The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. - Prov.14:15
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. - Matt.13:5-6
It used to be that a reasonable amount of time was allowed to pass before a book was written or movie made about troubling events or famous lives. After all, it takes time to digest the meaning of events in order to learn from them. But, alas, I do nothing here but show my age, because we no longer digest anything. We chew neither food nor events long enough to gain nourishment. The meaning of events? Surely you jest, says the symmetry cauterized veteran of a thousand displays of emotional vomit on the New York “art” circuit.
And so it goes. Nothing really means anything so there’s no need to digest it, hence no need to look for lessons to learn. Morally speaking this renders the nation anorexic. Ah, yes, anorexia, the peculiarly modern disease where one eats only to vomit and grow weaker and weaker the more one eats. And unlike past culprits we can’t even blame it on a tapeworm. No, this one is all us. So as soon as somebody notable dies (notable on the Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame scale) grass has barely sprouted on the grave before the book on them is out. It doesn’t matter who they were or what their life represented. Role model supreme or cautionary tale, the important thing to us is that we swallowed them and spit them up in record time. Why? Who cares? We can do it! That’s all we care about. And we pursue that bare, obscene fact like salmon leaping upstream to spawn.
But looks are deceiving, said the woman on her third plastic surgery. We’re not eating and digesting anymore. We’ve also passed swallowing whole. We’re absorbing now. We have never really gotten our minds around just what happened in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. But the books and movies are already behind us these few years later. I’m waiting for the Virginia Tech massacre movie. Somebody has the script ready. They’re just waiting for the right time.
But the joke’s on us. The movie about us was already made back in 1958. It was called The Blob, starring Steve McQueen, about an alien life form that hitched a ride to earth on a meteorite. It started out as a small glob of something that looked like translucent pink dough. From there it just absorbed whatever it came into contact with be it people, cars and finally buildings. But you know those old movies had cheesy special effects. We’ve gone beyond what The Blob could ever imagine. We’ve come full circle. We’re the Anorexic Blob.
We absorb and absorb and absorb. We never stop at one event long enough to ponder it, to see what lessons it might hold for us. As soon as we’ve absorbed it we move on to the next. But since we’re not digesting we’re not getting any nourishment. So, contrary to appearance, the more we grow the more we starve. Because we’re starving but don’t know it, we suck on Anna Nicole Smith and Princess Di like neck bones. To keep the absorbing mentality primed between big events we have a sewer line dribble of television shows to help keep us in anorexic trim. “Reality” shows, Cheaters, Judge_____ (fill in the blank), to name a few.
I just read where they believe they are close to being able to manipulate the beginning cloud formations of hurricanes with a seeding process or microwaves to divert the storm’s course or at least weaken it. Sounds like something to think about to me. But the article’s main concerns were the lawsuits that will be generated when they divert a storm toward a city that might have been spared. So the possibilities for good are absorbed into the prospect of a sue-happy nation. Nobody can say we aren’t true to form.
The good news is that none of us have to allow this blob to absorb us or be part of it. Something as simple as taking your time about things is enough to boost your position on the food chain. For people who value their sanity, abstinence doesn’t just pertain to sexual advice for teenagers. It’s the best way anyone can opt out of being part of the blob. It’s the best way to develop a real appetite again.
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