overhead Friday 13th June 2014
Cappuccino: Late again! I hope you realise you are causing me real misery?
Latté: Am I; how so?
Cappuccino: Well, when you don’t turn up on time, I am forced the read the newspapers provided so thoughtfully by this café.
Latté: What’s so wrong with that? Silent reading has been in and out of fashion in the curriculum over the years.
Cappuccino: It’s alright when I can get the larger papers, but sometimes I am forced to read the smaller ones.
Latté: Larger, smaller? What’s the difference?
Cappuccino: Quality, veracity and newsworthiness is linked to page size.
Cappuccino: Everyone knows that. When you are not here, I am reduced to reading about celebrities.
Latté: Oh dear. Well I’m here now. Remember that some of us are busy steering happy ships of learning. You remember, those jovial communities where everyone is realising their potential.
Cappuccino: Something tells me there is an element of cynicism in your words. A bit like the smaller papers really.
Latté: Anyone who thinks that schools can unlock every child’s potential has no idea of the complex and bizarre aspects of human nature. And that’s just the staff for starters.
Cappuccino: The smaller papers seem to me to have double standards. On one side of the page is a picture of a celebrity sunning herself on a Caribbean beach, whilst on the other side of the page is a disgraced celebrity who has been found to have committed some selfish act.
Latté: It’s not like that all the time, surely?
Cappuccino: Well, mostly. In the paper today there is a 1960s wholesome television personality whom most people adored, whom, it seems, was leading a double life. Then there’s a well respected pop star who, it allegedly turns out, is avoiding paying tax. Then there are two school teachers who have been suspended, over, and I quote, ‘an alleged 'sex tape'’. And most days there is a church minister who has apparently done something incompatible with his calling.
Latté: That’s just the unending desire for ordinary people to worship something or someone, and then see that their idol is flawed, giving themselves a feeling of self-righteousness. They can say, ‘Well, at least I’m not like that’.
Cappuccino: So maybe fame, fortune and flaws go together?
Latté: Romans 3.23 ‘... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,’. When we praise and raise people up onto pedestals, their flaws often become more visible.
Cappuccino: Even squeaky clean celebrities, about which no dirt can be found, can eventually be labelled as bland, boring and out-of date, and consigned to the heap of ‘has-beens’. I wonder what young people make of this current notion of lifting people up so that they come crashing down again?
Latté: Let’s hope that they adopt a more biblical attitude to life, which doesn’t shrink from the facts of the human condition: made in God’s image, fallen in sin, but may be redeemed and restored to new life.
Latté: Which reminds me.
Latté: Next time you come here ...
Latté: Bring your own reading material. Something improving. I know: a book about how to get a fantastic Ofsted report, so that you can have one of those plastic banners tied to the railings outside the school, proclaiming its attributes?
Cappuccino: You mean, how to achieve celebrity status? I think not.
Celebrity Fragility printable version