Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's All About the Haircuts

John Burke on TV
Originally uploaded by Darrell
Some buddies from church leaned on me hard until I agreed to spend a couple of days squeezing work in around a Christian-based "Leadership Summit." We didn't go to the actual event (it's in Chicago), but watched presenters like John Burke here on a big-screen TV.
(I figured it was okay to go to this thing since a senior vice president at work offered it up as a good idea).
The messages are valuable on many levels and I'm convinced that I will be glad I participated, but I am slightly annoyed by several distractions.
First: we are in a church watching this on TV. It's a big TV, but it's still...well, you know, a TV! So these guys get all preachy and motivaty (motivaty?) and then make a big point and finish with a flourish...and then the people around me START APPLAUDING! Um, Dude? Do you clap at movies? THEY'RE ON TV! THEY CANNOT HEAR YOU!
It's making me insane.
Then, there are the haircuts. All these speakers have these perfect heads of hair, a couple of the do's apparently just caked with product. And my man Burke here has this little soul patch thing going on. They're just too cool and perfect and good lookin' for me.
Honestly, I know it's me, but I'm having a hard time taking Mr. Soul Patch seriously.
The last thing that's bugging me: every one of these guys is selling a CD or a DVD or a series of books. Their messages are valuable, but they lose credibility with me every time they say something like, "I don't have time to go into that in depth here, but there's more about it in the book." Really? How convenient for me. It's nice that you made those materials available at your cost. Wait? What? That's not.....oh, sorry.
Call me a cynic (because I am), but I promise to go back and listen with an open mind, an open heart and a closed wallet. Can I get an amen?

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Workman said...

Several points.

First, "amen."

Second, you were in TV news how long? And perfect hair with a lot of product in it frightens you? You must have lived much of your professional life in utter terror.

Third, we Mormons have something called General Conference twice a year and it is broadcast from Salt Lake City via sat. It is a bit odd sitting in a church watching TV. But it's much less weird than what we had to to back in New York before we got connected. We sat in an church and listened to disembodied voiced over a telephone line.

Fourth, that selling element is just a bit icky. Do the people in Chicago have to pay to attend? Pay to listen to someone tell you to buy something. Eech.

I've got to get myself a motivational gig... and a better haircut.

Darrell said...

Not only did the people in Chicago have to pay, we had to pay, too! Lots of way too much.
And, you expect TV people to be superficial...not God's messengers!
I just wish I had enough hair to need product.

Anonymous said...

Daddy D,
Glad you decided to come. I was very uncomforatable last year, but I got over it and ended up benefiting quite a bit. So, I'm going to try the open mind thing again. Who knows I may even buy a book.

Darrell said...

My of the "Buddies from Church" reads the blog!
What an honor to get a comment.
You know, I'm an agitator by design. I think Geoff dropped a C-note of support materials.

Anonymous said...

Geoff said,
Heck yeah I dropped a C note - or almost. Those guys are all smarter, more motivating and more motivated than me, so I am taking all the help I can get. I too am glad you came. And maybe, just maybe, you got more out of the seminar than you thought at first blush. Only time will tell. One thing to remember, which I say all the time, you can't put God or His people in a box. When it comes to God, you always have to think of Him as outside "the box." See you next year in Chicago, and much before then. We love your agitating spirit. Your pal.

Unknown said...

Funny I don't have a problem with the selling products side of the story... BUT how green are all these preacher boys with gooey hairs loaded with chemicals that will wash into our water sources?

I'll take my spiritual leadership from more earth-friendly types. Mother God tells me it's the only way to roll if we're going to keep Mother Earth a Holy Place.

Anonymous said...

they're all snake oil salesmen.

Ken Jenkins said...

So this must have been a Willow Creek Conference you watched, most of those guys are amazing. They actually came out last year and said that they had been doing things all wrong and leading other churches astray that was pretty impressive. John Burke's book No Perfect People Allowed is by far the best book I have ever read. You should check it out. Can I ask what church you go to?

Ken Jenkins said...

Oh, also, I don't have a problem with them selling their items so much, but the thing that grates on me is these Christian authors who have a new book or bible study every three months. I feel like their is a fine line there that shouldn't be crossed in order to be above reproach.

Darrell said...

I was representing St. Mark's Cathedral.