Sin-formation (1,160)

May 28th, 2011

Do I really need to hear all the details of Charlie Sheen’s latest tirade? Do the “Real Housewives of Wherever” actually have any reality to them at all? Is it necessary to follow the story line of John Edward’s illicit affair? Do I need to know what happened to Paris Hilton at the nightclub last night? Does the media require me to receive more information on what Congress is doing in the bedroom than in the committee room?


Americans are obsessed with lurid factoids on what is going on in the personal lives of those people we who are allegedly our superiors. It is one of the most hypocritical times I could ever imagine. Because while we are very careful to bleep out the fifteen or twenty words we have decided are profane, we simultaneously include a description of the unfoldings (minus those particular “bad words”) which is equally distasteful and inappropriate.

If you will allow me a moment, I will give you a very specific example. Because I am a publisher, I will tell you exactly how this process works. For instance, a television writer wants to use the word “pussy.” He can’t use that word, so he considers using the word “vagina.” Now, “vagina” is only acceptable in a medical or clinical context, but that’s not nearly as dark and despicable as the writer requires for his tale, so instead he decides to insert “crotch.” Will you please explain to me why the word “crotch” is any more pleasant to our children’s ears than “pussy?” It takes the mind to the same place, ends up with the same result and allows for a similar resolution! Thus the hypocrisy.

We have television shows that disembowel the human body, exposing blood and organs freely, but this is acceptable. It is not considered sinful. Using bad language? That is prohibited—deemed immoral.

We are nuts.

We are possessed by a demon of preoccupation with sin, while simultaneously portraying repugnance. Therefore no entertainment company can make a living without inserting sex and titillation into its advertising, while other organizations supposedly try to protect us from such indiscretions.

(Case in point: I will tell you bluntly from a position of experience that Christians are not interested in Christian movies. Movies, to believers, are a guilty pleasure and they would rather they not be peppered with scriptural references and moral parables. They are reluctant to admit it, but when the choice is made at the red box, the “redder” the movie, the more likely it will be watched—church-goer or not.)

We are bombarded with sin-formation. It does not make us more informed or preclude us from falling into bad behavior. Instead it makes us cynical and allows us to cut ourselves slack—to become bizarre and sinful ourselves. I am tired of playing the game. There are not fifteen or twenty bad words and everything else is passable.

There is one responsibility: present the truth, including the inception, the process and the conclusion.

I watched a movie yesterday where two grown people take one puff of a marijuana cigarette and suddenly turn into the life of the party. Really?? I didn’t even know you could get “high” on marijuana—everyone I’ve ever seen who smoked marijuana appeared to be playing their lives in slow motion. It dulls the senses in the brain, while only increasing the appetite. Yet the makers of the movie I watched realized that this truth would not create sin-formation—it would not glorify the act of smoking dope, but rather, make it seem undesirable. So they lied. I do not see anything wrong with a movie presenting the entire spectrum of drug use–

The inception: someone gets tempted, so they try it.

The process: it’s expensive, hard to attain, and annoying because it eliminates you from certain social situations where such usage is prohibited.

The conclusion: some form of addiction, either psychological or physical, causes you to be dependent on a substance which no longer provides the same kick it once did.

The media is not going to portray that—it’s not sin-formation. But we—mature, intelligent believers in the essence of life—need to demand that the glory of sin-formation be exposed as hype instead of hope.

I want the camera to follow Charlie Sheen backstage AFTER his tirade—when he comes down from his psychological high and crashes in a heap. I want the reporter to tell me what John Edwards feels like now that his wife is dead and he is alienated from a family he once held dear. I want the lens to go into the bathroom with Paris Hilton as she throws up and turns pale white underneath her Maybelline make-up. I want to see teenagers who are tempted by sex, give into it, and like everybody else in the world, find it dissatisfying, annoying and clumsy.

Sin-formation keeps the populace dissatisfied with their lives because they believe that one more trip to “where the grass is greener” will mow down their inadequacy. It is dastardly and may be the true definition of evil.

In the Arab countries, sin-formation is the propaganda that Americans are all evil because they don’t worship Allah and their chicken is finger-lickin’ good—but meanwhile, we Muslims can treat women like barnyard animals. In America, it is the deceit that the Arabs are evil because they treat women so badly—even as we exploit them on television and the movies by either raping them, killing them or refusing to allow them their rightful, equal place.

Yesterday we talked about din-formation—the cacophony of opinions under the guise of “debate.” But sin-formation is the notion that sin has no wage to it—but can be freely accessed for giggles and gags. In a society that deems itself to be moralistic, we have perfected the craft of the false representation of our actions.

Perhaps we were better off when we didn’t know that John Kennedy was having affairs. He was just a public figure doing public things. I don’t know. But when we know every single detail about every single person given rule over us, where can we develop the respect and faith to pursue a campaign for improvement?

Sin-formation. It is an obsession with vice, accompanied by the voice of disapproval. It makes us hypocritical, cynical and self-righteous instead of introspective and self-aware.

So what is necessary to make human beings work? If we’re being bruised by the media through din-formation—the loud screaming of senseless ideas—and sin-formation—the glorification of sensuality while hypocritically condemning the same—what helps to build strong humans into beings with good hearts, strong souls, sound minds and healthy bodies?

That sounds like a build-up to Sunday’s jonathots, doesn’t it? So let me not disappoint you. I’ll see you then.

Published in: on May 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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