Over on my sideblog there is a Rolling Stone article about Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, a band whose music I am entirely indifferent to (okay, it’s supposed to be about the whole band, but it isn’t). The article mentions Flowers’ Mormonism quite prominently, with him declaring himself quite devout and mentioning that he is trying to smoke and drink less. Of course it then mentions him rolling a cigarette but holding off to smoke it because he prefers to be drinking while he smokes. The article spends a lot of time setting Flowers up as the innocent who is being swallowed up by the sordid demands of fame.
Of couse, there is always the possibility that Flowers is really working the reporter, trying to sell this angle so that “good Mormons” will buy his album out of misplaced solidarity. “Sure he drinks and smokes, but he doesn’t enjoy it! Sure he prances about on-stage and in after-parties, but he’s awkward about it (especially with people making mistakes regarding Mormon beliefs)!” But I’m not actually that cynical (yet, give me a week).
Instead, I wonder about what this means for our Word of Wisdom beliefs. What will we say when someone asks us a difficult question about Brandon Flowers? I am unwilling to label him just yet (perhaps because I have bought the reporter’s tale) as anything other than someone who is trying to quickly come to grips with fame and the temptations that it brings. But should Brother Flowers be held up as an example of a Mormon to the youth? He seems like a nice enough guy, but don’t we want our Mormon heroes alcohol- and tobacco-free? I am not engaged in judgment here (I don’t know the guy from Adam), what I am curious about is what this means for our love of Mormon celebrities?
I will however judge Alice Cooper, who despite being neither a vampire nor a Mormon is still a famous Mormon Vampire. That just isn’t right.