|In The Trunk Of A Car... (standard:non fiction, 1113 words)|
|Author: Dave||Added: Oct 29 2006||Views/Reads: 2093/1291||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A brief look into a book I was reading, and the affects on my interpretation of real life situations.|
I don't watch much TV. The news I receive comes mainly from friends, without whom I wouldn't even know about the changes in daylight savings time or hurricanes. America Online helps a little, too. The only TV show I actually watch anymore is Prison Break. The plot is something to the effect of: A man is framed for the assassination of the Vice President's brother, and is sentenced to death, so his genius brother is trying to break him out of prison. They succeeded in breaking out at the end of last season, Season Two. This season, which started tonight, they've escaped and are now on the run, while a select few people try desperately to expose the truth. ***** One of my goals is to read a different, substantial (in content rather than in length) book each month. Last month I finished Atlas Shrugged, which I hear is a remarkable feat to finish on your first time. I was surprised to hear from a trustworthy source that this is the second most influential piece of literature ever written (next only to the Bible), and I can see why. In this book, Ayn Rand shares her convictions and personal beliefs on every pertinent subject, from family, relationships, ability vs. need, love, brotherhood, and all are underscored with her fervent love of "objectivism." Atlas Shrugged was my choice of last month, and is highly recommended to everyone who is willing to tackle an immense piece of literature in the pursuit of personal betterment. This month, the book of choice is a for shorter (but still quite poignant) Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag. Sontag explores the methods humans use in conveying the pain of others, particularly in photographs, and the motive for doing so. More importantly, she is exploring the means by which humans detach from these photographs in order to not feel the pain conveyed by the photographer. The same concept is true for all of the visual imagery we receive. How many people do you know who don't like to watch the news because it's "all negative." And yet, these negative aspects of life continue to entrance many viewers, but without the emotional impact that we allowed ourselves to feel in our youth (or perhaps we had not yet developed the mental devices used used to block out these feelings). Sontag cites the fact that whether we are awed by, appalled by, or indifferent to these images, few of us feel any desire to influence these happenings or to keep them from occurring. In any case, I think she's going to explore this field next, and possibly encourage us to allow these images to strike us and become activated by them. ***** So, here I am, half way through the book, thinking about allowing myself to be "struck" by the images and sounds I see and here in real life and on TV. I realized how detached I was to violence on TV during Prison Break tonight, when a main character, Veronica Nichols, was killed. She had been shot three times, once in the head and twice in the chest, and laid dead on the floor (and another character wept for her) while I watched with comfortable indifference from my cozy bed. My indifference was washed away during a commercial break as I glanced to the book (which sat less than an arm length away), and truly allowed myself to feel. My first reaction was that it was just a TV show, not reality, and that I didn't even really know this character. But, this was a lie. I know her better than I know any of the fallen soldiers of the wars on our planet. For two seasons I've followed her, learned about her, attached myself emotionally, and as she lay with three bullets in her, I had swept it all under the rug. She was created as a man (a man just as real as the soldiers still living) and represented a the human ability to fight for truth and justice amidst great adversity (a real-life concept worthy of my attention even though only appearing on the TV). Then, as the commercials ended and the show began again with her body being slung into the trunk of a car, I, too, wept for her. How could I not? There seems to be a great struggle among modern Americans as to whether it is even appropriate to allow one self to feel emotion based on the fictional events of television. What we must remember is that these shows are, like the nonfictional photographs of the wars of our planet, created by men of purpose. Sometimes they are created for our Click here to read the rest of this story (33 more lines)
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