Rant of the Week

Really True Lies


Quite a few years ago, I was teaching at a Christian High School in Chatham, Ontario, when a gentleman named Dan Veltman was booked to speak to our youth about modern culture. 

It was an odd presentation.  Most church people who condemned rock'n'roll and television and movies at that time didn't really know the names of any of the bands or actors or writers, or how modern culture was packaged.  Veltman did.  But people who did know something about popular culture usually didn't make simplistic black and white judgments about what was "evil" out there and what was good.  Veltman did-- it was all evil.  He showed us evil album covers and played us evil music and discussed subliminal advertising which wanted you to think about evil things like "sex", and backwards masking.  Our students-- I kid you not-- were thrilled.  They were absolutely delighted to know that the the music they listened to was absolutely, irredeemably evil. They wanted more details. 

It was very entertaining, like the orgies depicted in the film "The 10 Commandments" before Moses arrived with the tablets to set things right again.  You could have your cake and eat it too.  You could enjoy watching the skin, and then pat yourself on the back by rooting for Moses.  I don't think any of the students actually changed their listening habits or viewing preferences.  They just felt better knowing that we knew that they knew that drugs and sex and violence were bad.

The formula hasn't changed much for "True Lies".  Want to be a god-driven biblical prophet to today's youth?  Fork over $1295 (come on-- you can get your church to raise the money) and join the "True Lies" team.  We supply the power point presentation (the orgy) and you supply the fire and brimstone.  Teenagers will actually ask you to make a presentation to their parents.  Just so parents can see that they are really mature and self-controlled, and shocked, I say, shocked, to know that there is so much sex in the movies.

 Cost of a good dose of self-righteous vilification?  $495.  The presenter gets to keep that money.  It's a franchise.

Interestingly, "True Lies" tries to enhance it's currency with youth by claiming links to Hollywood and bands like Metallica, among others.  We know evil. Chalmers website shows a picture of him standing with Jessica Simpson. 

He claims to have actually interviewed a serial killer.  "Which rock'n'roll song made you a killer.  Come on.  Was it 'Do you Really Want to Hurt Me'?"

That's rather amazing.  While preaching against Hollywood values, he proudly poses with his arm around Jessica Simpson.  Look at me: I'm hip.  But not too hip. Jessica and I are headed right over to the malt shop to meet Bobby and Ritchie and the Fonz....

I wonder how many schools and churches see what I see: a money-making scam run by people with the astounding audacity to claim to enlighten your children about how our culture is trying to trick them while selling you a paschal of hokum.

The trouble is that the real immorality in our culture is rooted in an ideology of unlimited wealth and consumer gratification.  Your teenagers won't even sit still for a lecture on immorality: it has to be presented in the form of rock videos!

The sexual immorality and drugs are a relatively small part of the equation.  Chalmers rapturously caresses his Hummer, beams next to Jessica Simpson, touts his celebrity endorsements, and offers to sell your house,  while promising to wean your children off those decadent, twisted Hollywood values.


All contents copyright © 2006 Bill Van Dyk