Insanity has been defined as doing the same action repeatedly and expecting a different result. I have felt insane many times in my life – every time I start a new diet, at the beginning of every Pirate's season, or when I buy a lottery ticket. But lately, I have felt the most foolish when I watch reality TV. I fall for it every time.
Without realizing it, I fall for the illusion that the toughest, strongest, prettiest or most talented will win. Alas, "Big Barry" proved it again. There is no free will in reality TV.
Last night, "Big Barry," the 4'10" singer on America's Got Talent" was sent through to the next round in New York City. Leisure suit wearing Barry croons (perhaps crows might be a better word) songs and pokes fun at his lack of height. I am sure he is a nice man but has more gimmick than talent. As I put my hands over my ears during his performance, I
happily thought this would be the last time. However, Howie and Howard thought differently and put him through to the next round. Presently, I am not sure of the reasoning, but I will bet my left foot it has something to do with someone's idea of "good tv."
As a rational adult, I know TV is run by commercial viability. Producers want to induce conflict and highlight the good stories. Drama keeps viewers and sells products. The stakes are too high to not step in and control the results. Sure some things are unscripted AGT will now be decided by popular vote. But the producers are still in control of who made it to this point, how they are highlighted on the show, when they perform and perhaps even how the judges respond. All of which can influence the choices of the audience. And so I say again, there is no free will in reality TV.
Once again, I admit my insanity. But this thinking led me to thinking about God and free will. God is not a TV producer. His intentions are not based on ratings or profits or hidden agendas. While He has the ability to control all things, He chooses to allow us the free will to make our own choices. In fact, He allows us to choose to be insane and repeat our mistakes over and over again. God however is constant and unchanging. His holiness requires him to always act according to his character. My freedom is matched by his steadfastness.
So while the lack of free will on "America's Got Talent," dashed my hope in reality TV. The presence of free will in the world revives my hope in God. God doesn't coerce or manipulate, He allows each of us to choose. And while there is danger and uncertainty in that, there is also the safety and certainty of a faithful and steadfast Creator who is not influenced by money or popularity or ratings. So I am glad I put my trust in Him and not in Howie and Howard.
And it will be only a matter of time before my free will and the free will of many others will be exercised on "Big Barry."