Real Life?


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May 4, 2015

Several news apps reside on my iPad. Casually opening USA Today recently (biding time in an airport), I decided to peruse something besides the front page. I tapped the section called “Life“.

What appeared to my wondering eyes was disconnected from real living – at least the real living I see around me. How do these editors define “life”?

Here’s what I found:

Article about Kim Kardashian’s selfie album with certain “assets” prominently displayed

(Are you kidding? That article was certainly left untapped.)

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Self-importantly presented reviews of movies

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An “is she or isn’t she engaged” story

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Lawsuits in the entertainment world over infringement

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A “save our shows” survey

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Grammy awards minutia

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Someone who wants to see male nudity on HBO

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Pop culture monkeys

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Celebrity tax evaders

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article on some kind of celebrity juvenile bickering

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A lip-syncing story

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I have probably bored you with this.

Yes, here we have an insipid list of supremely forgettable cultural clutter. (There’s more just from this one issue of USA Today, but let’s leave it to fade into tomorrow’s oblivion.)

Could not the title of this section be more accurately named “Entertainment “, or “Silly Diversions”, or “Escape from Reality”?

Do you know what I believe drives this Pursuit of the Unimportant?

It’s the universal longing for transcendence. We are made to worship, and we long for engagement with something or someone bigger than ourselves. The trouble is that we so often look in the wrong places – places that drain rather than give life.

So we feed the need by entering into fantasy ideas about other people’s so-called lives, dumping a random selection of them into a newspaper section entitled “Life”.

When we misdirect our built-in need to worship, we muddle into mediocrity and meaninglessness. Without meaning, what we have left is an endless round of daily trivial pursuit and escapism. (Or in some cases, violence and endless criminal activity.)

Real life has nothing to do with what USA Today editors evidently think it is.

There’s a better way!

I’d be happy to introduce you to it. Or rather, to Him.

Photos: David Yu on Flickr. All the rest are the author’s iPad screenshots of the April 16, 2015 USA Today “Life” section.
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