11 February, 2009

Apple Pork

I was thinking, this apple pork stuff is a perfect metaphor for my life, and how my taste is so at odds with that of the established paradigm of modern living, and the unending grief that causes me. As far as the dish is concerned, the main feature is the pork, and the apples and stuffing serve to enhance the experience of the pork. From my perspective, the pork is useless, it's a roadblock obstructing me from the apples and stuffing which I do like. So I find myself with a huge uninteresting hunk of pork on my plate after the scarce apples and stuffing runs out, and I can't get anymore apples or stuffing, because, the way the dish is designed, I'd have to take more pork at the same time, and then I'm in an even worse position.

I've always been a picky eater. When I was younger - much younger, as a kid growing up - I'd often have problems with the meals being served at my home. I remember many a dinner spent sitting obstinately with bowed head and clenched fists, wishing life could be kind enough to at the very least serve me some food that I could actually enjoy eating. Is that really too much to ask? Since then, I've become more accepting of my dismal fate, and I'll eat even if I don't like it, because that's just the way of things.

My grandma and her peers lived through/grew up during the Great Depression, which is what I typically attribute to the attitude they have which makes them constantly remind us (me and my siblings) how spoiled we are, and to their practice of frequently going out to restaurants to have extravagant meals (and why they can't help making comments when we don't finish what's on our plates). It doesn't really bother me, because that's what their frame of reference is; I accept that they've been through tough situations I can hardly imagine. Still, it'd be nice if they could be more accepting that my own 'spoiled' and 'picky' attitudes are merely a result of the easy living I've been exposed to - and it's not like that was a conscious choice I made - my parents chose to raise me that way.

So whenever my grandma mentions how spoiled I am/we are, I just think to myself, that's the way you want it, right? You wouldn't want us to have to have lived through the kinds of things you lived through, right? And yet, if my easy living has made me what I am today, I can't help wondering whether I'd be better off if I'd had a little more traditional adversity in my life (I *have* had my share of nontraditional adversity, however - but it's the kind of thing that most people shrug and say 'get over it', but that's because they're them and I'm me, and we all have our own personal demons we struggle against, that few other people are able to understand).

Like, for example, there's this movie called Bastard Out of Carolina which is an intense movie experience about a young girl growing up in the south, who gets abused and raped by her stepfather. She's a helpless victim at first - after all, she's just a child - but by the end of the movie, she finds her will and fights back, and it makes her this incredibly strong person. And I wonder, she's the type that she'd probably have been a strong person anyway. But without those experiences she had, as awful as they were, I don't think it would be nearly the same. So you have to wonder, if you can create something great out of something terrible, then isn't that terrible thing just as necessary in the grand scheme of things?

I mean, nobody /likes/ adversity (well I dunno, maybe some people do), but is it really something we even /should/ want to eliminate? Nobody /wants/ bad stuff to happen, but is it really so responsible for us to wish that such things never happened to anybody? Should we all live a happy and well-adjusted, easy-going life with no pain and sorrow, so that we all become weak and defenseless and eventually lose the ability to even survive the harsh turns the universe has in store for us? No, I guess not. It's a paradox, trying to protect without being overprotecting. I think I've had both, too much protection, and not enough protection. And it still doesn't mean a damn thing.

Lois: So how was your day?
Brian: My day? Un-freakin' believable. First we nailed this bastard who had the gall to hide his stuff in his daughter's doll--HER DOLL for God's sake! Where's the line anymore? Well, I got news for ya, it's not even on the radar screen! The days of decency and virtue are gone, honey, BAM, freakin' evaporated like a dingy stinkin' mudpuddle. One day you see your reflection in it and the next day it's a, it's a damn oil spot on your cracked driveway, staring back at you, mocking you, knowing the perverted truths that rot in the pit of your soul. That's how my freakin' day was!

1 comment:

  1. People who use "spoiled" as an insult are merely expressing their overt classism; and this is proven by the fact that Chris McCandless continues to be called spoiled after having surpassed hardships greater than those of the modern poor.

    I've always agreed that hardship is an important part of the puzzle in numerous ways. In my life, I feel like the classic tragic hero who spends his life fighting only for the sake of finding someone who actually has ability enough to kill him. You know the type. I dream of someday encountering a hardship that allows me to surpass the mundane mindset and become sincerely sentient.

    But we musn't just sit back and admire the rape victims and their strength. Untraditional hardship is no less condusive to strength than traditional hardship is, it's up to the individual whether your struggles make you strong or weak. In all seriousness, anger is probably the key. We don't live in a brute society, being physically stronger than someone doesn't matter in most circumstances. It's the anger that allows someone to break down their societal feelings of servitude which are the real way that society rules.