Tuesday, October 6, 2009

YouTube Schadenfreude ... RUINED!

There. He did it again.

God, as is His wont, has once again ruined for me a perfectly good moment of schadenfreude.

I was just minding my own business, watching this most excellent YouTube offering, in which a foul-mouthed fatty "goes off" on some fast-food restaurant workers.

And just as I was thinking what a loser this guy was, and how beautifully he had PWNED himself by angrily yelling "a whole ... half hour" God taps me on the shoulder. I hate it when He does that. "Umm ... son?" He didn't even really have to say what came next:

You are the man!

But, you see, when the Almighty says this to me, it is not like your sports buddies lauding you with "You da man!". It is, rather, a recapitulation of the prophet Nathan's words to King David.

You see, while I might not share the YouTube fatty's level of Gluttony, there is another sin I have shared with him: Wrath (a.k.a., Anger). Just last night, I flew into a similar (though, mercifully, shorter) rage against my son, because he forgot some Geometry fact I had taught him.

This kind of sinful display is not nearly as much fun to watch once you realize you have done similar things yourself. And then, I thought: What if my daughter had been there, and had captured my wrath on her cell phone camera ... and posted it on YouTube. It is a chilling thought.

And then, I thought about Andy Warhol, and how he famously said that in the future (we now live in his prophesied future!) everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. And I wondered to myself: Did Andy also imagine the corrolary: that each of us would have our 15 minutes of photojournalistic fame, behind the camera, as well as the 15 minutes in front of it?

And then, my thoughts flew to Flannery O'Connor, and her story A Good Man Is Hard To Find, in which the character called The Misfit says about the grandmother he has just murdered:

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

And then, I thought: What if there was someone to take video of me every minute of my life? Would I, perhaps, be a better man? As Christians, we all tend to laugh at the notion of Jack Chick's Big Screen, but we forget that it is, at root, true. My resolution for today is to live as if my daughter is filming my every word and action, and will post it all to YouTube.


Prester Scott said...

Yeah, but y'know, the threat of being watched and exposed (even if only by God), like all threats of any kind of punishment, is really only going to keep your outward behavior in check. It may inspire shame, but not guilt. It will not, by itself, change your heart. The obedience God desires from us includes His top two commandments, both of which start with the word "Love" -- which has to come from the heart to be real.

I have my doubts that the Jack Chick Movie Screen O' Judgment is true. If God has truly forgiven our sins, and removed them as far from us as east from west, why would He then embark on the seemingly passive-aggressive display of them before the whole universe? I do think that what we have made of ourselves will be manifest in the world to come -- but remember, for the redeemed, that means who/what you are when Christ is done sanctifying us.

Anglican Beach Party said...

Okay, so maybe it won't be movies. Maybe it'll just be books:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

-- Revelation 20:12

Prester Scott said...

That doesn't mean God will recite everything that's in the books...

Anglican Beach Party said...

Hmmm ... well if the dead will be judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books ... don't you think it would have to be "read into the court record" so to speak?

Isn't the picture here of God as judge over our deeds? And, wouldn't He (as a just judge) have to present us with the evidence against us?

Prester Scott said...

This all makes sense with respect to the condemned. It makes less sense with respect to the redeemed.

Steven McMeans said...

Funny! As far as I am from the spiritual consensus here, I couldn't help wondering what I would have done had I been in the room with Mr. Irascible...

Would it have been an act of love to shut him up? I have a feeling the children and their parents in the room would have thought so--at least toward them.