Is anything amazing anymore?
She's living the dream. Chantelle Houghton. A genuine It girl for the 21st Century. Famous not for being famous, but for “not” being famous.
Big Brother might have been the vehicle but this is not George Orwell's world. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Aldous Huxley however feared we'd be drowned in a sea of irrelevance and triviality. This is our brave new world.
Richard Dawkins fears that religion has taken away our sense of wonder. Dawkins has the wrong foe. It is the entertainment industry that has stripped us of wonder.
And what are we left with. Chantelle's vacuous cry of “o my god”. We're dying of banality. What is more astounding? That the media continue to pedal her before us, or that we continue to allow ourselves to be amused to death by her.
Everything is astounding.
And nothing is astounding.
And so we come to an event that brought a city to a stand still. It wowed them. Not a story of fake sheikhs or fake celebs. But the story of a lame man.
In the 21st Century we expect health and the torrents of banality that surround us mean we probably don't even blink at this. This is Huxley's world and we're sinking fast.
But Jerusalem is astounded. Peter and John can't help the man financially. But speaking with the authority of Jesus they command his healing. And it happens.
Everyone sees it. Everyone hears it. Everyone is a witness. And Peter says – yes be astounded. But not at us, and not at it. No, there is something more amazing.
Within minutes he'll be arrested for saying these things.. the religious police are closing in on him...
Intro inspired by Neil Postman's remarks in Amusing ourselves to Death and a quote in The Shadow of the Wind about the banality of life.
This is the beginning of a talk given at University of Surrey Christian Union on March 2nd. I'll post the rest of the script soon.