The “holidays” are over, so that means it’s awards season, and for some unfathomable reason I found myself watching the Golden Globe Awards show Jan. 5. I think it had to do with some interesting movies that are out this year, movies I actually took the time to watch.
But I knew by watching this television broadcast, I would have to wade through a mire of brave political and socially conscious rhetoric by brave actors and actresses preaching to a choir in lockstep.
I was disappointed that some of the movies I liked did not garner much love from the Golden Globes; that’s showbiz. But I was not disappointed in my expectation that I would be exposed to a wide array of issues-oriented show people with whom I find very little common ground to share.
With OneLife LA set to take place on the 18th of this month, it probably warrants a temperature check of where we are as a popular culture when it comes to life issues. The Golden Globes, a measurement of popular culture with Richter Scale accuracy, was a data-rich environment for all manner of predictable political points of view as well as a very telling synopsis of where the popular culture stands on life.
Upon accepting a golden idol, I mean statue, an actress thanked the culture that provided the abortion she had as a younger woman so she could pursue her life on her terms. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose, to choose when to have my children, and with whom,” she said to great applause.
There she stood, being acclaimed by her peers not only for her achievement in long-form television, but for her act of terminating a pregnancy so a young girl with big dreams could one day stand in front of the whole world and be adored.
No point in getting angry over this sentiment, which takes the relatively new phenomena of virtue signaling to new heights, or depths, as the case may be. Better off using that energy in prayer for the little one who didn’t get a chance to pursue her own dreams so that her mother might receive a golden statue.
And we need to keep this actress in our prayers, too. One day she may understand just what kind of choice she made, and if she does she will need prayer more than she ever imagined.
This is the world the young people and the not so young people who will be attending OneLife LA events are up against. And if that isn’t daunting enough, it seems popular culture is once again crossing the double yellow lines into the diamond lane of decline with news that the world’s first human-composting funeral home is set to open in 2021.
It makes sense. A culture that champions the taking of a life for the furthering of a career would also see the inconvenient fact of getting rid of a body as something that needs to be rectified in a scientific and ecologically sensitive fashion.
In ancient Rome, when a senator lost a political fight or a general lost his legion to an army of crazed Celts or Germanic tribespeople, they usually paid for their failures with their lives. This was in keeping with ancient Rome’s normative pagan view of life. Ironically though, it seems the ancient Romans could teach us a thing or two about the popular culture’s view of death.
Even the bodies of these senators or counsels, or of a murdered dictator perished under unseemly circumstances, were treated with respect and a modicum of ceremony. Granted, the same could not be said for Rome’s external enemies; ask the Carthaginians.
But with this 21st-century version of paganism, all bodies, friend and foe alike, are in for the dehumanizing treatment. They even have one of those wonderful Orwellian words for it. The firm that hopes to open its first funeral home offering this service calls it “Recomposing” and claims it can turn your loved one into a cubic yard of fertilizer in just one month — and it’s good for the environment!
Why not? If an unborn baby can be nothing but an obstacle to a young actress’s dreams of fame and fortune, why not put your Great-Aunt Bertha’s mortal remains to good use in the rose garden?
Only problem is the pope and the Church keep reminding us that life means life from conception to natural death. And disrespecting our mortal coils, which the Church also teaches will, God willing, be resurrected in perfection, is a life issue as well, even if it is an everlasting life one.