homnomnomdrom - The Sound Your Brain Makes As It Dies

These past few days, this has been my life:
I don't know if you have ever had your mind fangorously devoured by a many-toothed, bunny-eared monster. I would say that it's akin to having leaches latch onto your brain. Because they inject you with something anestheticish, you don't even realize that they've been sucking the life out of you for the past few hours.

That's right. I've been watching television. Hulu, to be more precise, and some Gilmore Girls DVDs more recently.

I have a long list of excuses, some of which are legitimate:
  • My roomies aren't home, and it's creepy when it's so quiet.
  • What else do you have to do while folding laundry and reorganizing your stuff?
  • I basically know everyone in Star's Hollow. So it's almost a social activity. Let's see what job Kirk has in this episode... 
  • The finale of SYTYCD was this past week... wait, Hulu can't show it? Neither can FOX? How did this happen?!?!?! I NEED TO KNOW WHO WON!!!!!!
  • Writing cover letters is mind-numbing and exhausting. Might as well have some background noise.
It's ironic, actually, because normally I mock/scoff/secretly-judge avid media consumers. I have always seen the excessive consumption of media as damaging. And, as evidenced by this blog post, I have judged myself severely these past few days. I can't tell you how much I have longed to pick up a novel or begin an art project or spend a little time writing and editing. But I don't. It's just easier to watch whatever is happily dancing across my screen.

The fact is, you are what you eat---or watch and listen to in this case. (By the way, that phrase has never really made sense to me--- "you are what you eat." Does that mean that since adopting flexitarianism I should have turned into some sort of a vegetable hybrid?!?!? But I digress.)

Even if watching TV shows doesn't turn your head into slug-like mush, it still is wreaking its havoc and snapping its snappy teeth. What it comes down to is that, whether we realize it or not, we're taking in a lot of messages from media. The messages are saying a lot of things, some of them contradictory. Here are some of the messages I've taken in recently:

  • "I'll show you what you're worth." Thanks, Biebs.
  • Smart girls who are ambitious and are going to prestigious colleges are great role models.
  • Being funny is more important that being kind and gentle.
  • Everyone, including the goody-two-shoes kids participates in underage drinking.
  • The ideal hottie might deal coke... but no worries. And there's something about a pelican? Here's looking at you, Niki Minaj.
  • Lying and living a double life isn't wrong... it just makes great plot twists!
  • Guys should obviously fight for girls who have clearly told them no many, MANY times.
  • Christianity consists of trying to get people to change their bad behavior so they don't burn in hell.
  • It's wrong to sleep with a married man. 
  • Jess Mariano was the one for Rory Gilmore. <--Most important message right there. Somehow the writers of the show missed that one.
  • Only repressed and severely socially awkward young people wait until marriage to have sex.
  • Your love for your family needs to come before petty arguments.

So that was a mixed bag right there. Some of them are genuinely good tidbits and life lessons that don't contradict the truth found in scripture. But let's be honest---most of them majorly suck.

I think that whether we recognize it or not, all of these subtle messages get into our heads and our hearts. Even if they don't compel me to run out and find an underage-drinking, married coke dealer to date, it tells me tiny, subtle lies that come back to bite me in the butt. Those lies increase temptation for me in a whole host of areas.

The solution: declaring our social independence from media and marching on LA in protest... It sounded good in theory. In all seriousness, the fact is that we're in the world. We're going to be receiving these messages in class, from friends and coworkers, from the magazine headlines we read at Walmart while we're dawdling in the checkout line. There's no way we can escape the garbage floating around in pop culture.

What we can do is combat the lies with truth on a daily basis. God has given us His word and His Spirit to renew and transform our minds.

We played a game with the youth girls this past weekend where we blindfolded one girl, gave her a few spins, and let her try to find her way towards a certain part of the house.  She had one guide who couldn't touch her and could only give her verbal directions. Sounds simple enough---except the rest of us were screaming a million other directions. It was an excellent practice in deception for the tricksters. We would sometimes give the right directions just to confuse the poor blindfolded girl, but most of the time we just directed her towards a wall or something.

The point, we tried to emphasize to them, is that living in the world is exactly like that. We have the whole world around us, telling us what is true and right and acceptable, but we as believers must follow the voice of the Holy Spirit. It can be really confusing sometimes, but the better we know Him, the better we know His voice and the easier it is to follow Him. Sometimes, He might call us to turn down the volume on the other messengers---maybe it's time to turn off the radio or TV or video games or to put down that book. It's nothing to be legalistic about, but if it's distracting us from His voice, it's time to prioritize a few things.

Listen and follow the Spirit first daily and let that shape our interaction with the world. For each of us, that's going to look differently depending on our time in life and on our particular sin struggles. But for me, unfortunately, I think it means an end to most things media for a little while. It's been fun, Stars Hollow. It's been real, Lupe Fiasco. And Melanie, I really think it's you who will win SYTYCD. But I'll have to wait to know for sure.

Ciao, world.

On My Mind: For whatever reason, I have a really messed up sleep schedule now... as evidenced by the time stamp on this little blog post. I'm actually flirting with the idea of staying up all night just so I'll sleep tomorrow night at a decent hour.

All I want for Christmas: A horse. But since I've never gotten that, can I change my response to a puppy? And maybe a cat. And while we're at it, a horse...

1 comment:

  1. 3:45 AM... Not okay Lauren! I will conform you to my 10 to 6 schedule pronto!