Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Amazing Spider Faith

I settled in on the Amtrak Palmetto for my half-day ride back to DC.  There'd just a handful of other souls on board at the tiny crossroads of Yemasee, the first stop on the line, and the front car was pretty much empty.

I found a seat that was optimally spaced at a window, all the better to watch the sweet decay of the American South roll by for the next eleven hours.

In between writing my sermon and prepping for a funeral, I read Max Tegmark's mindbending Our Mathematical Universe and...when that seemed to be bending my mind a little too much...mucked around on Facebook.  Next to me on the seat, a complementary USA Today, which I idly picked through.  

On the cover, there was a teaser pic and headline about Emma Stone’s ability to “stay Zen,” which led--once I’d read through the rest of the paper--into a lead-story bit of infotainment publicist fluff describing her meditation life.  She sounded bright and pleasant enough, but of course, this is just part of the massive media campaign to hype the latest summer mega-blockbuster.

It’s why she was on Fallon, as the many links I was pitched a few days ago marked for me.  When you see a person everywhere, someone somewhere is trying to sell you something.  When you see someone doing something OMG-They-Just-TOTALLY-ROCKED-IT with Jimmy Fallon, that is doubly true.

I half read it, then drifted back into social media.

And the first thing I saw was an article from the Religion News Service about the “faith of Emma Stone.”  Huh.  I clicked the link, wondering how the pitch would go.

Amazingly enough, the article mentioned that she might have faith.  Might. Sort of. It was curious about it. And then it mentioned that she had starred once in a movie that sort of referenced faith, in an indirect way, and Ms. Stone had commented on that indirect reference in passing in an interview years ago.

It certainly mentioned that she was starring in The Amazing Spider Man 2, potentially the biggest blockbuster of the summer.

But there was no evidence that Ms. Stone had actually talked to the Religion News Service.  Just that a media packet had circulated.  Which was dutifully passed on, as marketing is, lightly glossed to seem faith-esque as it was pitched to the faith demographic.

Sigh.  I suppose I did click on that link, so I’ve got no-one to blame but myself.