LeBron James, who for seven years has dazzled the NBA with his skills, yet without leading his Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title, will sign with the Miami Heat for probably a bazillion dollars.
His motivation, as he put it, is to win multiple titles with his pals in Miami. One has to wonder how Miami Heat brass decided he might actually be able to do that, since, in spite of dominating the league in many ways, he hasn't done it yet. Some great basketball players actually do lead their teams to multiple NBA titles - Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, and a few others come to mind. Is LeBron James of this caliber?
Well, who knows? For me the story in this situation is not the move to Miami. It's all the hype and drama surrounding the move to Miami. A good many Americans seem to have cared a great deal about this announcement, or so, at least, ESPN thought. It gave an hour of prime time for Mr. James to set up and reveal his much-anticipated decision. Our local news primed us for this report five minutes into their hour broadcast, then held off the story until half-way through their program.
The amount of money and face time commanded by pop culture in this country tells us a lot about the country. Fun, splash, winning, hype, hip - we're all about such things. But I suppose this facet of our culture wouldn't be "pop" if there weren't such a widespread fanatical attachment to it.
Should there be such an attachment? Should we have loftier tastes in culture? Should New York City have only one classical music station? Should the same poetry books sit on the shelves of my local bookstore, untouched and unmoved for years? Should vampire movies sell more tickets than the local symphony? I may just be whining and complaining out of my own cultural preferences.
But it's a question worth pondering. After all, culture exerts a powerful molding effect on hearts, minds, and consciences. We should all be rather more circumspect about the culture we keep.
But then, that would require something more than fun. That would require thinking, and, for the Christian, learning to think about his cultural activities through the lens of Scripture. But that would require a deep and growing understanding of Scripture. And to get that we'd have to put aside some of the pop culture that commands so much of our time and affections.
Perhaps LeBron James will lead the Heat to multiple titles. I hope I don't care one way or the other.
T. M. Moore
- T.M. Moore
- July 9, 2010
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore