I’ve seen and read several very good things lately, but all the same, I didn’t like them. The movie Nashville was an intricate portrait of the country music capital in the 1970s, with some very poignant segments that will stick in my memory. The Slaves of Solitude was likewise well-written, a study of the insular madness that can occur amongst a small group of people forced to endure each other’s company. I didn’t enjoy either work as a whole, though, because they painted a dystopian view of the world that I do not subscribe to.
It’s easy enough to see trouble around you if you look. The headlines are not always positive, and suffering comes to us all at one time or another. I am not blind to these things, but I hold a deep-seated belief that the world is a good place. Yes, there’s violence, poverty, disease. Beyond working towards the end of such ills, I see no point on focusing on them, particularly when I am looking to be entertained.
I don’t see violent films for that reason. I’ve heard raves about classic cinema pieces such as Goodfellas and The Godfather, but I don’t plan to watch those films. I don’t want scenes of cruelty simmering in my head, ready to pop up when I least expect them. I occasionally have nightmares about horror movies I saw as a child. I don’t want to add any more fuel to the fire and, besides, I’ve decided to decorate my inner landscape in a bright and cheerful way. That way, when the inevitable lows hit, they will be small rough spots in a sunny atmosphere.
My friends sometimes tease me about this attitude, because they know that I adore mystery novels. It’s true, but I don’t like the violent ones. I find most mysteries uplifting, because the protagonist is addressing the problems that are out there. Crimes are solved, difficulties are put to rest. It would be great if the rest of the world ran that smoothly. In the meantime, I’m going to look on the bright side of life. After all, it’s a lot prettier.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
154. Examine your intake of novels, films, and television. How do these influences affect your mood? Do you need to make some changes?