Monday, March 10, 2014

A Sport and Pastime con't

Reading my scandalous post of last Friday over again, it seems to me worth repeating that the story is intentionally a story about fictions: it is not just that this is a story and not reality but that it is a story whose function is to make us think about the way we tell stories about ourselves when we sit down and fantasize about what might have been.  The book is layers of fiction on top of fiction all the way down. These are imagined events. It's a book about what we imagine and the moral significance of those imaginings. The scandal is not in these events having happened or not happened in whole or in part. The scandal is in remembering that you wanted to do these things and punished yourself for even thinking them. Who and what made you do that?

This is nicely drawn out in the story in the way the narrator talks about Dean. He keeps drawing our attention to Dean's selfishness but, at the very same time, he recognizes that these things don't happen unless someone actually is selfish enough to make them happen. And when he thinks of Dean that way, our narrator is honest enough to show that he feels inadequate by comparison.

You may say, "To look at a woman with lust is to have already committed adultery in you heart." Perhaps. A lot depends on how we interpret Jesus here. But here's my question: suppose you spend your teens and twenties suppressing these thoughts (not the actions but the thoughts) as evil and the result is that you grow up to be a man who 1) feels there is something deeply wrong about him that he must always hide and 2) wakes up one day full of resentment and pain that he wasted years of his life suppressing himself and now feels life slipping away from him?

Women, some women anyway, will say they don't want to be thought of this way but why should we care? For starters, they are lying and every single study ever done of women's sexual fantasies confirms this. What the women who complain about these things really want to do is to be able to control what men think. (And all the ridiculous hand-wringing talk about a "rape culture" is just an attempt to control men's thoughts.)

Fight it.

No comments:

Post a Comment