Culture of Grover

By Jaime Nava

Do you know your short, fuzzy pal, Grover? He’s the blue monster from Sesame Street. When he is caped, he is also known as Super Grover and even Super Grover two-point-oh. Grover has a trait in all his appearances. You see, he thinks he knows something when in actuality, he doesn’t. For example, he wears a professor’s garb, calls himself professor Grover, and wants to tell you about one of nature’s wonders: mailboxes! No, trees! (He’s corrected by Cameron Diaz). In one episode, Grover is the Music Monster, and he breaks down crying because he has to admit that he knows nothing and that he’s a sham. He had been trying to lead everyone into thinking he was a musical expert. Grover is the self-deluded non-expert who makes claims that are true because he says they are. It is rare for Grover to repent.

Since I now live with all the Sesame Street monsters in my house, I can’t help but see their personalities. I also can’t help but make analogies to them either. As I watch Grover, I can’t help but think how well he embodies the culture. How many times have we been on Facebook (a great source of all things true, right?) and read something that gets us worked up? It shows how horrible “those people” who differ politically and/or religiously can be when some incident occurred. Many of us are quick to hit the share button. Then there’s that one friend who links to a Snopes article that cites resources to fact check the picture/post. Oops. We’ve seen all the people with smiling pictures of Mark Zuckerburg or Bill Gates saying something about sharing and possibly getting $1,000 or something for each person who shared. Right. Those are obvious, though, right? Right?

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It’s worse, though. There’re guys like Bill Maher who claim Jesus is a copycat of Horus, Baldur or some other South American god. Sadly, professor Grover Maher didn’t do much research on that. People make up new definitions and say that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. By religion, they (not Oxford or Webster) mean it’s a works-based way of getting to heaven. Too bad they didn’t read James 1:26-27 (Note: Threskeia and Threskeuo are defined as expressions of worship in BDAG). Postmodernism claims that there is absolutely no absolute truth. Thanks again, professor Grover. My personal favorite was Kathleen Parker on CNN who thought Cruz said Jesus should rise from the grave to support his campaign. She misquoted Cruz as saying, “It’s time for the body of Christ to rise up and support me.” The blue monster strikes again! What he actually said was, “If we awaken and energize the body of Christ– if Christians and people of faith come out and vote our values– we will win, and we will turn the country around.”

What in the world is going on? All I can figure is that we have lost our sense of logic. We think so highly of ourselves that we don’t need to fact check anymore. Do people make mistakes? Of course! When we do, we apologize. We correct our mistakes by trying especially hard not to make the same mistake twice. We need to stop pretending we have all the facts until we actually have all the facts. We need to stop making things up that aren’t real and things that conflict with truth. We need to take a breath before we post something on the internet because the internet has a long memory. We need to stop being a Grover who claims to know more than he does.

There was one point in an episode where Grover admits his mistake. He declares that he is a sham, and he starts to weep. He finally got it right. In that one (or more) instance where we do something ignorant, apologize. Where we are wrong, admit it and move along. Take the shame and learn from it. I.e., think before you speak. It does everyone a favor.

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