be careful little eyes

CANDLEA friend invited me to sit with him to watch one of the popular offerings on prime time television.  My viewing over the years has diminished to baseball, news, and college football.  Sometimes an old movie will grab my attention and I will settle down to watch and reminisce.  But, today’s 1258 channels on cable don’t get me too excited.

The show we watched was not alarmingly violent, had little sexual content, kept cussing to that which 8 year-olds now use at school.  But, it was bizarre in the images presented and the script.  Actually, bizarre is not strong enough.  It was chilling, ominous, and dark.  It creeped me out.  The computer generated visual effects were graphically disturbing, not something I wanted to put into my memory banks and certainly not something I would want a 10 year-old to process in his/her developing psyche.

“Trash in, trash out”.  We seem to have lost as a supposedly advanced society the wisdom that what we ingest mentally is who we become as a person.  Those images and that music which I allow into my brain will affect who I become as a person.  I can fill that space in my head with soul-nurturing entertainment or gut-wrenching graphics.  I can honor the presence of Jesus within or I can dump trash on his salvific glory. It’s a choice I have to make every minute of every day.  And, being the broken piece of humanity which I am, I sometimes fall short.  There are times when the best I can accomplish is damage control.

Our entertainment industry has replaced a God of joy and peaceful coexistence with its god of sex, immorality, and violence.  We should not wonder why mass shootings are becoming commonplace in America.  The children are learning from the movies, music, media, and politicians that the best solution to a problem involves a gun and standing up for “rights”.  Even some of our churches are preaching a theology of exclusion.  “You are not like me, you do not think like me, you do not look like me; therefore, you need to be eliminated.”  The less violent of these misguided religionists are content with the thought that the elimination will be an eternity in hell for those who do not fit their narrow viewpoint.  But, increasingly in America we see an active pursuit of legislating hatred in the name of God.

I am a child of God, I need to be careful what I see, hear, say, think, and feel.

 

 

he was a friend

Suze over at OBSOLETE CHILDHOOD  did a great post about writing our own obit.  It truly supports a phrase Suze and I are both are familiar with…..”some of us are sicker than others.”

After trying my darnedest to come up with something funny and snarky, I gave up.  But it set me to thinking.  If my friends, all four of them, wanted to celebrate my life after I move on, how would I like them to remember me?  What would my obit be?

Well, we would have a small gathering somewhere, (family is welcome only by invitation), a few tables with flowers and candles, beer and wine for my drinking friends, pepsi and ginger ale for non-drinkers, and Willie Nelson singing one of my favorite tear-jerker songs.  If they are really friends, they will hang around and watch BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN one last time with me.

 

Charlie Chaplin nails it

Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy. charlie chaplin

(and you thought Chaplin was just another has-been comedian from the silent screen)

REALITY

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A friend invited me to a movie, said I needed to get out of the house and enjoy a few chuckles and smiles. Yes, I agreed. My brain was getting moldy spending too much time with the mundane chores of daily living and an afternoon at the cinema sounded like a good thing.

Of course when one pays $11 to $15 bucks for a show (forget about snacks and drinks) one doesn’t want to miss anything that he’s paid for. That includes previews and we arrived when previews had already started. That’s OK; twenty minutes after seating ourselves previews were still being previewed. Why not just call them “wastes of time” or “nappy time”?

However, not being one to complain, I sat through all the sex, bloodshed, violence, and cussing that was going to appear this coming summer and finally the feature presentation began. It was billed as a comedy and, indeed, the trailer showing on television as advertisement seemed to be quite comical. So, I had high hopes. The last movie my friend and I saw was “Cinderella” and I was rather enchanted that ‘good movies’ were still being produced by the industry.

I do not claim to be a movie critic. I do not claim to be main stream America. I do not claim to be hip…not anymore that is. I’m just an old fogey who wants to be entertained for my eleven bucks.

The opening 5 minutes included sexual innuendo, nudity, violence, a crashing car and volumes of blood. “OK”, I assured myself, maybe this will get better as we move along. I had even stuck my hearing aids in my ears for this special occasion so that I wouldn’t miss a word.

Bad move. The noise got louder, the violence got worse, and then the cussing began. Now, I’m not a prude and I can handle an “F” word once in a while. But my faith and religion force me to draw the line at profanity laced with the objects of my devotion. God and Jesus did not have any place in that movie script, and neither did I.

I waited outside the theater with a nice cup of coffee until my friend appeared when the movie had ended. He understood why I left and for that I was grateful. The movie carried an “R” rating. I should have checked beforehand.

But, the fact that this movie is being well received by the public forces me to realize that this type of behavior and language is mainstream America. It is no longer back-on-the farm civility and principle that rules our land. Young, pre puberty children converse with ‘F’ and ‘MF’ as if it were grammar school proper. Guns have become the common solution to difficulties which in a time past were addressed with conversation and compromise.

Which brings me to my point. Whose reality will prevail?  I refuse to surrender what is my reality.  I refuse to carry a weapon to the grocery store, to school or to my church. And I refuse to accept the rudeness and arrogance of contemporary America as normal.  Contrary to the rhetoric of supporters of our violent, sex-driven culture who adamantly declare that the movies, TV, and video games they enjoy are purely fantasy, I must counter with something my Grandpa taught me as a boy.

Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little mouth what you say.

Oh, be careful little hands, what you do,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little hands what you do

Oh, be careful little mind what you think,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little mind, what you think.

In today’s world I would condense Grandpa’s advice:

“TRASH IN, TRASH OUT.”

Matthew 6:22-23  (NIV)
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!