Posts Tagged ‘hate’

The June, 2011 issue of Vanity Fair wrote up a juicy, detailed piece on Charlie Sheen’s media meltdown. All the drugging and prostituting and money wasting  is now chic-yuck. “Two and a Half Men” is over for Charlie,  but  Charlie himself is not over yet. Are we jealous pf Charlie, as he thinks, are we disgusted, or  just voyeuristic?  When Charlie went public with his special brand of insanity, he sucked up  a million followers on Twitter. Crazy money, high-priced prostitutes and extreme drug use tweets well in America.

It interesting.  Universal’s 2010  animated film Despicable Me has grossed something like $540 million worldwide.  In Despicable, love and loyalty win.  Gru, a lonely single-guy, lets his love for three little orphan girls win over his super-villianous selfishness. Charlie Sheen and Gru are both despicable, but Charlie is not the kind of despicable in this movie.  Audiences paid to see Gru’s transformation into a loving father and wiped a tear. Do we hark toward Gru or Charlie?  

Last night I saw Tracy Letts’  “August: Osage County” at the Globe.   It played 18 previews and 648 regular performances on Broadway. It’s the comic-tragic American family come unglued. At the core, the patriarch, Beverly cheats on his wife Violet with her sister and alcoholism, drug-addiction and pain ensue for the next two generations. The play ends with T.S. Eliot’s “This is the way the world ends…”  but this  screwed-up  family doesn’t end with a “bang” or  a “whimper,” but with silence —  empty, dark, alone silence.

American’s are increasingly bipolar in our entertainment preferences.

We alternate, between extremes. We go for Charlie then Gru,  back to Osage County, then on to Sesame Street. We love Lady Gaga. We love Taylor Swift.

We  seem to want safe, loving, kind, sane and loyal.

We are fascinated by cruel, hateful, mean and cheated.

Why? We are both. We contain both, all of us. We lust, we loyalify. We hate, we repent.

What wins? Both seem to.

Strong, opposing forces take turns in us, winning, losing, fighting to win again. Become a Charlie Sheen and you self-destruct. Pretend to be a saint and you are a liar. Make good choices or make bad choice, both end up as family entertainment, and grief.  

Charlie, Beverly or Gru?

It’s all so very interesting, but Gru strikes me as just a bit more fun over the long run.

It’s weird, but sometimes the people we love the most we hate the most.  We don’t really hate them, but we sometimes have the strongest negative emotions that we have ever felt, toward them. At a moment of conflict, it feels like hate.

This is something we don’t want to admit. It sounds wrong, but really it’s quite normal. Feelings of love and hate live closer to each other than we may want to admit. We act the dance between the two out. We yell at a spouse or child, criticizing them for something they did or didn’t do, or we simmer inside, silently furious that they have neglected or hurt us, but afraid of our own emotions and afraid of conflict. And yet at the same time, we know we profoundly love them and are committed to them.

Why do we sometimes feel so strongly against those we love? There is so much at stake. Close, family relationships have a huge impact on identity, who we are or think we are. In these relationships we gain a deep sense of worth, and that this can be enhanced or damaged by the loved person. Family relationships also control us, adding to or limiting what we get from life in the crucial areas of money, sex and power. Either gain or loss of what we need amp up our emotions and stir fires of deep calm or anger in us.

We may conflict in a casual relationship without much consequence, but we know that a fight with a spouse or child matters. Our feelings in these relationships flash on brightly, like red lights at busy intersections at night.

What do we do with these feelings? We should honor them, we should accept them, we do best to lean into them. They help us. They are our friends. They tell us that we care. They tell us that these relationships matter. They are normal, and we normalize them by not denying them. And we honor them by acting on them; yes, we act on them by having the needed talk, by working out the needed negotiation, by giving time to process these valuable feelings.

This is life. Feel. You  love. Feel. You  matter. Feel. You have relationships that are important enough to fight for, to care for, to resolve.

Feel. You are alive!