Him” – “CRUCIFY HIM!!!”

      But you see, I found both the quote and the attribution to Einstein (Albert, not Ralph) on the INTERNET! And EVERYBODY knows IF IT’S ON THE INTERNET IT HAS TO BE TRUE, RIGHT?????


      That’s not to say individuals cannot be just as stupid as the crowd.  Let’s go back to that JPEG image for a moment.  The guy on the left is Christopher Reeve.  He played the man of Steel in four feature films.  Well, three if you’re honest.  The fourth one was a politically correct statement for some nonsense or other that even Reeve was embarrassed about after he cashed the check. Note the date in the upper left hand corner.  2006.  We’ll come back to that in the ‘Individuals Can Be Dumber Than A Box of Rocks” (with apologies to any rocks we may have offended) portion of our show.  The guy on the right who looks like he just climbed out of a coal bin in his new K-mart PJ’s and prosthetic 6-pac abs (which, by the way, Christopher Reeve refused to wear – he chose instead to put on about 40 pounds of muscle for the role) is Henry Cavil, the Man of Steel for a new generation.  The follow the crowd tweet me, like me, pin me, tag me, internet generation.  The generation for whom ‘getting personal’ is tweeting the girl sitting next to you that you like her rather than just telling her.  Yeah.  That lot. This is the generation whose Batman, Spiderman, Hulk, and now Superman is slipping another step further away from the light and into the darkness which is every day a little bit more our world.

        But me, I dunno.  I still like Christopher Reeve; still prefer the brighter, more colorful Superman Alexander and Ilya Salkind  delivered back in 1978.  Didn't much care for Warner Bros. turning Batman into the 'dark' knight in every sense of the word, and not liking the continuation of the trend in the new SuperDude.  Why do our childhood heroes have to be tarnished?  In 1978 the tagline was “You will believe that a man can fly!"  Less heroic?  What's the point of that?  That Superman was bright, heroic, and hopeful.  Just as Michael Keaton's Batman was Dark without being morbid, Christopher Reeve managed to be "This strange visitor from another planet who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great American Newspaper, fought a never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way" without being morbid, scary and dark.

      And now, thanks in no small part to politicians who apologize for our great nation everywhere they go, to the point where we Americans ourselves no longer believe in the dream that was America...unless we can weasel it out of some kind of entitlement plan...are left with a darker America, and hopeless, dark, no longer heroic heroes.  So sad.

      And that brings us back to the picture.  Those dates.  They’re what trouble me.  And the way a little lie hidden inside a big truth dusts the truth with the silt of darkness.  The left side of the photo - the bright, colorful, hopeful side with Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel is an advertising still for Superman the Movie, released by Warner Brothers in 1978.  Twenty-eight years prior to the date on the image and two years after Chris Reeve died in 2004!

      Simply because someone, for whatever reason – probably just picked the year out of the air – did what hundreds if not thousands of people do every day on the internet and in other walks of life.  They made up a lie and passed it off as truth that hundreds if not thousands of other internet users will then blindly pass along.  Insert quarter, press play, repeat.

      Apart from the seemingly inexplicable need for Hollywood to taint our childhood heroes this one example is pretty harmless, but every day I see hundreds of ‘pictures’ passed along on Facebook by individuals who, if they bothered to read the message they were blindly forwarding and the darkness they were blindly spreading they just might grasp the fact that they are thoughtlessly doing so from the very basket from which Jesus so passionately begs them to reveal His Light!  As they lift the basket from one side to reveal His Light, they are working equally hard to seal the cracks on the other side lest the light somehow escape and penetrate the darkness that so quickly surrounds them.

      So, tarnished heroes aside, I am left with the firm foundation of belief that Jesus is the eternal rock of my Salvation. 

      He is the much needed light of the world; the one hero Who neither time nor time’s minions can tarnish, their combined and tireless efforts notwithstanding.  Still having just enough ‘old school’ in me to dust it off and remember, I am reminded of the 19th century Lutheran minister, Edward Mote, who, while preparing a sermon taken from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapter seven, verses twenty-four through twenty-seven; ‘the Parable of the Two Builders’ and later set to music in 1863 by William Bradbury, a hymn I know from my youth as

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
      According to the internet Department of Contrived statistics, 97% of you won’t pass this on, while 3% will ‘get the joke’, wipe some of the tarnish from the beacon and share the light with someone.

      Or, as Jesus put it, 

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
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