Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Exploitation & Addiction

Siddhartha at the Mutiny referenced an article in the L.A. Times about Joe Francis founder of Girls Gone Wild--who, after reading the article, I am convinced is a psychopath.

One of the things I was thinking after reading the article--in which the writer pretty much did a play-by-play of her day with Joe and the girls who volunteer to be a part of the GGW projects--was that most people are remarkably lost, as in a Pirates of the Carribean Why-doesn't-this-compass-point-north? kind of lost. Because darling, it points to the thing you want most. Listen to the vapidness:

"Most guys want to have sex with me and maybe I could meet one new guy, but if I get filmed everyone could see me," Kaitlyn Bultema says. "If you do this, you might get noticed by somebody—to be an actress or a model...You want people to say, 'Hey, I saw you.' Everybody wants to be famous in some way. Getting famous will get me anything I want. If I walk into somebody's house and said, 'Give me this,' I could have it."
That was from an 18-year-old on the night of her birthday who was amped to be on Girls. She seems to be headed for one heck of a burnout by age 28. But that's not the point, it's just the setup. The point of this post is that after reading that madness, I was checking for new stuff at the Revolution and started reading a set of essays on addiction written by David Litwin (who has my vote to be the next Francis Schaeffer).

The three part piece talks about the tipping point of behaviors and how Western society has essentially removed most of the "pushbacks" against many ultimately harmful behaviors because the intial action(s) is seen as benignly pleasurable. Hopefully I've set this excerpt up well enough to be in context. Do read all three parts. You'll thank me.
[Addiction-producing actions are] razor-sharp shards of glass coated in delectable chocolate, which taste wonderful in the mouth (pleasure), and then lacerate the organs on the way down (addiction and consequence). The secular world embraces the chocolate, uniformly laughing at the church who uses its “voice” to focus strictly on the shards of glass. But what we should have been saying all along is: “of course it’s chocolate, you wouldn’t swallow the shards of glass if they weren’t.” The pleasurable aspects of these addictive producing actions are the catalyst to get its willing candidates full on chocolate, in such a way that the individual swallows the pieces before recognizing them as nothing but thinly coated shards of glass...
How unfortuantely appropriate. Society effectively says, "Eat all the chocolate you can. We've got a pill for that laceration. It's no big deal. That's life." Yikes! On the other hand, as David points out in his writing, much of the church refuses to acknowledge that people are meeting legitimate needs (however temporarily) through their actions. They wouldn't do it if there were no payoff whatsoever.

Just yesterday a friend was sharing with me an area of repeated moral failure in his life and how he is finally able to recognize that it does not just affect him. His failure affects other people and impacts their lives in irreversibly negative ways. He is so dismayed at his own inability and tired of reaping the pain of his consequences that he considered suicide. I was reminded of this verse: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. [II Corinthians 7:10]

I know I've mentioned this before but I can't mention it enough. The reason the Christ came to earth is detailed in the beautiful words of Isaiah 61 which he shared in his first public declaration. I shared verse 1 and part of 2 before. Today, I start with the end of verse 2:
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Comfort, beauty, gladness, praise, righteousness & splendor can all become part of our lives if we are willing to yield ourselves to the one who provides them. That's why He came. And I'm so glad He did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Give me this, and I could have it. "...is`really creepy.

Honestly, it's about the level of maturity a 3 or 4 year old displays.

Our culture has become so sad.

- Rachel in NS