Saturday, July 20, 2013

Came Home From a Movie

I just came home from "Man of Steel". I felt like I should write something about my thoughts from seeing that movie.

I found the movie to be more entertaining than Star Wars, probably because Star Wars has grown old, as well as the first three episodes of Star Wars seemed geared for very young minds, whereas Man of Steel is a bit more mature.

But, as my Dad commented, Man of Steel is 25x9/11. Maybe there appears to be entertainment value in all the bloodshed and extreme destruction - but if you know what the LAW OF ATTRACTION is, you would understand that focusing our mental faculties on such portrayals of extreme destruction probably isn't such a good idea. Especially when you understand just how horrific 9/11 was --- we definitely don't need 25x9/11.

I recently sent an e-mail to a reader of my book where I explain that the LDS standard of watching G-rated movies doesn't give a very good depiction of reality. Though that is true, watching superhuman aliens fight it out in a 25x9/11 manner probably isn't a very good depiction of reality either.

The importance of depicting reality was expressed because of The Number 23's comparability with my life - my life is not G-Rated so my movie wouldn't be either. And though the Number 23 isn't a perfect depiction of reality either, it was meant to be fictional, but at least it doesn't have fantasy scenes of extreme violence.

As for my thoughts about mormonism when watching the movie, well, I came to a realization that God is the greatest judge, and that I should let the Lord do the judging of the people. You could say that I felt inclined to be merciful to the population of dunderheaded LDS people I've encountered through my life, but I still have a realization that sometimes LDS people are just so, well, "not mentally enabled", that I still have my reservations about them.

And though I do understand the negative views people have of mormonism, I do not dismiss mormonism as a completely wrong hoax --- I think there is something special about mormonism, something that makes it somehow real or tangible, regardless of how much Joseph Smith was erroneous.

Which brings me to another point: people are imperfect, and this includes church leaders and even prophets. It is very clear that even highly respected prophets are very much capable of making very stupid mistakes or saying very stupid things. A good teaching is to learn wisdom. Another good teaching is to understand that church leaders and even high-ranked prophets have their frailties and sometimes don't act or say as they should. I could give examples, but I'll let you figure that out for yourself: I'll just say that it's very clear that some of these high-ranking church leaders are not logically sound in some of the things they say.

And though I have my suspicions about the logical soundness of [LDS] scriptural and LDS leaders' teachings, I still respect the LDS church as having some kind of magical reality about it.

As for my own personal magical reality, I am guessing that my miracles are on a tight leash held by God, and that much of the time I am a very normal person. This isn't to say that I have no magic, it's just that a lot of the time my magic isn't readily apparent. But it's still real.

I think I would be physically healthier if I wasn't on psychiatric medications. I also realize that my mental health has improved and I've been mentally closer or as capable or comparably closer to who I used to be. I don't know for certain, but I do not reject the idea that my drugs help me think better. So, though I'd have great physical health without drugs, it's possible that my mind works better because of the drugs, notwithstanding the actual nature of all the mental-health issues as described and contended about between me and my psychiatrists.

I'll just mention, politically, that I agree that the government should help poor people, the redistribution of wealth is important I think. But I also believe that those who work hard should be paid and rewarded for their efforts. I believe in free handouts from governments, but I think society is being very shameful when the hard work of individuals is not rewarded with payment. Basically, I think it's very sad that our modern culture revolves around "Free" rather than paying for goods and services. It's not wrong to spend money, you know? If you are so poor that you can't spend money, then maybe you need to work for money, and failing that then get some government handouts - but expecting people to give you services without payment doesn't match my view of moral integrity.

Which is another thing about the LDS church: The LDS church, when I was active within it,  commonly supported ideals of service, or working for free. Though there may be merits in service or working for free, when you are a very poor family like mine was, you have to understand that we are very much interested in being paid for our efforts, rather than paying a very rich church 10% of our meagre income, and then being put into service projects that waste our time and basically, it's kind of like slavery. Maybe rich people can afford to serve for free, but those of us who are poor shouldn't be expected to work without pay - getting poor people to work without pay is very close to slavery, and this is like how the church treated me - having to work for free on service projects and then not get paid and then give the church money instead of receiving payment for the effort.

So: pay people for their work, and if you can't afford things, then either do some work yourself, or failing that let the government give you money. But I have learned that expecting people to provide you goods and services for free isn't very moral behaviour. Either pay your own way or let the government pay for you --- but please, always try to reward a labourer for their efforts. I am very sad that our society flocks towards free pricing and can't stand to spend a dime.

And that's all I have to say, I guess.

Immediately after posting the above article, I looked at my writing on my website's front page and saw a google banner advertisement for an LDS related website that looked interesting to me: I kept google's rule and didn't click on the link, I just typed the URL into my browser, and found that the website advertises a book about one woman's departure and return from and to mormonism. I was interested. The book offered a FREE coupon or the option to buy on amazon. Keeping in line with my own ideas of morality as expressed in this article, I did actually decide to pay a SMALL fee to buy the book as a download. I recognize that FREE is enticing, but when a book costs $4 or less as an ebook, there's really very little excuse for not buying it.

Unlike the way I'd advertise my book to Mormons-only on facebook, and they'd click my ad causing me to spend money, and then completely neglect to actually buy my book, even though the price of my book was advertised in my facebook ad. I only felt better about this once I complained to feedback, about how mormons will only take my stuff for free without leaving feedback instead of paying me and leaving reviews --- and I only felt better about it once one of the feedback receivers actually paid for my ebook and left a review. I suppose you could say that I was doing some guilt-tripping or being manipulative ---- but in all seriousness, advertising, getting interested people, and then no one can afford it--- anyway, there are moral issues involved here.

And yay --- the feedback person DID like my book, said it's a wonderful story. Understands how blind LDS people can be sometimes too. Yay - very happy.

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