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Archive for tag Illusion of intimacy

Dialogue is dead

Take this Boundless article as a case in point: http://www.boundlessline.org/2008/06/flee-sexual-imm.html.

The comments basically fall into two categories:

Category A: People who are shocked/dismayed by the amoral presentation of sexual relationships in Sex And The City.

Category B: People who essentially filter out or overlook the sex and feel a connection with the relational turmoil of the characters.

As complain SatC is bad and that Bs don't understand the seriousness of the sexual content.

Bs complain that SatC addresses the reality of singleness and that As (and Christians in general) don't take sufficiently seriously the difficulty of being single.

It's a common pattern of miscommunication. Product X contains both good and bad elements. Christian A declares the bad to be so bad that all good is negated. Christian B declares the good to be of sufficient value for the bad to be overlooked/fast-forwarded. And neither seems interested in what the other side has to say.

FWIW, I think Suzanne's assessment is right. To a significant degree our beliefs are socially conditioned: we will tend to want to believe the same things as the people we admire and connect with emotionally. The first job of a writer of fiction is to connect us emotionally with the central characters - to give us the illusion of intimacy. The script writers make us invest time in learning their stories, their attitudes and values and in learning to empathise with them - because that's what will pull us back to watch the next episode. From crowds crying out "Is Little Nell dead?" to internet based campaigns to restore Sara Tancredi for Season 4 of Prison Break, the emotional connection between the consumers of fiction and the characters they observe is sufficiently powerful to spill over, affecting emotions, values and behaviour in the real world.

That said - in this instance - I wonder how much of (particularly American) Christianity's obsession with the urgency of marriage comes from the bible and how much is merely a spillover of the cultural "You're no-one unless you've got someone" diktat.