Nihilism and the Bible: The Vanity of Fame

In kicking off this series on Ecclesiastes, I can think of no better example than current events. CNN has put up an excellent article concerning how fame is fleeting. A few of my favorite snippets:

The triple-decker sandwiches at the Stage have traditionally been named for famous men and women. The idea is to appeal to customers whose eyes will be drawn to an item on the menu because of the celebrity associated with it.

So I asked Auerbach about the No. 8 — the sandwich called the Katie Couric. It features turkey, ham and swiss cheese.

It wasn’t always known as the Katie Couric, Auerbach said. Its name was changed in recent years from what it was formerly called. Diners, it seemed, were no longer quite as attracted to the old name of the No. 8:

The Marilyn Monroe.

Milton Berle, 60 years ago, was as famous as a person could be in the United States. He was the first major television star — magazines and newspapers referred to him as Mr. Television. His Tuesday evening broadcasts were so popular that in some cities, restaurants and movie theaters closed their doors on that night because they couldn’t compete with him.

The world and all of its rewards were his, and so was the No. 12 at the Stage Deli: roast beef, chopped liver, onion. No one’s eyes could scan the big menu without stopping at the Milton Berle.

But that was long ago. The No. 12 has a different name now, one with more cachet:

The James Gandolfini.

“The celebrity thing is hard to keep up with,” Auerbach said. “It used to be that fame lasted for 30 or 40 years. Now, it seems to pop up and then it’s gone. Someone like Britney Spears comes along, and everyone is talking about her, and next thing you know you don’t hear her name and everyone’s talking about someone else.”

For all the hyperbolic verbiage during that LeBron James television special (“You’re now looking live at the king”), for all the incomprehensible financial figures being thrown around about other NBA players who recently have agreed to terms (one, it was said, signed a six-year deal for $123 million, another signed a four-year deal for $80 million), perhaps a small dose of perspective is needed. Continue reading


The priorities and consequences of an empty culture

As I write this, major newspapers are accepting the idea that we are heading into a great economic depression. Though we don’t know how bad the depression will be, the fact we are heading into one becomes more and more apparent each day. Likewise, we currently have an administration that simply is not adequately tasked to handle a depression. Though we must continually pray for President Obama and show respect towards the office of the presidency, we must admit that Mr. Obama has shown himself inadequate to deal with crises, whether they be domestic or foreign.

In light of the economic collapse, we have all but lost the Gulf Coast to oil. Fishermen cannot fish, tourist attractions are shut down, and the economy is being hit even harder in our Southern states. We are now sitting almost four month out after the oil spill and the well has yet to be capped, which prevents clean up. Where is the Federal Government to help protect our shorelines, to help protect our borders? Where is the public out cry that the Federal Government has failed to secure our borders once again, which is their Constitutional imperative.

We are shutting down parts of Arizona because our government has failed to prevent drug traffickers and human traffickers from coming across our border. By being inactive we have become complicit with the action that enslaves thousands of humans every year. Believe what you will about illegal immigration – for those that follow this site they understand that I am in high support of immigration – it is the duty of the government to protect the borders and they have failed in that duty (and this is not just Mr. Obama’s fault, this spans back through multiple administrations).

We are facing a justice department that is out of control, threatening to violate the Constitutional right to be protected from double jeopardy just so the administration can pander to a voting base. This same justice department is suing Arizona for the belief that Arizona is overstepping its Constitutional bounds (which I do believe Arizona is doing that), but then doing nothing to fulfill their own duty to protect the borders.

We have multiple states on the verge of bankruptcy and in fact our own nation is on the verge of bankruptcy. We have citizens who’s entire lifestyle is based upon what has been loaned to them. They do not truly own most of their toys and were the economic rug pulled out from under them, they would have nothing to fall upon.

We are engaged in two wars with the potential for two other major conflicts to open up (Iran and Korea). Our diplomatic currency is so low that we are struggling to negotiate peaceful terms with either nation. Were war to break out, we would not be in a position to aid our allies or prevent a greater evil. Continue reading