Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Family's Got Talent

During exam week quite a few of us have been ending the days by watching the semi-final shows of Britain's Got Talent, perfectly timed to allay revision stress. The acts on the show, all hoping to win and get the chance to perform in front of the Queen on The Royal Variety Show, include song, dance, comedy, ventriloquism, and daring feats. Some of the acts are just plain rubbish, but some of them are very talented or very funny. Everyone knows about that good Catholic Susan Boyle, and it would be wonderful to see her win. But what I also like are the group acts where there is obviously a close family bond between those in the group; the street dance acts Diversity and Flawless are obviously made up of brothers and close friends who could not do what they do if they didn't spend a heck of a lot of time together. One of the funniest acts is Stavros Flatley, a Greek restaraunt owner and his 12 year old son, who took everyone by surprise with their bizarre Irish dancing a few weeks ago, and then won a place in Saturday's Final last night. Though their act was funny, what seems to touch the judges and the viewers is the close relationship between them. As Mr. "Flatley" said, 'family is very important' in Greek culture.

In his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio of 1981, John Paul II said:

'All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building, day by day, the communion of persons, making the family "a school of deeper humanity"(59): this happens where there is care and love for the little ones, the sick, the aged; where there is mutual service every day; when there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows.' (21)


'The family has vital and organic links with society, since it is its foundation and nourishes it continually through its role of service to life.' (42)

For JPII, the love which families members have for one another is ultimately:

'a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride.' (17)

Though the entertainment industry is not what JPII primarily has in mind when talking about the family's service to society, I think that the family's presence in entertainment is a means of healing society's individualism, and its cynical swallowing of the Sartrean adage that 'hell is other people.' Family presence in such arenas can be a work of evangelisation (even when it's ridiculously funny!).

To watch Stavros Flatley in their first heat, click here!

No comments: