(Feection: feel-good fiction)
(Pic from one of those f'wd-ed spams)
"Trainspotting" is among the most memorable films I've ever watched. One reason is its ending, which is such a relief after all that agonizing tribulation of hell that drug addicts go through. I find the film quite judgmental of drug addicts, though. Drug addicts are drug addicts because they are "f*cked up," and they don't know or don't understand exactly why. Addicts and the like need help, not judgment.
Going back to "Trainspotting"... Renton, the character of Ewan McGregor, at the film's end, rattles off the good things in life that he has been missing or craving for, after making that life-changing buck-stops-here kind of decision. You, the viewer, are almost convinced in Renton's belief that, in the final analysis, he can do something, and it's really only him who can start doing something about his pain if he so wishes.
To me, Renton sounds like he's saying a religious litany. You feel so good about it, and you feel so good for him.
This is so shallow, but that's how I feel Christmas shopping at Makro or in any of the outsize malls in town -- and I'm no fan of shopping at all. Let me try my own litany: Fuji apples, bathroom phone, Norwegian salmon steak, wall-mount aircon, red globe grapes, executive chair with gas lift, Chinese ya pears, dome tents, chicken nuggets, yakitori sauce, panini maker, cheese balls, bright-red and bright-green Lacoste shirts, crab sticks, stainless-steel stock pots, all-variant European cold cuts, tequila, grated parmesan, Philips home theater, Campbell's cream of mushroom, Danish cookies, Absolut vodka, i-Pod, digicam...
Wait, it's a litany that I think I heard as well in this smart movie based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel, "Fight Club." This time, it's the character of Edward Norton who was rattling off Santa's list in connection with something sublime. Yeah, it's something familiar, after all, this good feeling. If you think about it, there is something bigger, something higher, after all, than all the tactile, visual, sensual satisfaction that can be had in coming in contact with new goods up for sale. Which brings me to remember yet another scene, or this line from a play, this time, Jonathan Larson's "Tick...Tick...Boom," which says "It's life-affirming" to have lots of material things, lots of choices in life. "It's life-affirming to have different kinds of belt," for example.
It must be this kind of high that compulsive shoppers feel and people who max out on their credit cards exult about. And it doesn't help at all that the shopping space is as endless as the parking lot outside and the air-con is working full-blast.
Money can be a good, awesome god, if seen this way, instead of being the root of all evil like it is always maligned by allegedly non-materialistic people. There's an awful mistake there, anyway. It's the love of money, not money per se, that's evil. If your heart and mind is in the right place, giving in to one's covetousness can be a pure joy, too.
Shopping really can be some kind of a prelude to paradise. Which kind of reminds me of Edward Hicks' "peaceable kingdom," where the lion and the viper live together with the sheep and the birds -- if not the Seventh Day Adventists' mini-magazine containing very colorful illustrations of the impossible visions of nirvana: blacks kissing whites, and in a 'chaste' manner, too, lolos and lolas discarding the wheelchair and the eyeglasses, and lots of food! glorious! food! With shopping, we're only living what we were originally meant for: as sybarites, with truly limitless shopping-malls for our Shangri-la.
I had heard about, but never got to watch, this play awfully titled "Shopping and F*cking," too. It must be written by someone who didn't have any money on Christmas -- the worst time of the year to get depressed, I know.
I believe everybody should have shopping money this time of the year, no matter their station in life. Shopping money and shopping malls -- they are goods for the soul.
[Annotation: The above is just my latest stab at shopping mall spirituality: This world's goods ain't bad; they're good for the soul, too.]