Friday, December 08, 2006

Over the Line

Three days ago I got close to a line that should never be crossed – reverence for life, respect for freedom and protection of those weaker than me.

I always write truth and take few liberties with complete honesty. Life is rich. Embellishment and fiction aren’t necessary.

On the early spring backpacking trip into the Shining Rock Wilderness, we camped at about 6,000 feet elevation. The weather turned much colder than we anticipated. We were in no danger but were uncomfortable. As we talked before going to sleep, I asked if she had any other clothing in her pack and jokingly asked if she was wearing anything that might fit me. There were no evil thoughts. I assume you knew this.

I’ve been reading with an eye to learning about writing styles and I’ve read books about writing humor, irony and surprise. I’m considering taking a creative writing class in the spring. The post was intended to be a playful experiment. However, it’s troubled me since then. I crowded that line.

There are some subjects that I don’t find humorous – ever. Alcoholism, abuse, infidelity and marriage are off-limits. Perhaps this is not a conscious ethical position but one that developed from my life experiences.

I have alcoholics in my family. I remember too many nights when I lost my bed to an uncle who was sleeping off a drunk. I remember a period of weeks when I had to sleep on the floor with cousins because alcoholic parents couldn’t provide them with a home. I’ve seen DTs and rehab centers. As a kid I went into bars searching and I’ve been to religious missions that served sandwiches and a sermon. I’m not talking about one uncle or one family. Alcoholism isn’t funny. I detest movies that portray the lovable lush. He doesn’t exist.

I endured 25 years of a marriage that slowly eroded the will to live until a sense of hopelessness became the reality of daily experience. I found no humor in it. I would choose death rather than relive those years.

I’ve been on all three sides of the infidelity issue. It’s not the slow death of a horrible marriage. It’s a sudden sharp overwhelming pain that exceeds any other that I’ve ever experienced. I have to force myself to watch scenes in movies that portray infidelity and I don’t find them entertaining.

Life is good for me. I don’t want to forget those bad experiences and I don’t want to joke about them or hear other people attempt to turn them into a comedy routine.

Last night Julie and I turned on the TV and heard one line of a program that attempted to make sexual child abuse a joke. We turned it off.

I’d like to meet the sonofabitch that wrote that line. My ethics don’t compel me to show him respect.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Unless I'm reading something into this that exists only in my mind there is a mountain of angst here.
And I see no reason for there to be. If any lines were crowded they were crowded only in your mind.

12/08/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

Like your tough old hide with its moles, your soul has seen plenty of sun, too. That's why your blog is alway worth a visit.

12/10/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Lilly said...

I agree that some things are never funny. That's why I hate movies and TV shows that pair violence and cruelty with jokes. "Ha, ha, I shot him dead and he fell into the trash can." Sick. But the ads call it "action-comedy" and the crowds eat it up.

12/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  

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