Monday, June 11, 2007

The Internet is for...

So, I happened across this today. If you happed to feel like I just ruined your virgin eyes... I'm not sorry. I am sorry if you are 4 and have not been exposed to pornography as of yet, but I started that when I was six. And, considering I doubt anyone younger than 6 will be reading this blog, I don't think I did anything new to you.

The picture made me laugh. Why did I chuckle at such an obviously... "bad" thing? Because it's true. It's very, very true. It reminds me, once again, of a very famous Google Video. I recently showed the video to my (married) little sister and she was disturbed. She asked me how I could find something like that funny. It's hard to explain why a joke is funny, and often ruins it, so I had to think for a moment. The best I could offer was something to the lines of, "It's funny because that's what's going on. Nobody is really willing to talk about it, so I think it's great people are doing so in a such a light hearted way." Maybe now we can finally talk about this subject... for real.

Granted, this does all stem from our book, but as I write I get more and more frustrated that I don't have it finished yet. People need the truth, and without it they are still locked up. They aren't set free. Please, let this free you. We do know, exactly, what it is you've been Googling. If your wife does not know, it's about time she did.

Last week we had a family reunion. At one point in time my dad started talking with my Uncle about what he does at his church. My Uncle talked about the ministry opportunities he has, and how he mentors people with problems. He was very pleased to announce that he is personally mentoring guys who were addicted to pornography.

My ears perked up. Perhaps my Uncle had some new ideas or information that I could use in my book. He then went on say that he was working with these two guys every week.

Wait... what? Two?

He only knows/mentors two guys with the porn problem? Nevermind. There's no way he has anything new to say. ...He didn't. He did cover some of the same ground we've been fleshing out in the book, but nothing, literally nothing, else.

Of the guys I've known who are around my age, I know for a fact that 90% of them struggle with porn. Of the 10% that I don't know for sure, they are in the "virgin eyes" camp and can't be trusted. I think it is safe to assume that just about every guy I know within 5 years of my age (anyone older or younger isn't going to confide that in me yet) looks at porn on a regular basis.

Let that sink in.

Your husband, boyfriend, buddy, pastor, judge, principal, jailer, father, friend looks at porn to some extent or another. As do you (1 in 3 odds even if you're a girl). Time to come clean.

As I posted recently, I've been involved in a little experiment with that. I downloaded some "accountability" software that will e-mail my wife my web history. She already knows I look at porn, but not to the extent to which I have. Since installing the software I've been much more limited, to things like images of Melissa Theuriau and the humorously captioned bikini girl. So, sure, I haven't gone to obviously bad sites, but I still seek this stuff out in more acceptable ways.

It's been hard.

It's been really hard.

To be honest, it hasn't made sex any better. It hasn't improved my marriage. It hasn't helped with anything. In fact, just yesterday, we got into a huge fight surrounding all this, and I haven't been to a porn site of any kind in almost two weeks... partly because I hadn't been to a porn site in two weeks... but that's a different issue that requires some time before I will be willing to write about it.

The point of all this? I'm not really sure--I saw a picture that made me laugh and I wanted to post it with some thoughts. No clarity, just a chuckle.

~Luke Holzmann

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Heroes of Old

I've recently started watching a TV Show based on a very X-Men-ish storyline. Basically, "Evolution" has begun to shape men into Heroes with super-human abilities (including flight, "cell regeneration" [which is a misnomer because she can actually come back from the dead], and telepathy). The show is quite enjoyable, but would be much better without the horrible "recaps" every few episodes (the voice talent is almost as bad as the blurb writer).

The idea of evolutionary betterment so we can survive as a "species" feels compelling. It makes sense, and draws from the horribly un-idyllic world in which we live. It calls for a Savior, a Superman, Heroes. It feels right. But something has been bothering me. I finally figured out what it was: Heroes are not new.

This show draws on the idea that we are now (whenever the show is supposed to take place) in need of Heroes, and evolution in its blind "wisdom" is here to save us. In the face of coming Nuclear disaster, "Evolution" has stepped in... which is exactly the opposite of Natural Selection, which states that the "fit" survive... meaning that it is only post-apocalypse that we see whom the "fit" were (namely, the cockroaches the show begins with). Evolution, by definition can't be preemptive. But that's an entirely different issue.

The thing that bothers me the most is that these kinds of stories claim that heroes are on the rise now, for the first time, to save humanity. This is simply not the case. History, lore, and legend all point to "heroes of old, men of renown". Even thinking back to movies like "300", we have stories from long ago of Heroes who rose.

Certainly, the creators of the show aren't trying to argue for a complete lack of heroes before now, but their painfully evolutionary bent reeks of lameness. It's lacking, biased, and myopic. Stories are powerful ways of shaping the beliefs and actions of people, and a story that says that in light of evolution's "violent process... morality looses its meaning. The question of 'good' and 'evil' reduced to one simple choice: Survive or perish" is not a story I can support. I can enjoy the ride, but I can't shake the brooding emptiness of such a world. Not only is such a world empty, but it is also naturally self-contradictory. We can only enjoy a story when we believe that the choices, struggles and problems our Heroes face will allow for good to win. Even tragedy only works within a functional "moral" world. Outside of good and evil, tragedy becomes comedy and drama becomes boring. I first noticed this consciously at the end of "Swordfish". The movie begins with the "bad guy" talking about how the "bad guy" should win for once in a Hollywood movie. The film then tries to make this guy into a "bad guy" by giving him guns, girls, and gold. Stuff blows up, boobies get shown, and, low-and-behold the "bad guy" gets away. The problem is that he's not really a bad guy. Sure, he does bad stuff, but the movie only works because people believe that he did the right thing. Was it "moral"? Was it "good"? No, but it was right... for the film and the filmmakers.

We now tread into "situational ethics" and "relativistic morality" which are decried, with good reason, by the religious. However, there is a certain amount of truth to all this: While there is definite right and wrong, motivation, far more than action, determines your moral status. So, sure, it is wrong to murder, but is it really wrong to tear people apart when you enter your "Hulk/Hyde" state? That's hard to say. Why? Because is it wrong to protect yourself? That's hard to say as well.

But back to the point of this post: We have long had heroes and evolution has had nothing to do with it. Evolution is certainly a tool in the "hand of God", so it could very well be that there was some genetic reason that Samson kicked so much butt, but probably not.

So, sure, enjoy the show "Heroes" but remember, 2 Samuel has some wicked-awesome stories as well. Perhaps I should team up with Frank Miller and Zack Snyder and work on "30" or something.

~Luke Holzmann