Red Carpet Ruminations

I love the movies – well, some of them, okay, a few of them. If I have to pay that much for two hours of movie, twenty minutes of previews, and all that advertising, I want to leave the theater pumped or moved or laughed-out. I don’t like to be scared or grossed-out or confused. And the language … have you ever thought it odd that profanity is listed as intended for mature audiences? How mature do you have to be to throw f-bombs every few seconds?

And then we have the annual look-at-me fest. There were some worthy moments, I’m told. I have never wanted to surrender that much of my life to the I-love-me-and you-should-love-me, too marathon. Before you ever get to the ceremony, you have to endure the carpet. I always thought doing something on the carpet got your pet in trouble. At the Academy Awards, we are treated to women who should have bought underwear to go with their dresses they are almost wearing, hairstyles and looks that could be fixed with a comb and a razor, vapid questions from air head wanna-be’s, air kisses, and smiles that mask the disdain of these oh-so-important celebrities.

Okay, I’m done. I got it out and I feel better. You may live to see this annual Hollywood love festival. You may really enjoy seeing all the outfits, watching the actors and actresses parade, and hearing the announcements of winners. You are entitled.

Entitled? Uh-oh, here I go again. These movie folks feel entitled to become expert spokesmen and women for every cause you have heard of and some you aren’t sure about. If we would just listen to people who live in fantasy land tell us what’s wrong, we could fix all our problems very quickly. We just need to be informed as well as they are. Perhaps they could take their $160,000 swag bags they received last night and help someone else.

There are actually some very gifted, concerned, and enlightened men and women in the industry. I should not paint with such a broad brush. However, I do get a little nauseated with what passes these days as celebrity status. The glamour and fame can be so fleeting.

The people who deserve notice probably never will. The real heroes in our society plug away day after day, never garnering a headline or a sound bite. Instead of giving glory to people who pretend to be other people, perhaps it would be worth it to thank a teacher or a firefighter or a nurse or a youth minister; to honor parents who are doing their best to raise their kids or young people who are building a future through a good education. There are people who really do deserve a red carpet ride. Look around today, and hand out your own rewards of gratitude, respect, and honor.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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