Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Eat Like a Baby Dinosaur

I watched No Strings Attached the other weeknight (when I should have been doing school. Whatevs.)
I remember seeing previews in movie theaters and having a knee-jerk reaction of: eww.
And I kind of still have the same reaction. I think the movie itself is a sweet story and has a good message. The ending shot of our two protagonists clasping hands is the epitome of all adorableness. It's a simple gesture, but very sweet. But it's so sad-the whole movie is all backwards. They jump into bed together before they're even friends, before they even really know the other person at all. meerrrggghh. It's so very frustrating, because it's such a common story. And the way in which they use each other is just so very awful and hurtful.

The whole movie is very detached from reality(okay, it's a chick-flick, I'll give you that. But STILL). The movie-makers think they're being rather clever for having the girl suggest the idea of a emotionally-detached sexual relationship, and having the guy being head over heels for her from the beginning. Think again. It's really like it's a great honor for any person--female or otherwise-- to be cast in the role of "emotionally immature stunted person who needs to learn to get a life." It's not like it's an awful role, but giving it to a woman is not necessarily a witty eschewing of gender stereotypes. 
Just sayin'.

What upsets me about this movie is that it just sort of ignores the way the world works. I mean, the obvious one, for starters: you can't use someone for sex. 
Sorry, that's not allowed. 
Whether or not you want it to be allowed or pretend that it's allowed is moot. That's simply just not the way sex works. But this is a larger conversation. On to my main point:
This is the thing about other people:
They're another person with feelings, thoughts, ideas, emotions, dreams, hopes and plans of their own. And some of them, unfortunately, may not include you, in fact may be contrary to your wishes for your own life. That's called Reality
The Reality is that we're not all independent little islands in the sea of life: we're part of a community called humanity. Ergo, fully partaking in this community necessitates that you make some sacrifices. That's what living in community requires. It means that sometimes you want to go to bed, but your roommate wants to stay up. Which means you may just have to suck it up and stay up another thirty minutes because the lights in the room are on. That's okay. It really won't kill you.
It may mean that your neighbors down the hall are trying to study while you're having a rambunctious Arrested Development-watching party with your friends. You may have to reduce your noise level. It may inconvenience you, but that's life.

You can't, despite what Burger King tries to tell us, have it your way. The real world is this: there are things you can't control. There are things you can't have. There are things you shouldn't do, because they're wrong. If the alternative is that you have to undergo suffering or discomfort, then so be it. The world is not comfortable. It is beautiful, dangerous, joyful, incredible, awe-inspiring, lovely and magnificent. But it's not comfortable. He's not a tame lion. Christianity, you see, is a bit harder than most people believe it to be.

I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.

Mergh. That's not very comfortable. In fact that sounds rather awful. 
But I think Jesus is speaking realistically. This saying is hard and who can accept it? People are much more likely to believe anything but the Truth. 
Because the Truth makes you see the lies in your own life. 
The Truth is difficult, divisive, and it bursts the comfortable little bubble of our safe little islands. 
But without the Truth, we are lost. 
The Truth is what sets us free (John 8:32). 
The Truth is our only hope for living a life of purpose, beauty and passion. 
And that, despite the sweet ending and cutesy dialogue, was exactly what this movie lacked: purpose, beauty and passion. 
Because unfortunately, we come into life with strings attached, and there's no possible way for us ever to break them. You can't cut the lifelines that are holding your island to other islands, holding our islands safe to the mainland.

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