DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     June 9, 1998     vol. 9, no. 111


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"The Human Show"

          There's a movie that came out nationwide in wide release last weekend called "The Truman Show" starring Jim Carrey, that proverbial clown who transcends the thespian threshold with a performance worthy of an Oscar. But it is not so much his acting accumen we are exploring today, but the underlying theme of this movie that dovetails to so much of what we wrote about last week on how the false prophets of today - the media - manipulate and control our lives. It was William Shakespeare who coined the phrase "All the world's a stage." Carrey's character Truman Burbank's world is also one stage - a massive surrealistic soundstage dome in the hills of Hollywood that houses Truman's world known as the island community of Seahaven, USA where everything is utopian on the screen. Smiles abound everywhere as all but Burbank move on cue, guided by the tiny microcams implanted everywhere and anywhere. No one thinks for themselves in this environment where all are told where to go and when. In this milieu all the world's a stage for all are merely acting. The subliminal approach is intertwined throughout this life-long play - mankind is "on-stage" perpetually. As long as the subject (Truman) goes along with the program, everything is copacetic, but once he becomes wise to the ruse, he begins thinking for himself and the eternal curiosity to find out what and who is out there consumes him. Clutching a button with the words "How is it going to end?" embossed on the pin and left behind by the girl of his dreams, Truman begins the quest for finding her and finding the answers to that question. The results are encouraging for they show man can stand up to the temptations and can say no to his manipulators.

         The parallel to this movie for all of us is how satan and his legions are trying to manipulate souls through the media and the "utopian facade" the evil one thrusts on the world; where beneath this mask of make-believe lies a narcissistic, cruel and no-escape nether world that one only sees when it is too late. The lucifer-led media menace portray this world as the epitome of epicurean delights. Even on the internet the various lurid private cams that bring their world into your monitor is similar to what is happening today. At the devil's prompt they cue the tape to illustrate the pleasures of the seven deadly sins without revealing the consequences until it is too late. Commercials, movies, television programs, even the news are all carefully scripted to persuade, confuse and move us to act the way they want us to act. They promise bliss if we use this product, or romance if we cater to their whims, or success if we drive this or drink that. You get the idea. They hold out the carrot of good things that are fleeting. How fleeting? The analogy was best illustrated by another movie nearly twenty years ago "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and the scene where the Nazis sought the secrets within the Ark of the Covenant on a deserted Mediterranean island after capturing the sought-after treasure from Indiana Jones in the subterranean snake-infested temple near Tunis. The "bad guys" were mesmerized by the false beauties wafting up from the bowels of this mysterious tabernacle until, caught in the vortex of lust, avarice and every other known sin, satan exposed the true nature of what it truly was - pure evil - and it totally destroyed them. So also with mankind today, and, like Truman we're perfect foils for the media charlatans who toy with our lives. Like the one person who strove to inform Truman that it was all made-up, that he was the pawn, the Blessed Mother has been striving for centuries to warn us, trying with all her might to bring us back to her Divine Son Jesus Who alone is "the Way, the Hope, and the Life" (John 14: 6). Our Lord has promised, also in John (John 8: 32), "If you abide in My Word, you shall be My disciples indeed, and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." Truman found freedom by turning his back on the manipulators in a friendly, but firm way, uttering in his easy-going Carrey-like tones, "If I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night."

         We hope never to "see" satan or his vile cohorts but we know they're there. Our Lady wants us to utter the same words to the evil one: "No, we won't go. And don't wait up, for if we don't see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night, for we have found the Truth and the Truth has set us free...free to enjoy eternal life with God in Heavenly bliss." But, in order to embrace the Truth, we must turn our backs on satan and his callous charades now, because the longer we wait, we may not be as fortunate as Truman; we may not be able to turn our backs and escape for we'll be caught in the seven seas of capital sin. While "The Truman Show" was merely a movie that lasted a little over two hours, God the Father has given us a performance that will last forever if only we heed his Divine Direction. After all, this Infinte Being created this masterful masterpiece even to casting His Own Son in the role of Redeemer. It was a role that ran the gamut of emotions from birth to death to resurrection - all necessary for the climax to this glorious theatre of the soul - Salvation. It is not fiction, but very, very real for it is God's very Own production called "The Human Show."

Michael Cain, editor