Props and backdrops roll ceaselessly through the La La Land lot. Dreamy scenes of Paris, California, the West. A shot of the autumn sky interrupted by mature palm trees cues the closing scene. Then the bright blue sky undulates in the Santa Ana winds and the palms roll away. Orange leaves blow across the screen as the realistic backdrop exits left. I feel tricked, like I feel when La La Land’s credits roll.
Hollywood, what gives? I paid for too-good-to-be-true romance, not a Tinsel Town taste of reality.
Hollywood lures America off the proverbial highways to rob us and set us up in cool theaters. Salty popcorn and icy Coca Cola tempts us to throw down whatever change remains, the lights dim, the silver screen illuminates, and we know what to expect: fiction. Even “reality” must be scruntinized when projected on screen. We trade a million dollars for a two hour escape. We even mix Hollywood fiction with our reality. It gets messy.
We see red when Hollywood tricks us. America, what gives? Hollywood owes us nothing but art. And art is a distortion of reality.
America, we cannot hold Hollywood to an unrealistic standard. We must take each portrayal of fiction and reality with a grain of salt. Surely from out of six gallon bucket of popcorn we can spare a grain of salt.
And Christian, we cannot hold the world to a standard it rejects.
I’ve read Christian complaints about Hollywood, Donald Trump, the left side, the right side, education, the injustice of judgement, the unfairness of persecution. Yes, we are called to seek justice. Yes, we are called to carry the banner of Christ. Woe to us if we say, “well, the world will be the world. Just let it be.” Yet, why do our eyes widen and our jaws drop when the world acts worldly? Why do we take to our self-constructed soap boxes to scream at the world and holler about its worldly ways?
Why do we hold Hollywood to Christ’s standard? Why do we hold the government to Christ’s standard? Why do we hold this side or that side to Christ’s standard? Why do we hold education to Christ’s standard? Man made institutions follow man made standards. Humans follow the human standards.
The only one held to Christ’s standard is the Christian.
And Christian, we are called to carry the light of Christ into the world, not to blind it with the light of judgement. Woe to us if we bombard the world to blind it and distort the truth.