The Column with Canon Rev Dr Rod Garner Good service worth more than stardom
WITH the prospect of either being imminently nuked by North Korea or washed away by horrendous floods or hurricanes, I did the natural and proper thing and turned for help to the telly. Initially there was not much by way of comfort until I raised my eyes to heaven and, behold, there appeared before me The X Factor. The latest show (fourteenth season if I’m not mistaken) is back to get us through the gloom and I have to say it cheered me up a bit.
Lord Simon Cowell still reigns over all things.
A decent shave wouldn’t go amiss but those wonderful teeth came gleaming through the screen to bring light in the darkness.
For this latest season he has toned down his Mr Nasty image and was surprisingly generous in his praise for some of the acts.
Even the duds were spared humiliation.
Not quite a conversion of character, so to speak, but a definite improvement.
Sharon Osbourne was also back on the panel, radiating the energy of youth and flirting outrageously with the lads from Liverpool, all after the big break. She must drink miracle juice each morning to look so young but trust me there will come a time when, even fo r her, cosmetic surgery will be inevitable.
The two other female judges also looked smashing.
I couldn’t remember their names but their lip gloss suggested real stardom.
And the way they took to the floor behind a contestant to do some nice impromptu moves to a Bond movie soundtrack put to shame all those cynics who think it’s all rigged or rehearsed.
Dear old Louie Walsh in his crisp shirt smiled a lot, said little and seemed to be dreaming quietly of lucrative recording deals when the more promising acts sparked into life.
Contestants still scream or weep, depending on the verdict, and a diminutive grandma is often hovering anxiously back stage with a large hanky and a big hug in case the ship goes down.
What hasn’t changed at all is the frequent insistence of aspiring stars that they have to win.
It means the world to them and there is no way they can go back to what they were doing before the auditions.
Even to get to boot camp would be a taste of Paradise.
I tend to wonder what their colleagues back in the burger bar, supermarket or call centre feel like when effectively, what they are doing from 9 to 5 is being rubbished by the next George Michael or Lady Gaga.
A celebrity culture has no place for the humdrum and dismisses routine jobs as boring or demoralising.
Ok, some are (I did quite a few in university vacations and before) but if we have the gifts or talent it’s right to make the best of our abilities. But unglamorous or unexciting work doesn’t always have to stink unless we choose to view it that way.
Tasks done well with a measure of pride and civility can be a blessing for all concerned.
Preparing drinks and burgers (and thank you all you guys at McDonald’s Kew who always make me welcome and make excellent coffee), stacking shelves, changing bed sheets, mending a tyre or dealing with irritable customers at the end of a phone – all these and more are necessary to make the world go round and to pay the rent.
Good service in any form is always worthy of appreciation.
Lip gloss and lustrous locks add sparkle to a Saturday night, especially when the world is overwhelming us.
But a genuine smile at the counter, a meal served well, a clean toilet, a reliable repair or a helpful voice when we are in a fix should get our vote every time.