Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Branding

So, unless you live under a rock, you probably saw the hullabaloo about the performance of Miley Cyrus on VMA Awards.

But wait…I’m confused. Haven’t we had other performers doing similar things? Didn’t Michael Jackson grab his crotch many, many years ago? Don’t we have the Madonnas and Lady Gagas? Don’t we have commercials that sell products using sex? (The latest I’ve seen—Liquid Plumr).

Why the outrage over Miley Cyrus? True, there has been outrage over some commercials and some other performers but mainly among conservative Christians. What is the underlying reason for the attack against Miley Cyrus?

As a conservative Christian, I agree that commercials and many entertainers are portraying porn, including Miley Cyrus.

However, the shock and outrage is coming more from our expectations than from the reality.

Branding is an interesting concept. It is not simply the artist who brands him or herself. Branding comes from the fans also. We have branded Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. She can skirt on the edges of the brand but can never fully break free. There have been exceptions where a few performers have reinvented themselves, but it is an arduous process that takes creativity and talent. Why go from a respected, well-liked singer to one people abhor?

Basically, these are my points.

1. Miley Cyrus became a mega star based on her likability, not on sex appeal. She needs to embrace that—if she has not done irreparable damage.

2. Branding comes as much from fans as from ourselves. Let’s own the important part our fans play in the branding process.

3. Our outrage should encompass all the manipulative, dehumanizing actors, performers, advertisers, politicians, television shows, movies, books, etc. out there. It’s time to wrench our country’s future back on the right path.

After all, the United States of America has its own brand.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Let’s keep our country worthy of the blessings of God.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Relationships, Disappointments, and Embarrassment

Most of us love the Andy Griffith shows. In “Opie’s Charity” we have an example of a child embarrassing a parent. Opie gives only three cents to a charity fundraiser. Andy becomes angry after he asks why, and Opie explains that he is saving up his money to buy a present for his girlfriend. (And this, THIS, is what Jesus meant by not judging. Later we find he has a good reason to give his girlfriend a present.)

Here’s the entire plot: When the town do-gooder, Annabelle Silby, informs Andy that Opie contributed only three cents to a fund raising drive, Andy attempts to teach Opie the importance of giving with hilarious results. Shortly after Andy's lecture he meets Tom Silby, Anabelle's husband, on the street. Andy rushes Tom into the office out of public view. Andy then explains to Tom that as far as he and the rest of Mayberry is concerned, Tom is dead. His wife had told everyone that he was hit by a taxi in Charlottesville. Tom reveals that he wasn't killed at all, but simply got enough of Anabelle's nagging and left her. Rather than admit she lost her husband, Anabelle pretended that Tom was killed and proceeded to have a funeral. After visiting his grave, Andy convinces Tom to go home to Anabelle and patch things up. Back at home, Andy tries again to convince Opie to give more than three cents to the children's fund. When Opie refuses, stating that he is saving his money to buy his girlfriend Charlotte something, Andy gives up and send him off to his room without supper. Aunt Bee then turns the tables on Andy, lecturing him about having the same foolish pride as Anabelle Silby. Andy sees the error of his ways and decides to let the issue drop. Opie then reveals he is saving his money to buy Charlotte a coat because her family is poor and cannot buy her a new one. Andy realizes that his own pride has got the best of him. ~http://mayberry.wikia.com/wiki/Opie's_Charity

So, the parallel plot also shows embarrassment—this time between a husband and wife. Damage to relationships occurs when we hide our problems instead of openly dealing with them. Embarrassment comes from an inflated ego. This is why we are told in the Bible to humble ourselves before God. Humbleness leaves no room for embarrassment.

When we are disappointed and embarrassed by others, we often end up rejecting them. In this case, Andy sends Opie to his room without supper; Anabelle pretends Tom was killed. Rejection leads to feelings of worthlessness, and in many cases, the behavior only worsens.

Let me make this point very clearly—not being embarrassed or disappointed does not mean we allow misbehavior from our children or that we don’t work out problems with our spouses. It means we are open and honest. Our job as a parent is not to make sure our children reflect us in a good light. No, no, no. Our job as a parent is to raise our children to make correct choices, to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Nurture them. Even when they have a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Or, perhaps, especially.

from Keisha S Caldwell on Facebook

Laugh for the Day via Facebook

I sneezed on my computer. Carl said, "Quick--clean it before it gets a virus." *groan* ~me

Thought for the Day via Facebook

When we are young, our love is written in the stars. When we grow old together, our love is written in the scars. ~me

Helpful Hint for the Day via Facebook

Friday, August 9, 2013

Angels Among Us

My brother sent me a link this morning about a mysterious priest who appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. You can read the story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/07/angel-crash-missouri/2630227/

It reminded me of an event that happened to my husband when he was twenty. He was driving through downtown Opp, Alabama when a man stepped in front of him. The man fell on the hood of the car and then rolled to the pavement. By the time Carl reached the man, he was face down in a pool of blood as if dead. A crowd gathered and paramedics arrived. Carl moved back and watched helplessly.

A middle-aged lady with black hair walked up to my shaking husband and wrapped an arm around him. “He’s all right,” she said. A peace descended and later Carl searched in vain for the woman to thank her for her comforting words and presence. When he asked around, no one in this small town recognized the description. No one had seen her, or anyone else, talking to Carl. All agreed that Carl had been standing alone.

Later, a trip to the hospital revealed the man had torn ligaments in his hand but otherwise was fine. The blood had come from hitting his nose on the pavement, and the blow had also temporarily knocked him out.

So, who was the priest in the article? Who was the woman? What do you believe?

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? ~Hebrews 1:14