Posted by: ritagone | April 20, 2011

Lessons from Celebrity Apprentice

Who says you can’t watch programs on TV and learn lessons from them?  I for one find many great teaching moments while, for example, watching the weekly “Celebrity Apprentice” every Sunday night!  Now, now, before you snicker, let me give you a pertinent example: seeing that character flaw sometimes eventually catches up with you, caught right there in front of the cameras for all of the world to realize.

On “Celebrity Apprentice,” it’s not enough that you are one of the top up-and-coming young business people in the country, trying to gain a foothold in Donald Trump’s great empire.  (The greatness of that empire is touted to us each week by none other than Donald Trump himself and his two progeny, Ivanka and Donald Jr., who never seem to disagree with anything their father comes up with, but that’s a whole other story.)  “Celebrity Apprentice” was a divergence a few years ago to beef up falling ratings on the original concept with – you guessed it – celebrities.  But not just any celebrities.  It seems whoever did the casting for these reality shows over the past seasons dug deep and found people who barely qualified as celebs and some who were celebrities by inference only.  But however they managed to get onto the show, they were working for charities, so their appearances managed to have a bit of luster to them rather than sheer venality.  But that’s also another story!

This season perhaps the weirdest celebrity has been Gary Busey, 66-year-old film and television actor, wild-haired, wild-eyed, wild-behaving Gary Busey.  I for one would be afraid to be in a room with him without a bodyguard.  He’s scary.

He’s on an all male team this season of  “Celebrity Apprentice,” against an all-female team.   And it’s as if he has forgotten that there are cameras rolling all the time, because when confronted in the boardroom during the final half hour or so of each show, when Trump questions each team and their members about their task and how it went, how the members related to one another and such, Busey firmly denies any allegations his teammates throw at him.  And they throw plenty of accusations at him, which are all deserved, I might add.

There’s one small problem: it’s all on film.  You and I as the audience heard it; we saw it happen.  So Gary Busey can say it didn’t take place until he’s blue in the face, but we know differently.  We know the truth.

Finally, last week, he got his just rewards: he got fired.  He denied saying some insulting things once too often – among other things that he did wrong during the task – and Trump dismissed him.  Everyone on the team was happy.  I was happy.  (Well, I know, who cares if I was happy?  But justice was served.  Which is my point.)

And then I got to thinking: what would happen if there were cameras following us around, filming us throughout the day, recording each and every conversation, task, all our movements, situations that we get into with people?  Would we appreciate it if at the end of each day that film were edited and presented to a viewing audience for either approval or dismissal?  (I’m not talking about a judgment by Donald Trump here, but persons of a higher standard.  Maybe a jury of your peers at church, in your community, at work, in your home, family members, or…shudder to think of this: Jesus.)

Somehow in some bizarre way this thought process seems more plausible to me sometimes than the thought of Jesus registering each and every conversation and action of my day, because – to be honest —  in my mind it’s hard to always understand how He deals with so many people in the world on a daily basis, filtering all that information and making assessments and analyzing it all.  Yet I know that He’s doing a much better job than Donald Trump!

I know, I know, it’s not always that black and white, that clear-cut.  Sometimes people get away with the most heinous crimes and misdemeanors (to quote Woody Allen), even some that are caught on film or tape.  Sometimes, as Scripture warns us, the righteous are struck and the unrighteous go scot free.  We live in a world that just isn’t fair.  Don’t look for justice, because you won’t always find it.

And yet, once in a while, just when you’re shaking your head at the unfairness of it all, you watch a very inane show like “Celebrity Apprentice” and it pays off because there’s a bit of poetic justice: the guy who lied and abused people and did wrong things gets caught and gets “thrown off the island.”  And you feel – for just a brief but wonderful moment related to this topic of justice – that God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world.

And if you want to make that feeling last, don’t you dare turn on the news or open a newspaper.

Have a great rest of the week!


Many regards!



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