I wrote last year (or maybe even the year before, I lose track) about the Palm Sunday "moral of the story" as made manifest in the life, ups and downs of Britney Spears (a woman for whom I have much sympathy, and therefore no small amount of affection). Take one celebrity, over-baste them in the light of our limitless adoration and tribulation, get bored, drop them like an inadvertently grasped poo, blame the celebrity, go home (mostly tutting).
Regard this post as the Part Deux of that thought process.
The woman whose face adorns this post is one Katie Price, aka Jordan, aka the former Mrs Peter Andre, failed Euro-vision singer, mammary-enhanced producer of children and their books, self-publicist extraordinaire and the product of the world that made her.
I don't know Katie Price, mostly because I am not a cross-dressing kick-boxer, quasi pop-singer, and I am over 18 and therefore unlikely ever to be noticed or courted by one Ms Price of Brighton. I cannot tell you if she is a nice person, a loving mother (because I have chosen not to tune in to her personal TV Channel - known to the rest of us as ITV2). I am no authority on the real person of Katie Price - though to be sure I find her public persona to be grotesque and almost completely without any class. But like I say, she is the product of the public that made her - you and me. She has her body routinely re-built to keep our interests; her chest inflated with increasing volumes of silicone to enhance our ardors, nasty retail ranges to keep us spending our cash and feeling fashionable, and a readily modified personality and publicly expressed private life to keep us entertained. Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?
It seems to me that Katie, dear Mr Beckham, his missus (Spindly Spice, or was it Snarling Spice?), One Direction and all that goes with them is a modern manifestation of a problem that has crept up on us for years: an increasing lack of "the other" in our lives. Kids screaming until they barf because a kid who happens to be famous passes them by - a kid, even months before fame, who wouldn't have turned a single head save for his mum's. As a society, we drool over fame - like one of Dr Pavlov's dogs.
When we lose that due sense of God in our lives we have to be left with a large gap - a hole. Nature, I am told, abhors a vacuum (and I certainly don't like the hoovering) so we do what is inevitable in those circumstances - we place humans into that space and try to make them proto-deities. Then they fail and we are awfully disappointed. There is a danger too, for Christians. Because we live in a society that adores humanity over God, there are some who seem to pursue 'celebrity' in the guise of Christian ministry. Maybe blogging is like that, I don't know (though I am hardly a celebrity by any measure, thank God). However, in the Facebook world, people seem unable not to mention their last celebrity moment or that time when they were the centre of attention.
This is Holy Week. If we don't or cannot do it at any other time in the year, this is the week when we set aside our own desire for celebrity or the celebrity-fix, and instead focus on the life of a broken and apparently failed itinerant preacher who was subject to the fickle love of the Jerusalemite crowd; then remember who genuinely fills the Katie Price Space in our hearts and lives. If we get that wrong, the journey of our own lives will surely never find rest or its true destination.