Genre’s of Life

Genre’s of Life: (Audio)

This is a relatively new word for me. Genre. A 19th-century word that simply means “A Kind” or type and we use it to lump things into categories so that we can compare apples to apples and not the proverbial orange. Primarily it is used in artistic endeavors as music, books, and video. With words like Drama, Action, Horror, and Science Fiction, entertainment is collected into diverse separations that allow you to know what “Kind” of endeavor you are looking at.

Not understand this cataloging system and you may be surprised and disappointed at what you choose to enjoy for a moment!

Though a new word for me to use, I’ve always described what I liked by a category that was broader than what the Genre of today may allude to.

For example, I loved Spy Novels and could read the likes of Alistair MacLean and Jack Higgins all day long. There was a time my focus was on Mystery (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift), Western’s (Louis L’Amour), Historical Novels (James Alexander Thom, James Michener) based either on Fiction or Fact and, I confess, I’ve always loved Science Fiction (Isaac Asimov) without the Fantasy.

Genre’s may be broad, but their subcategories could skip around the world and either be a deep story with little or no “action”, or it could be fast-paced with pages and pages of action. I find I must know my mood for story before I pick up one that leaves me dissatisfied.

One of my thoughts during the earlier morning hours dealt with the Genre of Drama. It seems we are captivated by the Drama of Hollywood, Politics, and Local Disasters. Their sub-categories cover the gambit of sleaze and disgust, hatred and abhorrence, fear and awe, but we live for the moment that we can be challenged to respond to the Headlines.

It was John Newton of Amazing Grace restoration and fame that said:

The hour is coming when we shall be astonished to think what mere trifles were once capable of discouraging us.

And he spoke at a time when there was no worldwide communication system that gave instant access to the unfiltered world. What news finally showed up was months, if not years, old. This instant access gives us the opportunity to have an instant voice, all minus the filter.

Perhaps we need to learn the concept of “filter”. Consider the source, weigh all sides of the report, fact check before believing someone’s swayed view of the event. I don’t know, Think before you Act?

If the past 20 years of Internet has taught us anything, there are more sides to a story than you can shake a stick at! And most of them are false, with pieces of truth to make you feel like at least you learned something!

Think with me for a moment. Are we so gullible that we would believe a lie?

Each moment we get sucked into the vortex of a story, we become more and more gullible. Somehow we have missed the concept of filtering the information that is pouring into our life as rapids moving down a chute. Or, as one of my college professors said, “You thought you were going to be drinking from a water fountain but I’m feeding you information with a fire hose!”

Our ability to be deceived goes back to the original story of deception. You know, the Garden of Eden. Early on we find that we can always be drawn away by our OWN lust and desires. Where do these feelings come from? By that which we continually FEED ourselves.

Eve, and Adam, believed the serpents lie enough, and it was probably a regular occurrence that the serpent met them before that special tree. I’m just saying, keep feeding yourself a fantasy and one day you will act upon that daily diet.

So. One day.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.  (Genesis 3:1-7 NKJV)

The Drama of the moment. I can hear the audience shouting, “No! Don’t listen! Don’t walk down that path! Don’t you know the deception the serpent is feeding you?” But Eve picked, tasted and gave to her husband who was right there with her. “Adam! No!”

And for thousands of years, we have all been victimized by similar lies. Hollywood only gives us what they see in real life, or do they present life and we blindly follow after them. Politicians only want what’s best for ALL of us and not their own little party of life, right?. And the local disasters? Well, they only seem to hit home if we know someone personally involved.

And we love the Drama!

In all my years of reading, there has only been one book that drew me into the pages and made me feel like I was a part of the story.  I read it back in the 70’s but it was written in the 50’s. Nevil Shute wrote, “On the Beach” as a post-apocalyptic novel dealing with a planet killer nuclear war.

The characters that were still alive were on the beaches of Australia, and the US Submarine that made it unscathed into their waters. Their daily reports would come back from shortwave radio around the world of the horror of the end of civilization. They could estimate their time left and try to live life with one last great adventure. Car racing. Fishing trip. Even sending the submarine back to the coast of California to investigate a signal that may indicate someone is still alive.

And one morning driving to work in downtown Houston,
I caught myself thinking, “We have only 3 weeks remaining.” 

The story shook me that much. It drew me into the woven idea that life is so fragile, and this planet is even more so, we should strive to not let us get so close to the apocalypse ill-prepared to survive. Of course, back when this was written, Bomb and Fallout Shelters were the rave. If you believed the world was this close to the end, then you would dig deep, and prepare to hunker down and ride out the storm.

This brings me back to the Genre thought for today. Take your time responding to the headlines that are swelling out the newsrooms and living rooms. Do not believe everything you find online, nor hear through the media. Give everything time to shake out, and you still may not be closer to the truth than when you first started. But at least you won’t be walking down the path of the gullible and blind.

Just saying.