Saturday, July 30, 2005

Communion of Saints?

Blogging has been light lately. Sorry. But there’s been so much going on at the church that I didn’t have time to blog.

Right now I should be working on my sermon. But my brain seems to be sleeping, at least when it comes to exegeting the Feeding of the 5000 for my sermon tomorrow.

But instead I’m blogging.

In Other News…

Apparently Robin Williams is in town filming a movie. The radio has been having regular “Robin Williams sighting reports.”

I just can’t get excited about celebrities. I find real life more interesting.

Of course, there are people I admire, read about, wish I could more like, but the whole celebrity thing is lost on me.

Some theologians believe that celebrities have taken the place of saints in western culture. I think they’re right. We look for people to ennoble us, to challenge us, to inspire us, but we’re given celebrities to fill that gap.

Some folks point to the grief poured out when Princess Diana died. The flowers, messages, and gifts left at Buckingham Palace. The hysterical weeping on the streets. The clamour for sainthood. This is stuff that was reserved for the esteemed, the beloved, the holy.

In Canada, the closest outpouring of grief that rivaled Princess Diana was when former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau passed away. Love him or hate him, he had an impact. The pictures of the mourning were incredible: his sons riding the rails with their dad’s coffin on their way from Ottawa to Montreal; the gathering at Parliament Hill where Maggie walking away from insensitive questions from a reporter about Michel’s death; the speech Justin gave at the funeral watched by more than half of Canada. It was a country in grief over the death of the man who, for better or worse, shaped the country as we know it.

But in-between the deaths of great people, we follow the vacuous lives of celebs. I don’t know why. Is it spiritual laziness?

But still, I just can’t get into this whole Robin Williams excitement.


Stephanie said...

I never was able to get into the celebrity excitement thing either, and that was even before I started working in the film industry. After 7 years of working alongside celebrities for fourteen hours a day for months on end, I can confidently tell you there is absolutely nothing special about them. They are just as human as the rest of us. Why someone would think they are some special holy breed of human being just because they are well known is beyond my ken.

Saheli said...

Ah, see, I would get totally thrilled by Robin Williams sightings (and I live in the Bay Area, so they're actually fairly common) because I think he's absolutely hilarious. He's probably my favorite comedian; I cut my tv-teeth on Mork and Mindy and Aladdin was my favorite Disney movie as a child. The great thing about Williams is he can crack a joke in the most ludicrous of situations so a sighting is quite likely to be associated with a great one liner.

So in the principle of being obsessed with celebrities, yeah, I don't get it. But being interested in sightings of people whom you admire--that's just being interested, really.

Stephanie said...


So if you bump into Robin Williams on the street, do you have the expectation that he will perform for you? If he doesn't toss off any one liners but just goes on about his personal business, would that cause you to be disappointed and maybe upset with him? Even high energy entertainers like Robin can't be "on" all the time.

It has frequently been reported that one reason why many stars like shooting in Vancouver is that when they are out and about town on their days off, the Canadian locals are so polite in respecting their privacy and not pestering them for autographs, photos, etc. At most they will just give them a polite nod of recognition. Of course, when they get back to the office they will certainly brag about who they just saw down at Starbucks ;)

Kevin said...


I think what Saheli was getting was that she enjoys Robin Williams work and would like to share her appreciation. I don't think she's among the hysterical, fawning, types, that would bother celebs insensitively.


Saheli said...

Hee, thanks Kevin. :-) I've run into plenty of famous people and stayed suitably calm, and faked oblvion. The one exception was the guy who was the teacher on Frontier House, but he seemed pleased to be recognized and chat about his new life in Berkeley.

I've also had friends, Stephanie, who have actually *helped Williams film movies* on various locations around here, and without their expecting anything, he's been absolutely hilarious. So I see nothing wrong with their sharing those experiences with other people, including me. It cements his reputation as a Class 1 comedian, and gives them a good story to tell, and me one to hear. No one would (or does) hold it against him when he's just being calm. No one would be upset or disappointed.

Really, on a smaller less remarkable scale this happens with regular people, especially now in the Blogosphere. I'll go to a meetup with a more famous blogger and then tell someone else, "Ooh! I met so and so! And they said this." It's just a reminder that we're all real and inhabit a physical world together, not merely isolated people jacked into an input stream.

Stephanie said...

I'm sorry I misinterpreted your earlier post, Saheli. I never worked with Robin, but like your friends, I have had the chance to work with actors who were great people. Leslie Nielson is one who, like Robin, is extremely funny even when the cameras aren't rolling. Others I've met who are at the top of the class list were Tommy Lee Jones and Gillian Anderson. Of course, I've worked with other actors who displayed a distinct lacked of class, but I guess that just proves how human they are.

Even though I definitely don't get excited over celebrities, I've always felt I would probably swoon if I met Antonio Banderas. (Strangely enough though, since I'm a lesbian!)

With the shoe on the other foot, however, when I was starring in university theatre productions and later in community and dinner theatre shows, I did appreciate when someone would recognize me and tell me how much they enjoyed my show. I don't think I could ever handle the Hollywood level of fame though.

And speaking of more famous bloggers... I love your pictures of Iceland!