Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dirty Little Secrets

I was just thinking about how we all view the world and the psychology behind our actions and feelings. I have an aversion to entertainment because I've seen it literally grow over people I love like kudzu. I disdain sports for the most part because the jocks picked on me when I was a kid.

So, I shut both out of my life to a point. I set definite boundaries to keep myself from being consumed by the things I dislike.

It's a sort of hedging lifestyle akin to Pharisaism. I say to myself, "That's going too far, so I'll only allow myself to go THIS far" and I draw the proverbial line in the sand.

I think the tricky part is not binding this on anyone else. The Pharisees did and totally ruined Judaism. But, don't we all draw lines for ourselves?

I guess the most important thing to do is tell people that I set boundaries and why I set set them for myself in my own personal life. But, at the same time explain that I don't expect the same from them or look down on them if they don't live exactly like I do.

Having life more abundantly is the goal. How that abundance is attained is a different journey for everyone!


mullinz8 said...

There is almost an amazing disconnect with you Sipper.

There is a stark separation of what’s right and wrong seemingly that I can’t figure out. It’s as though Freud’s superego has annexed the id and ego and is running the show.

What's making that noggin of yours tick?

bigsip said...

Man, you don't want to know.

OK, maybe you really do.

I just think too dang much. I used to sit for hours by myself (Jamison and Brew remember this as "me time") and think.

I still have this automatic pattern rolling around in there. It's like a formulaic clock, ticking off discrete bits of information.

The information equates to simple "true" and "false" statements.

There is a God. True
There is no God. False

The Bible is his Word and the Word is Christ and thus the Word is perfect and absolute truth and must be studied and followed completely. True
There is no absolute truth. False

The Word should be everyone's guidebook. True
No truth exists except for the truth we create. False

This is where I start to hear "Danger Will Robinson!"

So, I start to cling as closely to the Truth as possible.

Same thing applies for other stuff like making sure I don't get sucked into stuff where I might rely on something trite for conversation or something mind-numbingly stupid for entertainment.

I call it a life philosophy. Most other people call it weird. Everything is based around an idea.

Assimilating information that will help me grow as a person is a positive thing. True
Sitting for hours on end to be entertained by a box while fattening myself with nitrate-laden products is a healthy and productive activity. False.

It goes on and on. It doesn't drive me nuts or make me feel uncomfortable, but it does make everyone around me wonder why I seem to be moody and adamant.

Does this make any sense? It's really more complicated than this in many ways. I follow this route most of the time, though.

What makes the rest of you guys tick? Knowest thou thyself?

mullinz8 said...

Here’s the model for my thoughts.

Two people are looking at a house. One asks the other what color the house is. The second person responds, “I don’t know.”
The first person states, “Obviously it’s green.”
“Have you seen the back of the house?”
“Prove to me it’s green.”

I take nothing at face value classic born again skeptic. But I’m eternally optimistic. From the greatest suffering of the world to the ecstatically wonderful joys each is provided by God for our benefit. If we choose to survive within his favor we will grow immeasurably.

I think also think there is more to the cosmos than we choose to see. I don’t think it’s karma but maybe its Gods will or the Holy Spirit. I don’t know what it is but it’s out there and I think we can all choose to see it differently.

I sort of think of life as a test track until you see what the car will do you’ll never know how to handle it. Luckily as we venture on to the track we have insurance (grace). We have our rules on what no to do, like drive head long into a wall, commit murder what have you.

Unless we stop visiting the pit crews (reading, studying) or let the pace car (Satan) in front of our cars (lives) we’re guaranteed to make our victory lap. This does allow us to ring out the car sometimes or spinning some donuts here and there.

bigsip said...

Nice analogy. I can dig it.

Brewster said...

I tend to run the other direction. I dig too many things. I've got my dvd collection, my cd collection, my live music collection, my book collection...I download music nearly nightly, check out books from the library, tape off the tv, take pictures, surf the web and on and on and on.

Man, my life is entertainment.

I also enjoy lots of the things "christians" aren't supposed to. I watch R rated movies, listen to parental guidence tunes, imbibe in a little alcohol, am pro marijuana legalization, dig a good dance etc.

All of which I probably take too far and should spend my time studying the Word and being a better man. but you know, there is a lot of life out there and I don't want to spend my life being so dogmatic I forget to look at the other side.

Jamison said...

sip... i thought your "me time" was code for "dont come in my bedroom, I am masturbating"...

this was evident by the fact that when you did have your "me time" you were in boxer shorts, had a towel over your shoulder, and lit incense in your bedroom...

these could have been two seperate types of me time. But i woulldnt love sipper as much if I didnt have funny memories like this...

bigsip said...

HAHA! That was not "me time" Jamison. Although, you and Brew were definitely not invited.

No, I liked to go to the Shakespeare Festival or somewhere peaceful and try to figure stuff out in my head.

I guess I'm just trying to "disconnect" from this present world. What we see before our eyes, hear with our ears and sense overall is fun and interesting, but there's so much more to life.

I don't think you can go too far into studying the Bible. And dogma has nothing to do with it. The christian life is the Word. It's about living the Word, man.

I enjoy music, movies, books, writing, exercise, etc., but I set limits for all of them. It's very easy to let the distractions around us consume us.

Leonardo Da Vinci didn't have TV or other distractions. Back then, you had to physically go sit and be entertained for hours and it was a special event. So, Leonardo, in his great way, drew, designed, studied, and actually produced some amazing works.

I'm not trying to be Da Vinci or anything, but I see the point and value in separating myself from distractions to try to concentrate on something that lets me think and grow and produce.

I think enjoying life in your own way is great! Go for it! I'm just giving my perspective here. I ain't try to put nobody down or say anybody's wrong. Just posting thoughts.

Brewster said...

Me time was always sipper leaving the apartment for shakespeare or the waffle house. He seemed to always be carrying the Brothers Karamozoff too.

Did you ever finnish that dang book?

bigsip said...

I think I read it three times. Interesting book. Dostoyevsky is a fave, sort of.

He is your typical Rusky writer. Lots of politics and depression.

But, TBK is a really good mix of how hopeless people look at the world. Ironically, it taught me about hope through hopelessness.

Anyway, I enjoyed going off and thinking. As social as I was at Faulkner, I needed that introvert time to deprogram. I think I got that from my Mom.

Brewster said...

Ha ha. Sipper likes to read.

I was thinking that it was interesting, Sip, that you've said some things about control and not being addicted to reading what not. Yet you are a writer. I would think that as a writer, you would like people to read your books! Interesting connundrum.

bigsip said...

LOL...of course, I like to read! I read every day. I just organize into chunks and limit my reading time.

I'm something of a control-freak about my life. I want so badly to make sure I give myself to my God and family first and still be able to read, write, listen to some tunes, exercise, etc.

I have purposely not finished several books because they were such garbage to me, though.

I was told to try Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book One Hundred Years of Solitude. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature and this was supposed to be his crowning acheivement!

Well, I read half of it and got so ill with it that I refused to finish. It was like watching a bad Woody Allen flick that's set in the middle of a revolution.

Anyway, I wwrite to produce something good that's not full of bad language, sex, and violence. I'm into "real-life" touches as much as the next writer. But, purposely filling something with depressing evil human failure is silly and meaningless to me.

Critics love it because it suits their nihilistic tendencies. But, I love to read and write things that have more to do with goodness and reaching a goal that means something.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I just am fed-up with so much that passes for literature today. It's always (and always has been) about the money!

Brewster said...

See I don't think I've ever stopped reading a book because I was offended by the material.

That's not to say I read every book all the way through. There is a pretty big stack of books I never finnished.

Heck I didn't finnish the Brothers K. But that was because I picked up another book while in the middle of the Brothers K and never got back to it. Now its like its been too long since I started to pick it up in the middle, and it feels like a waste of time to start back over.

Then there are books like the recent read of About a Boy where I ran out of time because it was a library book so I just turned it in and will never go back to it.

I do tend to read a lot of books that have been made into movies...

bigsip said...

It's not the material that offends me as much as it is the fact that I know people write the material that way to get published and sell books.

Perhaps I have this romantic, uncompromising view of what a writer should be. I view writing the way I view all art.

I believe art is defined as an act of creation and beauty. Destructive, ugly things are the antithesis of art and therefore are, in my opinion, worthless.

The funny thing is that I'll start reading these types of books and they all start out very clean and tame, but slowly work the reader toward all of the unnecessary stuff. I equate it to the way many movies use sex scenes and nudity unnecessarily. Or an "artist" painting a picture of a crucified penis.

It just irks me because I can just hear an editor reading my manuscript and saying, "This has no sex and violence in it, it'll never sell!" Maybe it's true, but I won't compromise my work or morals for money.

So, it's the principle of the whole thing.

Brewster said...

But is there ever a place for sex and violence? Or is it the gratuitousness of it all?

And yes I butchered that spelling.

I don't want sex or violence that is unnneeded, but when it is important to the story, I accept it.

Take Saving Private Ryan, would it be the same movie without the massive violence in the opening act?

Something interesting in the whole cursing scene. Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls includes very little cursing, but he finds an interesting way to let you know the characters are cursing.

He says stuff like "i spit in the milk of your mothers" and "I obscenity you to the gates of obscenity"

or something like that.

Brewster said...

On a similar note, I remember watching 21 Jumpstreet back in the day and being totally offended by the cleanliness of it all.

It was an episode where Johnny Depp was infiltrating some street gang and nobody said anything worse than crap or damn. When in real life they'd be saying all kinds of filthy stuff.

It just ruined the reality of the show for me and made me hate the episode.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I know what you're saying. In a way, it is the gratuitous stuff that irks me. However, it's also the fact that there's so much and it's so wrong that I have to question it.

The "reality" of it all actually seems less "real" because it's all so overdone. Sort of like how Quentin Tarantino overdoes stuff to almost make charicatures of the plot and characters.

But, that is not the intent of most authors. They are just writing to make it seem like they are creating a reality and it winds up seeming fake and contrived to me.

See what I mean? Anyway, it just makes it impossible for me to enjoy or like because I can't get into the story.

Brewster said...

And I understand your perspective too. And there is too much of the stuff out there.

There really are a lot of great stories to be told that don't involve sex, violence or rotten language. So why does hollywood tend to focus on the foul? $$$$$ So why do we continue to buy the product?

I must admit, I like the stylizied violence of Tarantino.

Of course you can go back to the production code days of Hollywood and see some really great films that involve sex and violence, but actually show you very little. The Big Sleep is filled with homosexuality, sex, murder, pornography, but you have to be paying attention to get any of it.

Today we seem to show the graphic details of it all for no other reason than we can.

bigsip said...

My point exactly. Where has the art gone?