God, the Golden Globes, and Me

Nobody likes a good movie more than I do.  Ditto for a good television series.  I have tremendous respect for the talent it takes to create a film like Gravity, for instance, which I thought was fantastic.  But every time a Hollywood award show airs, I wonder if the apocalypse can be far behind.

I mean, where else can you see so many bad outfits and hairdos, so much false humility, so many pointless interviews, and so many  calculated expressions of profanity.  Yes, I said “calculated.”  You’ll never convince me that the “oops” moments that send the censors scrambling to hit the mute button aren’t preplanned.  These actors are not stupid.  They know very well that a “slip-up” will get them even more attention the following day.

But the feature I saw following the Golden Globes that disgusted me most was the one that catalogued the shots of the faces of the nominees when they realized they didn’t win.  Apparently, it was someone’s job to film the tight-lipped, forced smiles of the losers.

Hollywood award shows are messed up on so many levels.

But in fairness, I can’t think of an award ceremony that isn’t.  In case you haven’t noticed, there is no bigger brouhaha than the one surrounding the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame voting.   And often we find ourselves scratching our heads over the Nobel Prize recipients.  Even the New York Times acknowledged that President Obama’s peace prize in 2009 could be considered puzzling.

When I think about human awards and accolades, I can’t help thinking of the hymn, The Old Rugged Cross.  It says:

So I’ll cling to the old rugged cross till my trophies at last I lay down…

Indeed, we will all lay down our trophies some day.  We’ll stand before God empty-handed and he will not ask how many Golden Globes or MVP awards or peace prizes we won.  I pity the poor person who stands before God and has nothing but a worldly trophy to show for his time on earth.

What was it Jesus said?  “The last will be first, and the first will be last.”  (Matthew 20:16)






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3 Responses to God, the Golden Globes, and Me

  1. Mark says:

    Of course, I would love to comment on this one, Mark. First let me say, I agree with just about everything you said. And, as always, I appreciate your perspective.

    Here are my thoughts:

    I’m a missionary in Hollywood first, and an artist second. That perspective keeps everything in check for me. But clearly, that isn’t the common perspective here in Tinseltown. None the less, the people the world sees on these award shows are my peers. I know and have worked with many of them. And, because I have, I can safely say that as a whole actors are by nature in deep need of attention. No surpass there, right? But, that’s what makes them great at entertaining. They’ll do anything for a laugh or a tear or cheer. But what most people don’t know is that that need for attention generally comes from some very deep wounds, things like abuse as a child, neglect as a child or something else as horrible. Artist are usually wounded people. We jokingly, yet somewhat ironically, call Hollywood the land of broken toys. But broken toys are often the ones we turned to most to entertain us.

    As you appropriately mentioned, when all is finished the first will be last and the last will be first. Sadly, most artist ignore that truth. Like you, I wish we didn’t give out awards like the Globes or the Oscars. It would be well enough to have an evening or two when we simply celebrate all the great films made that prior year, like “Gravity,” etc. And, to keep my wife happy, it would be fantastic if everyone would still dress up all fancy. She, like many other women, love to see the fashions. But when awards are given to people who are hurting for attention it tends to give them the illusion that they have made it! They are the “number one attention-getter.” Don’t get me wrong, acting is incredibly difficult (you try to cry on cue and be so entertaining the world can’t take it’s eyes off of you) and it is a brutal career with no stability whatsoever and incredible rejection. But, it saddens me that getting the worlds attention is now a desirable goal, thanks to the accolades we give to ourselves. I know of very few actors who have not already written out their first Oscar speech. It’s the goal most people who come to Hollywood shoot for.

    My purpose in Hollywood has always been to tell people there is something far better than winning an Oscar. What’s better than that? Finding our true purpose in Christ and holding that trophy of salvation for all off eternity. Actors will often claim what they really want is to make films and TV shows that change people’s lives, and I believe somewhere deep down that is probably true, but only when they give their lives to God can that happen consistently with all the right motives.

    I mentioned the Golden Globes on my FaceBook wall and asked people to tell me what feelings it invoked. Most of my industry friends said it was fun, it inspired them and it gave them hope. Quite a few of my non-industry friends said it was nothing more than a bunch of egotists celebrating themselves. It’s always interesting to me that people who didn’t do anything about their dreams bash those who do. Not that artists are any better than anyone else, they are not, but there is something to be said about someone who takes the hard road for something they love. Artist are special people. But, they’re also a lot more sensitive to the criticisms than people think. Take assessment and ask yourself how you really feel about actors and their ilk. Is it in line with how would Christ feel about us?

    Sadly, Hollywood types love to rebel (but does’t most of the world?). They love to be different and push boundaries. And they even love to bash Christianity from time to time. But, that’s what rebels do. They fall into the patterns of a rebellious nature. But, I see their hearts. I understand their pain. I see them as real people, as co-workers, as friends, so my heart aches for them the same way your heart aches for that friend or family member who avoids God at all costs. Like any missionary, I long to see my people saved and changed. Sadly, the message most teachers and gurus in this town give young actors is that they will only be successful if they put acting first and give their lives over to it. Give into rebellion, press your boundaries, etc. As a result the handful of Christians here fight an uphill battle.

    Why God allows a certain few people to become celebrities, win awards and gain the envy of the world (and not others) is beyond me. Only God knows that. He, in His infinite wisdom, does what He does and chooses who He chooses for reasons that are way beyond us. But that’s a whole other conversation for a whole other time (blog topic?). My point is this, the next time you watch a show like the Golden Globes or the Oscars, say a prayer for those involved, especially the winners. Although they look like kings and queens of the world in that moment, they are actually just broken toys. They are deceived even though in that moment everyone thinks they’ve succeeded. They’ve bought into the Hollywood hype. They think they can do it on their own, without God. That person is now set up for a huge fall and ultimate letdown. Pray for them. And, pray for the people who watch and admire them. Pray they aren’t deceived to think that an Oscar win is the ultimate key to happiness and fulfillment. And, pray for those of us out here in Hollywood who work hard to bring truth to people who need it most. Hollywood is an influential town. Pray for those of us trying to redeemed it from the inside out.

    • Mark says:

      Mark, this is an extraordinary piece. Thank you for taking the time to write it. Those of us who don’t live or work in Hollywood can easily become cynical and forget to see actors as needy human beings like ourselves. I hope all the readers of this blog will pray for you and others who are trying to make a difference.

  2. Marg Morris Mitchell says:

    Mark your piece was interesting to say the least but I most admit the Mark who followed with his comments gave me food for thought for sure. It was excellent. I did not watch the show but of course you always see some of the aftermath of it. I have never thought of Hollywood has “Broken Toys” but I am sure it will come to mind more often now.

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