Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Hungry For More

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Easter is here again. It means different things to different people. For some, it’s religious. For some, family, and/or the Easter bunny or all. But like so many things, it revolves around food, and plenty of it – ham, fish, roast beef, yams, hot-cross buns, cakes and cupcakes decorated like bunnies, jellybeans, Cadbury creme eggs, marshmallows peeps, chocolate bunnies, rice krispies treats shaped like bunnies and eggs, bunny bread…

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I’ve been binging, this time reading, including, the Popular Culture and Philosophy series from Open Court. Pop culture and philosophy, for me, that’s book heroin. I started with Homeland and Philosophy: For Your Minds Only, edited by Robert Arp. On some level I like this show, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/03/homeland/ I keep watching it; one thing about it really stuck with me, Brody (Damian Lewis) is compared to a cockroach, surviving no matter what, but bringing misery to others. It describes so many people, oh my, does it describe the whole human race, crawling across the planet’s face?

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My next bite was The Ultimate Walking Dead and Philosophy: Hungry For More, edited by Wayne Yuen. I nibbled on each page, snacking on deep thoughts about a deep show; delicious, but a lot to digest (chocolate-covered Daryl Dixon?).

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Then I finally gave in, read some of Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) and her Lean In self-help stuff. Same old, same old, but still good advice and catchy. It’s certainly what we want to hear, that we can succeed by embracing challenge and risk, but is it realistic? We want to believe women are moving ahead, but are they?

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We also want to think diets, shifting our body weight to the thinner side will make us happy. It’s important to keep in mind, at all times, correlation is not causation, even strong correlation. I watched the documentary, Fed Up, like Ms. Sandberg’s work, it’s catchy, but with gaping holes and I don’t just mean the to-be-counted-as-sexy-these-days-thigh-gap which I think used to be called bow-legged and wasn’t that medically uncool? I guess having your thighs catch on fire while wearing corduroy isn’t considered ‘sexy’ anymore.

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We already know the truth, we don’t need all these books, documentaries, etc. We don’t need a magic pill, that won’t fill our emptiness. We need moderation, in all things. And to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. I’ve had a long, complicated relationship with food, now I just want to be friends.

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I wonder if our aversion to moderation comes from childhoods dominated by promises of dire consequences intermingled with lies. You know:
– Don’t swallow your gum, it’ll stay in your stomach for 7 years.
– Don’t pee in the pool  – a dye will show you did it.
– Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Toads will give you warts.

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– Don’t go swimming for 30 minutes after you eat.
– I’m leaving without you. We’re almost there.
– It won’t hurt. We’ll see. I don’t know.

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– Maybe later. I always know when you’re lying.
– Your pet (insert fav pet name here) went to live on a farm.
– Coffee will stunt your growth. Milk will make you grow.

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– Just a minute. Give me a minute (a parent minute is a lot longer than the average minute).
– And the obsession with preserving your eyesight. Carrots improve your eyesight. Reading in the dark damages your eyesight. If you cross your eyes they’ll stay that way. If you sit too close to the TV it will ruin your eyes. I wonder what we’re supposed to think Google glasses, smartphones, laptops, computers, etc. will do to our eyesight?

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What about you, dear readers, any gems from childhood? I still feel guilty about stepping on cracks as a child. Sorry Mom. Walking in the rain, dodging worms, I tried to remember did we ever get told, Step on a worm, make your Mother squirm?

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I wish you all a wonder-filled Easter. No matter how you celebrate, whether you lean in, lean out, lean up, or just enjoy, I hope you have enough.

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Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

WATERSHIP DOWN

ImageEver read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.

I suppose it depends on how you view the story. ImageAs a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.

If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.

Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.

Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.

Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.

It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.

bunny2I wonder…40 years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.