Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Relevance. Sadly, it's the goal of most people alive today.
G.K. Chesterton said, “A dead thing goes with the stream. Only a living thing can go against it.” If that is true, the world is cluttered with dead things then and they're probably wearing leg warmers.
Here are 7 of the most hilariously pathetic attempts at relevance so pathetic that Levi Johnston didn't even make the list:
7) A community church attempts a "flash mob" and inadvertently creates a black hole that sucked all happiness from a 100 mile radius. Children eating ice cream cones suddenly burst into tears three states away. Let's face it, when your church attempts a flash mob, chances are 99.999867% that it ends up just kinda' feeling like your cousin's wedding.
Help Wanted: Choreographer desperately needed for relevant community church. No religious affiliation necessary because it doesn't really seem to come up.
6) Mitt Romney singing "Who let the dogs out?" for absolutely no reason that anyone can ascertain other than that he's near black people.
Romney set hip hop back a decade just from the sheer force of his Mormonism. I think Vanilla Ice actually made fun of this.
5) Frank Sinatra donning the nehru jacket and love beads and recording Stevie Wonder songs. This was so terrible that it made the 60's last until 1973. This was so horrifying for so many that Steve Lawrence almost seemed cool for a second. To contrast, you know what John Wayne was doing in the 60's and 70's? Making the same exact awesome film and playing pretty much the same exact awesome character he did in the 1940's and 50's. I don't even want to tell you what The Duke would do with those beads if you even thought about asking him to wear them.
Sinatra thankfully didn't die during this confusing era and went back to the classic tux for which he's remembered. If he had died then, the nehru jacket would be equally as despised as Elvis' jumpsuit (which we'll get into later.)
4) Church sign relevance fail. You just know that in the 80's this church had something lame on their sign about "Frankie says Relax."
3) Elvis' jumpsuit, it can be argued, is the worst attempt at relevance because not only was it an epic fail, it was a completely unnecessary one as Elvis actually was cool. If I could hire a team of time traveling ninjas I'd devote them full time to preventing Elvis from ever climbing into a jumpsuit. Oh and they'd also tell him not to do drugs. But mostly keep him out of jumpsuits. (Out of respect there will be no photo of jumpsuit Elvis.)
2) Pole Dancing for Jesus
Also out of respect there'll be no photo of pole dancing but for oddly similar reasons because both of them just make me sad.
All you need to know are these lines from the news story covering it:
She said her goal is to teach fellow female churchgoers how to get fit, work their legs and core and to make a connection with God. The goal is not to teach women to be strippers.
"We do the upbeat contemporary Christian music because people have to bring their church program to get into the class, so we basically are just continuing the whole worship thing here," she said.
According to the studio's website, the first eleven women that bring in their church program every 2nd Sunday of the month receive a free class.
Here's the thing - anytime someone says "the whole worship thing" they're probably not actually into the whole worship thing.
1) Snoopy does "Flashbeagle." Seriously. This was Peanuts' attempt at relevance in the 80's. Charles M. Shulz wasn't dead yet when this was made but word has it that he climbed into a coffin and practiced rolling over in it when he saw this. This is so horrible that George Lucas only thought it was pretty good. In scientific terms, it's awfulness equals the amount of awfulness that you'd get if you combined Sinatra wearing love beads, Elvis in a jumpsuit, and a Christian Church flash mob if they were all dancing together at a Kevin Federline mall concert.
One thing to notice is that Flashbeagle is completely forgotten. And what gets shown over and over every year? What has attained classic status? This:
There's a lesson in this. And it's not just that Linus is awesome. In this world, you can don leg warmers, repeat catchphrases, and wrap love beads around your neck. But here's the thing - any act of attempted relevance will one day become irrelevant and probably seem silly to everyone. So it's best not to worry about relevance and just seek out timeless truths. And when you find them, tell everyone you know about them.
If you're doing something just because kids today are doing it, remember you're doing it because KIDS are doing it. Kids. You know those people who don't think they'll ever need Math in real life, cry pretty much all the time for reasons even they don't understand, and build wobbly ramps for their bicycles. And here's the kicker - those kids will grow up and mock you for attempting to be like them.
Relevance is only a goal if you've given up on truth. And truth doesn't have an expiration date. Embrace truth, forget relevance. Remember that so I don't have to send my time traveling ninjas to school you too.