Mug Shot MusingsPosted: July 26, 2010
Celebrity mug shots are all the rage. There are entire websites devoted to stars and starlets behaving badly. From OJ to Lindsay Lohan people are enamored with the mighty who have fallen. And we seem to take extra pleasure in observing “pride goeth(ing) before a fall.” Unfortunately the Church isn’t immune to this (crime, that is) and news outlets take great glee in showing the mug shots of clergy absconders and abusers.
What used to be a procedural tool to identify criminals has become an exercise in voyeurism. And, thanks to the internet, these photos enter the public domain and never, ever go away. If that’s not enough of a deterrent I’m not sure what is.
As much as we crave the celebrity image and want to hear about life lived on a plane much higher than our own — we also like to see our celebrities stripped down. What do they really look like without all that makeup? What do they look like without the stylist following them around the movie set? The more disheveled the better. It brings them back down to earth; it makes them more like us.
If Jesus had been arrested, tried, and executed in more modern times there would surely have been a mug shot. And it would be floating around the internet along with those of Paris Hilton and Mel Gibson. The next time you see a celebrity mug shot (and I admit they’re hard to resist) remember that these are indeed real people who need our prayers. Pray that whatever it is that led them to jail — drugs, assault, etc — serves as a wake-up call for the human being behind the celebrity mask. Even if the odds of this happening aren’t particularly high.
PS. If you’re really good you were able to identify the following celebrity mug shots shown above: Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, Nick Nolte, Snoop Dog, Robert Downey, Jr., Lindsay Lohan, Pee Wee Herman, James Brown, Nicole Richie.