Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stay Calm...

"...There's a backup plan"

Why is it that my Internet delights (Pandora, facebook, etc.) have recently become the sewers through which the dregs of society are sluiced, depositing slime and encrusted filth?

I do NOT need to read about Plan B emergency "contraception," the "backup plan of choice" when I'm jamming to my own exclusive blend of late 90's boy band one hit wonders and select ballads by Journey and Boston. Not then, and not ever.

Neither do I appreciate (are you listening, Mark Zuckerberg?) the trashy facebook sidebars that have recently begun collecting information from my profile and attempting to persuade me of the goodness of the Nuva ring. Or half-priced engagement rings. What the hell?

I make a conscious effort to abstain from the more troubling forms of media, namely, prime time television. I'm rarely home anyway, so there's no real sacrifice in forgoing cable. As a side effect, however, when I am "privileged" to take in the occasional sitcom, it generally induces vomiting. Not always literally. But still...

So there's apparently more to be done than merely passively avoiding the slime. Because the slime is encroaching on places I frequent, intruding on my ability to live in chaste, peaceful ignorance.

Now, I'm a fairly outspoken whistle blower when it comes to undesirable cultural phenomenons, but I've been wondering lately if that's enough. Is it enough to just remain calm, to speak out in carefully measured and controlled manners to selective audiences, while all the world goes up in flames around us? Is it enough to be "personally opposed" to that which is destroying human lives all around us? Is it enough to pray without ceasing, hoping God will step in and take the reins before we're too far gone?

I don't think it is.

There's a serious battle for the soul of western civilization raging out there, and I think we're being tapped to enter the fray. If not us, who? And if not now, when? Things aren't getting any better. In fact, since re-entering the "real world" after 3 years on retreat, essentially, things actually seem a lot... worse.

This isn't some fatalistic call to take up arms in the face of the apocalypse. But I think we need to be doing more, in addition to speaking and writing truth. There are very real consequences being carried to their logical and diabolical conclusions in the lives of people with whom I interact on a daily. My barista at the 'Bucks,' the security guard in the lobby of our office building, my Obamaniac neighbors who still haven't taken the campaign signs down from every window in their house...

These are real people who could be suffering, whose suffering I could potentially help to alleviate in some way. But instead I'll mentally file away their pain or ignorance to be used later as excellent "material" to share with... other people?

I haven't quite worked out the the complete line of reasoning employed here, but I know that something has to give. I can't live this way, shuddering in revulsion every time I log in, and doing nothing about it save for averting my eyes in annoyance or disgust when Victoria's Secret ads populate my sidebar.

So my challenge to myself, and to anyone reading this: do something. Strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper the next time you're standing in the checkout line avoiding those abhorrent Cosmo covers. Volunteer to speak at your local youth group about chastity and living as a Christian in a pagan world. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper complaining about the adult bookstore that just opened across from the YMCA in your city. Engage fellow bar hoppers on any given Friday or Saturday night on the topic of Theology of the Body, and the real meaning and goodness of human sexuality. Teach a little girl that her worth is not correlated to her eventual bust size, nor does she need to prepare to "protect herself" from the inevitability of teen pregnancy by starting a regimen of chemical contraceptives at age 12.

But do do something. The time for calm has passed. Now, my friends, is the time for action.


  1. It seems to me that now, more than ever, is the time for pulling back in relfection and renewal. When all the world seems mad it's time to refocus on The Primordial Relationship.

    I'm not trying to be contrary, but simply saying that when our culture loses (or never discovers) it's spiritual bearings, that it becomes deaf to any of the issues you rightly bring up. They watch your lips move but hear nothing.

    As a consequence, all of this is creating a sense of exasperation in this post (flashing red lights).

    Peace and all good. (BTW, my feed reader had you AWOL so I missed a bunch of your posts)

  2. I realize that this is 6 months after the post, but just in case you haven't given up on Facebook et al. completely and use Firefox to browse the web, you'll want to download the add on, "AdBlock Plus", where you can fiddle around and block out every last Facebook ad ever with a couple minutes of experimentation. Also most other ads on the Net. They don't even download on to your computer when Firefox loads the page.

    And no, I had nothing to do with the development of that free software. :P


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