The Matrix is telling me that this entry is good.

23 Apr

        Who knew that The Princess Bride drinking game was so much fun? Put another way, who knew that watching The Princess Bride with a room full of people who quote every line of dialogue while drinking was so much fun? Well, we did. Which is why we did it, I suppose. So, that was a stupid opening paragraph. If this were a paper or something I would delete it and start again. Especially since it has nothing to do with the rest of this entry.

”I always tell the girls never to take life too seriously. If you never take it seriously you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun. And if you’re lonely, you can always go to the record store, and all your friends are there…”

        Ignorance is bliss. But it’s also ignorance. It works until you stop ignoring the things that make you unhappy. Then it doesn’t. Last weekend (I think that’s when it was…) I re-read The Giver. I don’t know why, I just saw it on my shelf when I was looking for something to read, and picked it up. It’s been a long time since I read it. Skip the rest of this if you haven’t read it, and don’t want it spoiled.

”Never underestimate the power of denial.”

        The part of it that struck me the most this time is after Jonas has recieved memories. I’ll back up a bit. The Giver takes place in a community of people who have chosen to live in “Sameness.” There are no animals. There is no color. There are no memories of any times different from those of Sameness. There are set things that people do, and there are set things that happen to people every year. At age 10 you get a bicycle. At age 4 you get a jacket that buttons up the back, to encourage cooperation. At age 5, you get one that buttons down the front. At age 6, you get one with pockets, signifying that you can take more responsibility for your own things. Etc. I’m mixing up the exact ages and occurences, but you get the idea. Sameness. No war. No hunger. No anger. No hatred. No violence. No greed. Ignorance is bliss.
        At age 13 (I think) you get your life assignment from the council of elders. This is basically your job. Laborer, nurterer, birth mother, engineer, teacher, etc. Your assignment is given to you specifically after watching your interactions, keeping track of the different places you volunteer to work in, seeing where you seem proficient, etc. Jonas is given, or rather “selected for” the role of Reciever of Memory. Nobody knows what that is, of course, except the Elders, and the current Reciever, who is old and needs to train a replacement. It turns out, the Reciever is the one who holds all those memories that would prevent Sameness from being possible. He remembers love, family, holidays, snow, rain, color, animals, etc. Things that nobody knows existed, and that don’t exist now in the community of Sameness.
        There is a scene when Jonas has been given the memory of war, and is walking home. He sees his old friends playing a game that they’ve played countless times before. A game of teams, where each side pretends to “shoot” the members of the other side with a “gun” and if you get “hit” you fall down. A harmless, fun, healthy game. But for Jonas, it isn’t anymore. It’s war. Not harmless. Not fun. Not healthy. But only he knows it. Try and grasp that for a moment. What would that feel like? To know that the world, the place you’ve lived your whole life, the place you and your friends still live, isn’t what you thot it was. More mind-blowing than discovering it’s all a computer simulation called the Matrix, because that doesn’t shatter what your idea of a real-world is, just where the real-world is, and what state it’s in.
        For Jonas, the real world is a place of Difference. His real world, is different from everyone elses. It’s a concept that nobody else around him has. He tries to tell his friends that war isn’t a good game to play. But they can’t get it. They can’t understand. He can’t explain it, because they just don’t have the capacity to understand it. He’d have to give them memories they don’t have. Now I’m going to stop going thru and summerizing the book, because it’s this feeling of his that I want to mention. It’s that feeling that I have sometimes. I’m in the same world as everyone else around me, but it’s like I have different memories, or different ways of seeing, because… I don’t know, that’s just the only way some things can possibly make sense. My real world is different from everyone elses. Yet I know that it’s not different from everyone elses…. just… most everyone else.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: