Sunday, May 5, 2013

Everything Wants To Be Noticed

Ever notice how, on family sitcoms, that children seem to invent wild and crazy plans to get in or out of trouble? Somehow sneaking on a train to Los Angeles to be on some silly reality show, or using lifelike wax figures of the kids to be in bed while they go off to some big party (Shake it Up and ANT Farm respectively) And no matter how inept the parents are (and believe me, some of the Disney Channel parents are incredibly inept, almost too much so), they find out about the deception and the kids get in trouble.  Of course, there's the inevitable finding out about whatever trouble-making is going on.  Let's take Good Luck Charlie as an example. Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry) releases crickets into the library (one of the best lines delivered on that show, "Library's quiet, crickets are noisy... you try things."), or he pours superglue on his neighbor's front porch. He doesn't really think he's gonna get away with it, does he? Gabe does it for the attention, to be noticed. It's obvious the reasoning is that he's the middle of 4 (or 5) kids, so he does mischievous things to stand out. Then there's the older two, PJ (Jason Dolley) and Teddy (Bridgit Mendler), who try throwing parties when their parents are out of town.  A social ploy, hoping to get noticed in high school. Course, all that ever happens is the parents punishing them.  I remember giving my brother a haircut... all over the kitchen floor.  Course, I didn't think I was going to get into trouble then (probably because I wasn't thinking.), but I did.  If there's one thing that Disney Channel shows have in common, it's that actions have consequences. Inevitably, the kids on those shows do the right thing, even if it takes them a while.

The truth is, as Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock sang on the song, everything wants to be noticed. Its the reason pain is there, a cry for help in the nervous systems in the body.  It's why the clunks and clangs of a car before it breaks down, the grinding of the break pads. Ignore them, and the heart gets worse, the car breaks down.  And people feel the need to be noticed, too.  Even if it means doing something negative, they are noticed.  I feel so badly for those actors who, when they think their careers aren't going anywhere, or not fast enough, do something outrageous to get noticed by the press. The media become the enablers who broadcast stupidity around the world.

Speaking of stupidity, there's a group of child "stars," who feel that being noticed is the apex of their lives.  The internet is quite willing to help them.  Youtube lets us see into the everyday lives of people all around the world.  Amazing, to some extent, as you're able to see how people live in different countries, to see the beauty of mankind and of nature.  Let's focus on one kid, Sam Porttorff, who is famous just for blabbering on Youtube.  He's part of a group of "youtubers" called "Our Second Life."  This is not to say they don't have talent, but they haven't got picked up by any agencies for movies or music or anything.  They stay online and talk about their lives.  Sam has quite a bit of talent, but I think he's going to wasted it trying to get noticed. Take a look at this video, of a trip with his friends to San Diego.  It's the camera work that's amazing, the perspective of the world through the lens.  It brings you along with him, to the beaches and the boardwalks of that California city.

Now go look at any of the related videos afterward, of him chugging Arizona Tea until he vomits, or the endless lip-syncing of the latest Justin Beiber hit.  It's a complete waste of his talent, just so the girls will oogle over him.  And when he grows up? What then? When the teens fall away to some other pre-shaven pre-adolescent whose only desire is to look cute and to be noticed? He will have nothing but the desperation to have what he once had, which drives those like Lohan to act out in negative ways.  Or he can take the gifts he has now and develop them into artwork, into something truly special.  It's his choice, and he'll probably make more money just having girls oogle over him, but at the cost of what happiness?

To return to being noticed... social media does a lot to exacerbate that feeling.  Detectives often find the perpetrators of crimes through their bragging on Facebook or Twitter.  Acts of vandalism here in my county are often solved, and the people arrested, because they brag about spray painting the football field on their social media sites, and someone turns them in.  People do bad things to be noticed, and it's remarkable, since the Internet is triumphed as a place of anonymity.  Be free to say anything you want! Do anything you want to do! No one's watching! Create fake accounts to cyber-bully those in your school, causing undue harm upon them.  Shout obscenities at celebrities who are only trying to reach out to their fans, and do it just because.... to see what happens.  It's all done to see the results of those actions.  To brag to friends, "Look what I did! He/She deleted his/her Twitter account, all because of me! What power I have!!" They want to be noticed.

Davis Cleveland (Shake it Up) has had even worse problems, with someone actually hacking into his social media accounts and taking them over, and worse, effecting his bank accounts and other personal property. And since, supposedly, you can be anonymous online, they can't be caught.  Or so they think.  Most people don't take into consideration that the trail we leave online is traced, logged, and stored in massive databases in case the police need to use it as evidence.  Even if someone uses a VPN server, it's still possible, with a lot of work, to track through the real IP address of the person involved.  In fact, in today's world, I doubt that the people involved in hacking Davis' accounts failed to recognize that fact.  I think they wanted to be noticed.  To say, "This is what I've done!! Look at me!" even while they are led off to jail. The problem is, they will get noticed, but for the very opposite from what they  wanted.

At the end of every Disney show, after the shenanigans and the mischievousness, friends make up, parents and children hug, even after the grounding, and everything's okay.  To look at it through a Christian's eyes, it's about forgiveness.  It's about hoping that these people, who are so full of desperation and negativity, will be noticed by people who love them, not who hate them.  We all need to be loved by someone, by family, friends, our Lord.  And we are, but never seem to realize that.  It would be interesting to see who the person behind Davis' hacking was, why they did it, and what their lives are really like. I think we would see that it's not hate from the world they want, but love from the few people around them.