Thursday, September 20, 2007

orientation week

It's orientation week here at Fuller. One thing I've noticed about orientations--whether for college, seminary or a new job--is that they sure make people act weird. It's understandable. We've all been in some way uprooted. Many have left behind a support network of family and friends. Everyone is nervous, awkward, trying to look good and impress. Many people come off as overly confident, posturing, anxious to find their place in the pecking order.

It may not bring out "the worst" in people, but it certainly reveals an unflattering side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Mermaid Chair

My grandmother lent me a copy of The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. If it belonged to me, I would have torn it to shreds, gnashed bits of it with my teeth, contemptuously spit on the rest and burned the remains. Like what I did to a couple of the “Left Behind” books--though for different reasons.

My main problem with The Mermaid Chair is that it glorifies the protagonist’s adultery, making it out to be some kind of unavoidable, courageous, live-giving act. The way adultery is portrayed so often in books and movies, it would seem our culture doesn’t consider it to be, necessarily, a bad thing. But it is. And to call evil good is a vile injustice.

If someone were to write a book or make a film wherein the protagonist is having a mid-life crisis, and decides to bravely throw caution to the wind, and allow his desire to overtake him and rapes a 16 year old girl, then slashes her to death, thus freeing himself from the shackles of a monotonous marriage and coming to that wondrous realization that he can do something that will surprise himself--oh, yes, and he has no regrets, because the act made him feel so “alive”--if someone, as I say, wrote such a thing, people would be utterly disgusted. And they would know how I feel about The Mermaid Chair.