Searching for My Moment or Rebecca Black and the Vanity of Western Culture

If you haven’t heard already, Rebecca Black is “about to blow up” and she wants everybody to know about it.  All of you “haters” out there who said, “see you later,” are, in fact, total losers and she wants you to bemoan the fact that she is doing things you never dreamed of.  What’s the secret to her success?  As she explains it: she just “trusted herself” and forgot everyone else, and, as a result, she is now having her moment . . .

The egotistical lyrics of overnight sensation Rebecca Black’s new song, My Moment, are simply a reflection of the vanity of Western culture and the yearnings of a superficial generation.  Now, more than ever, our youth desire to have “their moment”–to be famous, to be glamorous, to be sexy, to be the locus of everyone’s attention–and they will stop at nothing until they do.   In fact, today’s youth feel that their life is somehow incomplete or unimportant without some sort of material or “social” success.

This self-centered mindset is a direct outgrowth of our tendency to teach children that maintaining a high level of self-esteem is the primary goal of life.  Unsurprisingly, our children now believe that they are, in fact, the center of the universe and will stop at nothing to attain life experiences which reinforce this. Our obsession with self-esteem, coupled with the rampant materialism pervasive in our culture, has given rise to a generation of narcissistic hedonists whose sole purpose in life is to have “their moment.”  “Surely I will be happy with myself,” it is believed, “ if I had a voice like her or a sexy body like him or an expensive new car or money or power or success . . . if I could just have my moment!”

The question is, what happens if you never have “your moment?”  What happens if you never become the next American Idol, or make music videos, or attend parties with famous celebrities?  Do these things really have anything substantial to do with your value or worth as a person?

What if Rebecca Black had never been invited to perform her song Friday on the Today Show?  What if her music video had been deleted from youtube?  What if she never had “her moment?”  Would she then have no value or worth as a person?  Would she have no purpose or shot at true happiness?  Would the “haters” have won?  It is when we ask these questions that we begin to see the utter futility in attaching all of our value and worth to finite things.

The fact of the matter is, the things of this world are transitory; they do not last forever.  Fame is fleeting, beauty eventually fades, pleasure lasts only for a season, we grow old, we die . . . Besides, there are only a few of us who will ever experience a “moment” like Rebecca Black anyways–I am quite certain that I will never  know what it is like to dance in a music video or attend a celebrity ball.  Does this mean my life is empty?  Does this mean I have no value as a person?  Does this mean my existence is totally meaningless?

The answer, of course, is a resounding “No!”  Our value and worth, as human beings, is rooted in the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God; and nothing in life will ever change this amazing fact about our nature.  No level of material success, or lack thereof, will ever add to or diminish the fact that we are all intrinsically valuable and unfathomably loved by our Creator.  No amount of fame or fortune could possibly outshine the deep, infinite, and self-sacrificing love demonstrated by our Creator who became incarnate for us and suffered and died for us.  No amount of power or fame or sex appeal will ever work as a substitute for the relationship with God that we all yearn for.

When all is said and done, the only “moment” that we truly need or which will bring us eternal satisfaction is the moment we recognize that we need Jesus.

4 thoughts on “Searching for My Moment or Rebecca Black and the Vanity of Western Culture

  1. Thanks for the heads up Joel! I knew she was making a video, and like the last one, she has far more “dislikes” than “likes”. Also over 22 million hits so far.
    I also like Sadie B’s parody of Friday, too.
    I wouldn’t lump every kid into a group of self-absorbed zombies, although it may seem like most teenagers are self-absorbed zombies sometimes. Everyone has their “moment”. Marriage, birth of a child, promotion at work. It’s good if moments grow over time, not just a flash in the pan.
    BTW: I changed AKron to A3Kr0n.

  2. I love what G.K Chesterton says about this in his chapter The Maniac in his book Orthodoxy:

    “Believing in oneself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter …..When this kindly world all round the man has been blackened out like a lie; when friends fade into ghosts, and the foundations of the world fail; then when the man, believing in nothing and in no man, is alone in his own nightmare, then the great individualistic motto shall be written over him in avenging irony. The stars will be only dots in the blackness of his own brain; his mother’s face will be only a sketch from his own insane pencil on the walls of his cell. But over his cell shall be written, with dreadful truth, “he belives in himself.” ~ Orthodoxy

    I see this more and more in my time studdying youth culture in school as well as witnessing idols and cultural icons pass and fade over time, and their faces and idolized art are replaced by the up and coming … they fade into the shadows of the limelight and do whatever possible, at their own detriment, to gain back publicity. Even if it’s the bad publicity, at least their name is known once again. This is one thing that Christ came to do, to save us from ourselves and our sheepish stupidity of selflove. The more we love ourselves, the more we loathe ourselves because others don’t love us to the capacity we worship ourselves.

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