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Where there are celebrities, there are bound to be fans, and the more well-known the celebrity, the greater number of fans. As long as there are talented, beautiful, wealthy people alive, there will be those who adore them.

Keira Knightley

But should a Christian man or woman become a fan of anyone? I suppose that depends on the definition of “fan” (not the instrument that produces wind), and what type of fan you are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a fan as:

Main Entry: 3fan
Function:noun
Etymology: probably short for fanatic
Date:1682
1 : an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator 2 : an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit) <science-fiction fans>

Referring to the second definition, I personally think that there are different types of fans with varying levels of enthusiasm for the recipient(s) of their affections. These levels include:

1) The Casual Fan: someone who likes the celebrity for their talent, artistry, and/or good looks but doesn’t devote a lot of time or attention to thinking about them.

2) The Groupie: Someone who is devoted enough to a celebrity to join a fan site and keep up with the latest news about them. This person might write the celebrity, attend their concerts and/or movies, make friends with other fans, participate in fund raising for the celebrity’s charities, and devote their talents and time to creating celebrity inspired graphics, crafts, fan fiction, and other creations.

3) The Fan Leader: Someone who starts their own fan site or forum for the celebrity, and remains devoted to him/her for years, doing all of the things that Level 2 fans do and more, and often leading the fan initiatives. This type of fan can often become a liaison between the celebrity and the rest of the fans. They are also often die-hard fans who will stick with the celebrity no matter what the celebrity does or what happens to them.

4) The Stalker: Someone who cannot distinguish between their own reality and their obsession with the celebrity. They will go to great lengths to meet their idol in person, even if it is by criminal means. They will also become very upset if anyone suggests that their idol isn’t perfect.

Of course these levels of fanaticism are fluid and are not absolute. Another name for Level 4 is Celebrity Worship Syndrome. In the course of my lifetime I have been a serious fan (Level 2) of two celebrities in total, and I can attest that their fandom operated like the congregation of a church (or a kingdom). Worship and imitation abounded, and those who dared to complain or criticize were not treated very nicely unless that criticism was tempered with adoration. Politics was rampant, with certain fans bullying and silencing other fans for the slightest of “infractions”.

My fellow fans of these two celebrities were mostly women (many were over the age of 30), and many of them were conservative and/or Christians. Many became good friends and shared their successes, sorrows, health issues, and general life’s travails, and prayed for each other. Yet when it came to the object of their affection, certain Christian proprieties went out the window. Many lusted after the celebrity’s appearance and would indulge in discussions about his body parts. One Christian woman confessed that ever since she became a fan, she had started using the F– word a lot, just like her idol did. Many religious fans I knew remained blind to a celebrity’s antics even after it was clear that the fame had gone to his head. And of course, there was the catty gossip about other fans. In one case, it resulted in cyberbullying and cyberharassment of a fan for several weeks.

I usually do not become a fan of any celebrity, because their lifestyle and values often do not match mine. Out of the two celebrities I admired, one was an actor and the other a singer. I liked both of them because I thought we had some shared values or personal traits. But the actor became a diva after he made it to the big time, and the singer has started to go down the slippery slope into the mud with his formerly clean image. I am no longer a fan of the actor and will probably soon no longer be a fan of the singer, also.

In general I think it is okay for a Christian to be a Level 1 fan and admire someone for their talent, character, and even beauty (in a non-lustful way). But I don’t think it should go beyond that, or else we might be in danger of (1) worshiping the created rather than the Creator (Exodus 20:4), (2) following and imitating men instead of God, which is a problem even within the church (1 Corinthians 3: 4-5), (3) indulging in ungodly conversations (James 1:26), (4) committing the sin of lust (Matthew 5:28), and (5) pinning our joy and hopes on sinners who will fail us (Jeremiah 17:5).

Celebrities are just “mere men,” like us, even though often they are treated like gods. And what does the Bible say about the “gods”? Psalm 82:6-7 says:

I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’

But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler.

Proverbs 14:8 says, ” The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Most likely we will never have a personal relationship with a celebrity, but we can still pray for them. To do any more than that–to revolve one’s life and/or thoughts around them–or to merely look to them for some temporary happiness or as an escape from reality is foolish and will disappoint in the end. As Psalm 62:5 says, ” Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”

I wrote my last post not anticipating anyone reading it, really, since the Danish royal family is quite unknown in the United States. But thank you to all who came by and found it of interest to you. I have noticed that so far my posts about celebrities have attracted the most attention, which is not surprising. We live in a day and age where we are fascinated by the rich and famous and their highs and lows in life. Unless you live like a hermit and have cut off all access to the outside world, it is hard not to hear of the latest news about someone somewhere. Ask a young person if they want to become rich and famous in the future and most likely they will say yes. Hairstyles and trends become popular because of celebrities. They become role models, whether they want to or not.

In my next post I will discuss my views on celebrities and fans.

I live in Southern California, which has had some wild and wacky weather this past week. It was only last week that temperatures were so high that I had to turn on the air conditioner. In contrast, right now temperatures have dropped by 15-20 degrees and it’s been sprinkling rain.

On Wednesday (5/21) I saw a strong breeze wildly blowing the green branches of the tree next to my window. It had been awhile since we had had wind here, and the swishing of the swirling wind reminded me of the aftermath (or beginning) of typhoons in Taiwan (and thunderstorms in the Midwest). Later I heard that winds had whipped up to 70 miles an hour in some areas.

On Thursday I went to work, and everyone gathered by the window and talked about the strange gloomy weather that beset us and the impending thunderstorms that were coming. One co-worker complained that Weather.com didn’t tell her that it was going to rain. Didn’t she know that weather people are often wrong? My husband later told me that it had thundered throughout the day. Unfortunately, I missed it–we don’t get thunder a lot here. But we did get twin tornadoes that hit an area outside our city (most unusual). I had some co-workers who moved from the Midwest, so we described to our native Californian colleagues what it felt like before a tornado was going to hit–the greenish overcast sky, the damp mugginess in the air, and the absolute stillness. One of my colleagues had once seen a huge tornado while standing atop a hill near her uncle’s house when she was a little girl.

I don’t know if anyone else gets shivers or other bodily or emotional reactions to weather, but I do. The smell of the earth after a heavy rain, a strong wind that waves tree branches about, thunder and lightening, typhoons and tornadoes, they all affect me and evoke emotions that I cannot quite describe in words. I suppose it is similar to the feelings you might get when you curl up beside a fireplace, or the smell of snow in the air, or the scent of spring when it first comes.

Job 28:24-28 says: “for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.

25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,

26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,

27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.

28 And he said to man,
‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.’ ”

I rejoice and marvel at God’s creation–its mysteries, wonder and power. God is truly an awesome God.

Here are two home remedies I have tried for urinary tract infections (UTIs) that really work. Whenever I feel the symptoms of one coming on, I try these.

1) Unsweetened 100% cranberry juice – not the type you normally see on the shelves at your local grocery store. Get 100% unadulterated juice that is unsweetened for the most effective remedy. It tastes awful but has stopped my symptoms for UTIs.

2) A glass of water with a tablespoon of dissolved sea salt (this remedy is courtesy of Earth Clinic) – drink once a day and the pain and symptoms go away. For some people the effect is immediate. In my case, it took care of the pain the first day, and I had a minuscule amount of pressure the second and third days before I did not have any more symptoms.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to honor the woman who gave birth to us, and I believe that with all my heart. So off to the Hallmark store I go, searching for a card that can express my sentiments for my mother the exact right way–not too sweet, sentimental, not too plain, not too gaudy, expresses the honor my mother deserves and doesn’t make light of the day. Aargh! I think Hallmark should start an Asian Mother’s Day card line! Why, you may ask? Because American Mother’s Day cards often contain sentimental, humorous or other touchy-feely verses that convey that your mother was your best friend, or she was always there for you, or she deserves a break, etc. Not that those aren’t important, but those cards often seem to be missing an element of honor and respect for mothers that is important in Asian culture.

I grew up in a family and culture where Mother was someone to be respected, honored, revered—not someone who was necessarily your “best friend”. In fact, my mom laughed when I asked her why we couldn’t be friends, like many American girls were with their moms. So when I read lines like, “you’re as good at being a friend as being a mom”, I have to put the card down, because it doesn’t apply to our relationship. Oh, sure, I could buy it anyway and send it to my mom for the pretty design, but it just wouldn’t be true. I pity the card writer who has to write cards for me.

In short, when one has a more formal, somewhat distant relationship with one’s mother, choosing a Mother’s Day is a delicate affair. One solution for me that has worked is that now that I have a child, I can always send my mother cards from her grandchild. Now that will be a slam-dunk successful strategy for years to come.