Monday, February 11, 2008

why I hate "You've Got Mail" and what has that got to do with ecclesiology? or politics?

No, it's not just because it happened to hit theaters just when Brent and I were starting to get serious with the emailing.

Honestly, I hate it because cute little Meg Ryan is all feminine-ly helpless in the face of male aggression--and the culmination of the plot is her seduction by the indifferent corporate villain and her assimilation into the children's section of a bland outsized bookstore. And we're supposed to be happy about it. Because, it's a romantic comedy. She falls in love, so it's all okay.

I, however, don't want to be assimilated.

I hope there are some folks out there who don't want that either.

***

Watching the Super Fat Tuesday coverage I happened to hear a news anchor sum up Huckabee's appeals to voters as "vote for me, I'm the candidate who's most like you." It seemed to be offered as a genuinely straightforward description, which made it all the more horrifying. In direct contrast to Obama's deliberate work to pull together a coalition that celebrates the diversity in its ranks, the strategy of "vote for me I'm like you" is revealed as a base xenophobic appeal. In my most polite and understated euphemism ever: YUCK.

***

If you were to talk about the nature of church, and the task of drawing people into deeper and more meaningful involvement in church, (is this the task? to get people involved in church?), what ecclesial vocab springs to mind? Incorporation into the body of Christ? Ingrafting into the kingdom of God? Full inclusion in the community of saints?

Or if we were really honest would we talk about assimilating people into our group so they'll be just like us?

8 comments:

Steve said...

It's easier to trust what we think we know. I think that was formerly G. W.'s appeal a few years ago. Judging from the prayers at church back then I got the idea that they thought "he's one of us" and that Jesus was sitting on his shoulders giving instructions. I find Huck appealing on several levels. He doesn't seem to be in lock step with idealogical conservatives and he is creative. But, ultimately I cannot go with him. He called Rush Limbaugh a great American and he apparently agrees with the religious right on most everything.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kel said...

i like independent bookstores, but i also worked at the barn and didn't think it was necessary for people to tell me about it. they'd snap, "i'm only shopping here because tattered cover doesn't have this in stock right now. otherwise i hate patronizing this place." what was i supposed to say? "get a grip. that'll be $32.57."

about involvement, i always liked what a friend said, "you attract people to what you attract them with." assuming attracting and drawing are the same thing, i really only like the idea of drawing in people with love because God is love. even if you define church as our relationship to each other, church is the setting for people to find and give love so that God is revealed. as for why, it's not so we'll all be alike but so God's will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. as for vocab, participating in the revealing of God through love. not exactly catchy, but i'm outta words.

JTB said...

thanks for a much more thoughtful comment than this post really deserved. there's a subtext to my grousing that I don't feel I can make fully explicit, which would make the whole thing make much more sense. this was really an exercise in indulging my need for emotional dumping while trying very hard not to speak out of turn...

kel said...

no, thank you. your blog indulges my need for intellectual dumping. my days don't offer much in the way of requiring thought.

Matt Elliott said...

"get a grip. that'll be $32.57."

That's hilarious!

martistanley said...

First off, I will admit, I absolutely love "You've Got Mail". I will not address what you took away from the movie, you are right about those attributes. But I will tell you what I took away from the movie. I love local places, we try to support local stores as much as possible. So, I loved how the movie portrayed the 'Shoppe Around the Corner' as being a personal store. They had story time, recommendations of books and what order to read them, personal pictures of the store decades before hanging on the wall and even allowed a customer to use her handkerchief. That's personal! And that is truly what you get at a local store. The workers know each other on a personal level and truly care about each other. I love that they made such a big deal of how the shoppe attributed to the community. Now, I did not like that the store closed. Even though in reality, I know local businesses are closing all the time due to Wal-Mart's and other chain stores attracting people with lower prices.

I think what makes the movie charming is the simplicity of a good family owned business and it's contribution to society. You can tell that area of town is small by the fact they walk to work, shop at the farmer's market, and continually cross paths. The love story didn't do much for me nor the store closing. The small town feel of a local business in the midst of a big city is what I enjoyed about the movie. My hopes is that it makes people look for those small locally owned shoppes in their own towns and cities. After all, doesn't everyone crave that personal attention and great knowledge of the product when they go to the store?

JTB said...

Here's hoping that's what people crave in a church as well...