Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Honest idolatry

Jonathan Christopher writes incisively about advertising and idolatry. As an example, he looks at a recent Harley-Davidson ad:
The idea that sculpted metal and rubber from a factory in Milwaukee is going to unleash your soul is so over the top ludicrous that it travels past ridiculous and comes all the way back to hilarious.

And I'm cool with Harley. I think they have a great brand, an amazingly loyal fan base and an important role in American pop culture. I like all those things, but what I like the most is how upfront they are about wanting to be your idol. Rarely does something desiring our adoration come right out and say, "Think of me less as a motorcycle and more as a soul liberation machine."

I wish all our idols were that obvious. I wish that when I got a glimpse of something I was tempted to idolize, I would laugh at it like I laughed at that Harley Davidson ad and move on. But I usually don't. Usually I sit and stay awhile. I feed my idol an hour here, an hour there until it grows big enough to start eating weeks and months. Even something that starts good, like a new job opportunity, can grow into a monster of attention, as I start to ask it to rescue me, to save me from boredom and give me adventure and happiness and complete me. To unleash my soul.

If I'm being honest, the book I'm writing and this blog are two things I constantly find myself attempting to idolize.
Indeed. I recommend reading the whole essay. And thanks to finding grace for the link.


Post a Comment

<< Home