14 March, 2010

WARNING: long rant. avoid at all costs.

I officially despise college searching.  How can people enjoy this nightmarish activity?  Ugh.  Went and visited a very large Christian university in Virginia a few weeks ago, the name of which I will not mention but which boasts - and when I say boasts I mean boasts - tanning beds, year-round skiing, foyers measuring "fowa hundrud an fifty feet bye fifty feet" and "spowts an music fuh too attract thu yhung people."
Oh, yeah, tanning beds are definitely a big selling point for me.   For sure.
Hm. Not.
I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life.  Let's just say that the "attractions" the school has to offer do not attract me and leave it at that. Moving on.

I'm feeling a bit grouchy.  I don't want to whinge here, but grrrr.

I herby put out a disclaimer.
I've been toting How to be Idle around with me over the last week or so, and I've been asked by friends, quite a few times, what I'm reading.  But I feel a bit hesitant, after I flash the title to 'em, when they ask me whether it's good or not.  (I sort of think, well, why would I be more than halfway through the book if it wasn't good? but never say it)  It is good, mainly.   But did I cringe when one of my mom's very conservative co-workers took note of the title and author on a little pad?  Yes.  I really worry that, if anyone actually does go out and pick the book up, they will be appalled by some of the ideas and, erm, language - and think I'm totally okay with it all.  I often disagree with Mr. Hodgkinson. Christians are entirely responsible for the messed-up work ethic we've got today?  I have a hard time believing that.  Life is pointless?  Sorry, I don't buy it.
For example, a couple of the chapters in How to be Idle are exclusively about drinking, smoking, and hangovers, etc. I don't have problems with responsible drinking. When people say it's 100%, no question about it, absolutely wrong for good Christians to drink, period, I can't help thinking of C.S. Lewis. I mean, anyone can do some reading and find out that he enjoyed a pint at the pub now and then.  It's one of those things you can't generalize about.  For some people, going to the movies is wrong - but just because you object, it isn't automatically wrong for all Christians to go to the movies.  Drinking is one of those things.  My parents don't drink, some of my friends' parents do - and we are all fine with it.
I do, however, have problems with drunkenness.   As far as I've seen, nothing good has ever come out of getting drunk.  My mom and dad have both spent huge portions of their lives in fire/paramedic/EMT jobs, and I've heard who knows how many stories of people getting themselves killed or smashed up - or, even worse in my opinion, hurting an innocent bystander - while in a drunken stupor.  My family has a history of alcoholism, and I've seen enough - if you know what I mean.  Tom Hodgkinson seems to think getting drunk on a regular basis is a normal, okay thing.  I disagree.  I don't object to getting drunk because it interferes with people getting work done, as Mr. Hodgkinson says the objectors do.   I just don't see the appeal in barfing, stumbling around with impaired judgement, and waking up with a splitting headache.  But then, I am a bit biased.
Things like that whole rant above are the issues I have... issues with.  I just disagree - but, to me, the book is still extremely valuable.  A lot of the people I've shrinkingly shared the book with are the sort that, if they don't agree with every word the author says, won't see any of the good bits.  And there are good bits in Tom Hodgkinson's philosophy, I swear!  I mean, gosh, how inspired is the idea that, in a family, both parents could work part-time on swapping schedules - and thereby spend three or four days at home with their kids? I'd never, ever though of that before!  So much of what I'm learning feels like something I've always known, but could never put words to.  The way wandering in the woods or messing about in boats or reading about "the horns of elfland" hurts in the pit of my stomach.  I've always liked the idea of victory gardens and walking and being free from stuff stuff stuff.  Somehow, it's just right.

Didn't mean to get all boring on you, blog. But there it is.  I'm just trying to figure things out.  Blah blah blah.  Who do I think I am, anyways?  Oh well.  Blogs are the place to be opinionated, right?

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