Monday, March 29, 2010

eye candy

A surprisingly wooden horse opera on the Public Broadcast System kept me up past my bedtime last night. The story was set in India in the mid-19th century. It had horses and uniforms and brown people and pink people and British accents and turbans and a damsel in distress and quasi-courtly language and a hero with as much swash and buckle as the show's creators could muster.

There was lots of eye candy, which is probably what kept me up, but little or no substance or character or nuance. Don't get me wrong, I love a good action-adventure movie with guns and booze and broads, but those movies aren't pretending to be 'important' or to carry a message or ... well, you know, do something for the Jane Austen or Henry James crowd.

Eye candy ... how many things in life are like that? Looks good, but shudders or collapses when touched.

It doesn't interest me so much that others may try to sell the eye candy approach to things, but it does interest me when people live their lives according to the eye candy they feed themselves. Invariably, not only do eye-candy aficionados short-change themselves, they also hurt others.

I guess the best that can be hoped for is that anyone might reflect, if only a little, on the question, "Eye candy for what?" or "What reality does this scam hope to convey?"

Is spiritual life nothing but texts and temples and vestments and incense and wise old coots nodding with a sage silence? Spiritual adventure without guns, booze and broads ... what sort of eye candy is that? What sustenance is there in the eye candy of the moment -- the beliefs and hopes that draw us forward but never sustain more than a bowl of cotton candy? Yes, it's tasty, but lollipops are for suckers.

What reality is this? When the eye candy is stripped away, what do you get ... you personally? Can you really afford not to answer this question?

Your life, your choice.

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