Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you One Direction, a floppy-haired boyette-band of boys who share two common distinctions: the first is that as solo artists they failed to win a singing contest and as a put-together Cowellesque boyette-band, they failed to win a singing contest. Still, lickle ickle girls like them and they do have floppy doppy hair, so that is alright.
But why are these new princes of disposable muzak adorning this hard hitting theological publication (pah)?
While I was with the family on our little holiday last week, it came to pass that this conglomeration of the pre-pubescent actually won something - a Brit award. And good for them - truly. They are committed to doing something, they haven't gone Cocozza and they seem to add to the world, not detract. Well done them (I have to take this view now because I fear that their faces will the ones that will adorn my daughter's Anaglypta very soon).
I confess, though, that as I recieved this news from the Brit Awards, I nearly inhaled my Mocha and pebble-dashed the wife's face with it. Why? Because they are a product of the skill of others. They are given a song written by a gifted song-writer that they sing into a computer that filters it for quality - a computer in the hands of a gifted producer who spews the end result into a beautifully well-oiled marketting machine. That song will have been accompanied by qualified and gifted musicians who went to school and college and everything. The song in question is funky and annoyingly catchy - I don't like it one bit, but I was hardly going to - and now a prize-winner. In short, the wife and I concluded that One Direction were not much more than the processing mechanism for the good work of others - a little like a floppy doppy Pentium chip.
As I supped my very large (and woefully expensive) Mocha, having railed at the news that Pentium Pop had won a prize, I considered how much different One Direction are to your average everyday priest Vicar type bod. Are we not, in some ways, be-collared processors of all that our members offer to God? Unlike a colleague who actually describes himself in terms of being The Big Voice in his community, I regard the role of Vicar to not be the star. I set the scene, conduct the orchestra, move a flock around and sling some hay around the place. What I am not is the virtuoso violinist, or the gifted chef - more the maitre d'. My job is to ensure that everyone else shines - and when it is I who do that first and foremost, it is then that I am getting it wrong.
Unlike One Direction, I will not receive a Brit for being Vicar - any more than I would with my singing. However, we like them are not stand-alone stars - we are where we are by virtue of the skills and gifts of so many more people, and very often despite our own shortcomings.
And I would look even dafter than I do now with a hairdo like that!