Of Driving and Divergent.

Finally! I got a Driver’s License. Now I can hold my head up around my peers again.

You know, I realize that without my voice, my sense of humor may seem kind of flat. Delivery is everything.

You want to know what’s crazy about this. My permit had expired after three failed tests, so I had to get a new one. Guess what, they don’t charge you for the fourth one because in the system it’s like the first one.

In case the nuance was missed, that means I almost literally got a fresh start on record.

Oh, I suppose if one dug it up at the DMV, they could find out I took the test four times, but I doubt anyone is going to.

In a sense, I passed on the first try.

Talk about irony, or maybe just redemption.

I can’t help but see this incident as a metaphor for something.

Anyway, in other news, I’ve watched two of the three Divergent movies.

Did you know Veronica Roth, the author of those books, is a professing Christian? I can’t say I really like the movies any better knowing that.

I don’t think they warrant a full review, but in passing, I will say the entire third movie was basically a very thinly veiled parallel of Christianity. Without the Christ. Or the actual point of the faith. Or any strong moral lesson.

Nonetheless, it was better than the first one.

You know, I hate to come down on Christian movies and books, but why are they so weird?

Some are good. Christian movies tend to shine when they just tell life stories and let the faith be a part of it when it actually fits. Like in “Soul Surfer.”

But when they try to make post apocalyptic or dark and gritty fiction; it turns out really badly.

I mean, why would a christian need to write about a fake apocalypse, when they already believe in a real one that would be a way better story than any of the fiction ones?

My biggest problem with that sub-genre is that it takes any real power out of the faith, because it bases all of it’s events on things that will never happen.

The whole Five Faction System would never work. It couldn’t last. And in a day and age where individuality is being celebrated, if anything, too much, it seems stupid.

What do we learn from these stories? (And everything from Ender’s Game to PBS kids is featuring themes like this.) They set up a fake world with fake rules that function in fake environments that we only believe because our own technology is close enough t it to make it seem possible.

And I know a lot of people who love the dystopian genre, and read it exclusively, I expect. And they claim to get stuff out of it.

But if all you get from these stories is that you should celebrate your individuality then it’s the same stupid message you’ve hear a hundred times by now.

And have you noticed that it’s not working? Insecurity runs rampant in our society. No matter how many times we tell kids “Be yourself, love your special-ness” it doesn’t stick.

I am not saying this message is not important in it;s place. I went through a period of self discovery a couple years ago, and Is till continue that process now, only slower.

But that’s the point, you can’t stay there. You can’t keep telling people, especially children, that self-realization is the one-size-fits-all solution to their problems. It’s not.

Sometimes a dose of humility will work wonders in your life. Not demanding people appreciate the wonderful person you are.

Newsflash: You’re not as good as you think.

You’re not as bad as you think either. The truth it, we rarely see either our faults or our virtues clearly.

It’s not wise to tell kids that if they’re special, they’re the savior of the world. (I’m looking at you Tris.)

I think Wonder Woman’s got the right idea. Remember, she says she can’t save the world. Only love can save the world.

I am all for knowing your worth. But one has to know more than that to get by in life. Well, to thrive. Who wants to just get by.

And maybe,  just maybe, taking an honest look at the real world around us; instead of imagining one that is even worse and wildly unrealistic, would be more helpful.

I know this is coming from an unashamed fantasy lover. What can I say? I find Fantasy to be a better example of real world things that pulp fiction.

It’s kind of like a trashy romance novel being held up as an example of true love. When any Disney movie you like gets closer to the actual idea. (And I don’t just mean Frozen.)

I won’t say all dystopian novels are useless trash, I won’t say that. But I will say that it’s one in one thousand that’s truly profound and inspiring.

Honestly, and I mean no disrespect, but I think they are lazy writing. The plots are so fabricated that they can’t be researched for or based on any actual experience that would require work to put into words. The emotional stakes are also way out of proportion to most people’s experience. (Have you watched your mother get shot in front of your eyes? Have you bee inside someone’s hallucination? Have you had to fight to the death for entertainment?)

Even if someone was to have had those terrible experiences, would they find this kind=d of book or movie helpful? I doubt it. If anything, it’s going to make them angry.

From my own life, I will say that the books that helped me through tough stuff were the ones that did not exaggerate my problem, or try to make it seem super dramatic. The fact was, my issues are dramatic to me. But because of that, I can tell when someone else has actually felt what I’ve felt.

Like in Frozen. Elsa never calls herself a monster. She never makes some dramatic monologue aobut how every day of her life is misery. She doesn’t have to. In the moments when we get a glimpse into what she’s feeling. A few short sentences speak volumes. I buy it.

Anyway, I hope this post made some sense, since it was very spur of the moment. Until next time–Natasha.

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