Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Exclusive scoop: my one and only reflection on you know who

Thank goodness most of the reflections on the meaning of Michael Jackson have been on the internet - no trees died in vain. My reflection is not actually mine! On ABC's This Week (watched here in NZ Monday evening local time) either Peggy Noonan or Kathleen Parker explained why so many people have been upset by Michael Jackson's death. (In my words) he represents the last of modernism for many people aged 40-ish and over. When he became a celebrity in the late 60s and early 70s literally everyone in the USA knew who he was and what he did. He was, perhaps, the last universal celebrity. Is that true? Is not Barack Obama THE celebrity of our day? So the outpouring of grief is widespread in a way which we will not see again.

Anyway, my point here is not whether that is so (but, surely, there is something in it), but that when we think about things such as ACNA, FCA/GAFCON, and the like in the world of things Anglican, we should relax a little. There will be movements, breakaways, start ups, and ginger groups, but it is the character of our day that none will triumph, none will emerge dominant. Whatever names we use and however we form ourselves into groups, Anglicanism, whether expressed in 'the Anglican Communion' or beyond it will be a mixed bag of differentiated perspectives and scattered allegiances. There is no Michael Jackson to unite us in singing the Lord's song!

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