I’m sitting here watching the devoutly and somewhat psychotically anticipated arrival of David Beckham to our newly bandwagon ‘soccer country.’ His team, the Los Angeles Galaxy is squaring off against the touted England powerhouse, and his former strip, Chelsea.
I find it both dangerous and disappointing that in two very short weeks we have as a country all but accepted this man into what can only be described as American royalty.
You might think me hypocritical, seeing as how I seem to doling out my reaming of this Adidas-inspired collective American affection for one man, from, of all places, in front of the tele, but, I testify that my watching, other than the simple truth that I enjoy watching futbol (both grandparents are immigrants, and as such, I grew up watching it) was much like the way we attempt to study something.
I remember in my high school, during my Communications courses, we were assigned to watch any form of media and look for sexually explicit patterns/innuendos therein. I strayed from the seemingly ‘golden opportunity’ that lit up every guy’s face at the thought of being able to watch a porno for homework, and instead decided to watch chewing gum advertisements. What I found unfortunately wasn’t too far from what my male counterparts sunk their eyes into. Nevertheless, the point is, I was sitting in front of the tele during the Beckham hour so as to watch how America was watching.
It was like a professional Beckham stalker was in charge of the camera crew. They had a camera, fittingly entitled the “Beckham cam,” of which was every five minutes or so was splitting the television screen with the actual live game coverage. I’d like to thank the devoted camera crew, because without them I would in no way be able to accurately describe to you the way Beckham grins, sneezes, yawns, pops his fingers, and yes, even adjusts himself. I watched an entire futbol match, as well as an entire hour, if you string together all the segmented moments, of what felt like a reality show where the intro, climax and resolution were the ideosynchrasies of one, David Beckham.
Despite my callous tone, I do find myself, from a ‘sports fan’ point of view, to be a fan of Mr. Beckham. He does not have this unbelievable story riddled with unrivaled talent spanning his whole life…he instead touts a raw talent that has been fighting for the consistency to be called the world’s best ever since he burst onto the professional soccer scene at the age of 14. His career went from notable to notorious with one corner kick that fashioned, in the precious evaporating seconds of soccer’s ‘extra time,’ the last miracle England claims to have witnessed…ushering in a long awaited team England birth into the World Cup. In short, Beckham is my kind of athlete…he has to fight to be the best. He doesn’t have Lebron James type ability where his only challenge is how to harness such athleticism…no…Beckham has to put in all the hours and all the extra work…and that’s someone, even without the invasive Beckham cam, that I would follow and support.
But again, it’s not that America welcomed David Beckham with open arms…I like that!…in fact, I’m all for the British invasion…I will never be a big fan of the beatles, but if America wants its culture to be bang in the way of the powerhouse of Harry Potter and David Beckham…more power to both of us. So, an open armed welcome, not the problem. An open armed and creaked-open-bedroom-door-no-questions-asked-I-love-you-even-though-you’ll-never-love-me welcome…yeah, kind of weird. When the camera wasn’t glued to Beckham, which was just about never, I found the charming scene of two 20 year old girls that had tattoos with David Beckham’s number inked on their arm and cleavage. I doubted the authenticity of the tattoos but, thanks to the wonderful camera crew yet again, I soon saw the girl’s homemade posters, which read, “The tattoos are here to stay, just like Beckham.”
Again, I know there’s fine line between the ‘crazy fan’ and the ‘just crazy,’ but what the heck? A tattoo of his number…are you kidding me. I just imagining all the stupid moments they would have to skirt later in life when, and I hate to break it to you girls, they won’t be marrying David Beckham. Haha, I’m sure staring Beckham’s number square in the face will do wonders for those girls future husband’s confidence.
So why do we as America glamorize stars the way we do. People in this country would rather take political advice from Tom Cruise, a guy who, during his Hollywood marriage to Ms. Kidman, touted on television that he would never let his kids live or go to school in America. We’ll let Mr. Cruise tell us how to decide on American political issues when he lacks even the faith to live amidst those freedoms in this country. Not that I need more convincing rhetoric to puncture our Tom Cruise guide to better living persona, but does the fact that Cruise, now married to Katie Holmes, does have his child living and going to school in America mean anything for the case of hypocracy?
Even notorious anti-Americans held true to their less than popular beliefs instead of gerrymandering their positions to bolster their image when it was necessary. Is it really that ridiculous to think that celebrities, and not all of them, but certainly some, absolutely have their life consumed with things other than the devout pursuit of better living outside of anything other than material things? We glamorize and worship celebrities in this country for what…for being the best pretenders. I mean, do our minds really think that because that man plays Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible that he actually is somehow more equipped to make decisions, and furthermore influence ours, on the American political scene? And so, point in case…we trust Tom Cruise and other celebs to tell us what to think/vote, when the only reason they are hypothetically and arguably interesting in the first place, is because they lie, or pretend if you prefer, better than anyone in the world.
It’s like thinking Sylvester Stallone could actually hold his own in a boxing ring…what the heck would Sly know how to box (aaahhhh!)? Sure, he boxed a bit at the amateur level…but so did tons of guys…it’s not his passion or his amateur career that we hold to when following around the Philadelpihan Stallion…not, it’s quite simple…He is Rocky after all.” This is what I’m talking about…he’s NOT Rocky…he’s just Sylvester Stalone.Rambo was much cooler than Rocky anyway.
You know, we joke, and even I’ve done it, that when you either went to Disneyland or DisneyWorld as a kid, you somehow blurred that line between reality and fiction so much that you just kept walking around indifferent to truth…we were all clearly more concerned with paying $10 for a Mickey-coke and getting out little autograph book filled with signatures. How is this any different than the way we mature adults handle ourselves around the celebrities of today? Answer: not very different at all. I’ll say this for our kids…at least the actually met the characters…we simply give our heart away, fantasize over and flat-out surrender all worthless and precious affection to these people that never leave our television sets.
I understand entirely that not everyone will believe in Christ as the one and only Son of God…but somehow…people in this world can’t even dismiss Him as such…they instead act entirely, and unabashedly indifferent toward such a controversial icon because they would rather deify a half naked mouse who talks about 5 octaves too high to ever vie for being truly considered a male. America has placed Mickey Mouse, and absolutely every bit of the absurdity that goes along with such comparisons, not alongside Christ, but in his place as a figure worthy of worship.
Why do we follow around so ardently people we’ve never met, probably never will meet, and people, that more than likely could care less about us? Our checkbooks and our time spent are our grown up Disneyland autograph books…but what’s worse is we don’t even need the signatures to fill them…just so long as we obtained one…we got the thing we felt we needed.
America has convinced me of something…I am a star! If Fox News, CNN, and even ESPN all came together alongside a major endorsement deal by, let’s say, Adidas, I could be promoted and adored whole heartedly by this country. Heck, they could even promote as what I prayerfully becoming…a missionary. Yes, an Adidas backed missionary who brings sports, namely futbol, to parts of the world where a simple game of soccer could help save a child’s life. Soccer the savior; keeping young girls out of prostitution rings and young boys from a life filled with drugs and violence…what’s not to love…this country could be swayed to love me. THAT’S PATHETIC!
As it turns out, I actually am praying for all the world to know the peace of Christ, and in turn, the gift of salvation for all time. You know what David Beckham is probably doing right now…he’s sleeping, in his bed, in his house….why…because he’s tired. He can’t leave his $20 million home without being mobbed or worshipped as the English deity that came to baptize us all. He’s not out there fighting for your future…and by the way…that’s my point…you need neither worship Mr. Beckham or I. You need to find yourself surrendering your life to something and/or someone that actually cares for you. You know why I can’t stand America’s propencity to just run after the next fad, myself included, as I am a product of my society, is because it’s all a waste of time. I would love nothing more than to sit and enjoy watching a match featuring Beckham and Donovan squaring off against England’s finest…there’s nothing wrong with that. But when the final second of extra time ticks away, that’s where I leave that part of my life. I don’t shut the tele off and find myself reminded later as I brush my teeth that I am still carting around the Beckham tattoo on my breasts.
You know why all the world needs to rethink what they put their time into…because after the match featuring Beckham is over, you know what David Beckham does…he leaves you!
You’re lying to yourself if you think your having this sport-minded affair with him every time there’s a match, because somehow that means that David Beckham shows up and has you on his mind…even in affairs the guilty parties are ruminating often on their lustful counterpart. David Beckham’s devotion is first and foremost to playing a game he loves…making millions/leaving a legacy second, and making sure he doesn’t get hurt third. You know where you and I fit into Beckham’s life…when he does that cheeky little 360 degree “thank you clap” for all his fans, or mentions us by the most intimate of general of titles…”All my fans.” Beckham no doubt respects us as his life-source to both his legacy and his sport, but he would sooner hand us a restraining order than he would the rolling pin as we helped make dinner in his home.
Revelation talks of a time that even after Christ comes having established His Kingdom here on earth, that there are still people who continue to reject Him. I still read this with such disbelief, because as much as I can testify to people rejecting the idea of Christ…to reject Him to his face in His returned Kingdom posture…that’s simply amazing amounts of defiance. I often wonder how enthralled, hypnotized and simply devotedly intoxicated the world’s people would have to be in order to still mount a rather large following against Truth and Love. And then, unfortunately I begin to see a pattern…did not the Nazis, with Hitler at the helm, convince an entire nation in Germany that they were divinely selected for supremacy over all the world’s people…so much so, that even murder, by way of genocide, was not only anticipated but deemed necessary?
On the opening day of the last Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling made more money with that one day’s worth of book sales than any other book has ever made, in its entire existence of being available, short of the Bible. In one day…she trumped every other book, save for the Bible…in ONE DAY! In fact, if you take the top three books ever sold, spanning out there entire existence, even counting today, Rowling’s book still is a good few million ahead in terms of their copies sold…in ONE DAY. Seeing the scene surrounding David Beckham yesterday…let’s just say it was scary. The fact that Beckham had some 300+ news coverages, in the U.S. alone, daunting his practice field, watching him stretch, the day before he even showed up the to play in the match, to do the one thing that he’s even theoretically interesting for…is that not dangerous and scary amounts of affection and fanaticism? Watching David Beckham being all but worshiped as a deity, so much so, that he drew a collective “Aaawww” from the crowd as they sighed watching him run into the training room via tunnel and disappointingly out of sight.
I know I’m still very much so naïve to the depths of the culture of soccer…like I said, I am a bit of a bandwagon fan, although not entirely, living in a bandwagon soccer country. But, my concern is not that we as a country and as a people are embracing an icon who is, in my agreeing opinion, revolutionizing the sport of soccer…my fear is that we are again showing signs, as a people, that have always foreshadowed the very worst, most poisonous and always completely misguidedly faithful movements of people that are already dead, for they serve what is no lasting value.
Our life and the way we live it has no lasting confidence or strength to survive so long as we whore it out to things that are both, at the end of the day, indifferent to us, and posses no power to grant us anything resembling life beyond ourselves.
What America showed me as I watched them watching the arrival of David Beckham, was an endearing, deadly, and heartfelt bellow that announced, tacitly amongst the crowds, that we are still volunteering our very lives to what are in every way becoming and supplementing endless relational pogroms.
What an opportunity Mr. Beckham has to speak the Truth of Christ through the same intoxicating channels that already deem him a god. Pray for the team chaplain. Pray for his possible opportunities to share the Gospel and that he might be granted the chance to show Mr. Beckham that even his envied lifestyle is but fading away.
On behalf of my God, I welcome you Mr. Potter and Mr. Beckham…may you find far more of an overwhelming amount of Life in this country, by way of Christ, than you came here with.