Sorry to talk about Heidi again. But I learn so much from reality TV – like Project Runway. The producers are certainly not trying to teach me how to live in Christ, but they just can’t help it. For instance, one of the things the judges on PR frequently tell designers is this: “I can’t see you in this dress.” Or “You seem to have lost your voice. I can’t tell what you are saying. You’re collection does not tell a story.” I have watched enough clever people on this show by now that I totally know what Zac Posen is talking about when he is frustrated like that (God help me).
He is talking about insecure or lazy people doing what the design book says, or mimicking something they think will please the judges, or channeling someone else’s brilliant idea. That’s not good enough. To win the show, you need to be a creative designer who takes something in a new direction, hopefully one in line with the latest zeitgeist or your own aesthetic that you hope will become fashion. You need to show up, not just sew things. You need to create with a vision, not just plug what you’ve been taught into the design you imagine someone else thinks is right.
Fortunately, I never have to sit in the judge’s seat and rate the work of people in our church, or the church in general. (I’m plenty judgmental, but that is a sin, not an obligation). Because if our work got on the runway, I am sure I would need to say about some of it, “Your heart is not in this. Where is your inspiration? What makes this as creative as your creator?”
Continue reading “I can’t see you in it” : A heart is more than a performance
I discovered the other night at the Love Feast that I might lose a couple of friends if I betrayed who won Project Runway last Thursday. Life is now DVR’d so there is no shared sense of real time — I forget these things. I am forbidden to disturb the perfect isolation of someone’s relationship with the screen. So now that I am down a few lines and have issued the spoiler alert, it was Sean from New Zealand, not Amanda from Nashville, Kini from Hawaii or Char from Detroit.
The manual for my mission field
I don’t watch the show because I root for a winner. I never know why someone wins anyway (although I do think it should have been Amanda this time). I watch the show for it’s message. It is such a perfect piece of capitalist propaganda that it is a priceless manual for my mission field.
I was talking about the show the other day and yet another person gave me that “I’m-trying-not-to-get-into-this-with-you” look. But they could not resist. “Why do you watch that show? Isn’t it about fashion design?” The unspoken question was, “Pastor, you are into fashion design? Aren’t all those fashion people the definition of godless?” I told them, “I watch it to learn things.” Yes, Heidi Klum is still beautiful and I am fond of Tim Gunn; and it is amazing that these artists can make practical art out of anything in no time at all — those are also good reasons to watch. But mostly, I am listening for what people are being taught, and Project Runway sums up America in 90 minutes each episode — 45 of which I actually view. (Thank you inventers of the DVR; I can skip most of the relational drama the film editors concoct).
Continue reading What Americans are like: Project Runway demonstrates the list