Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fallen Angels

My mentor, Don Snyder, recently wrote to me about the publishing world. Seems that violent sex is still in high demand. One of his students just published a book about a serial rapist who goes around attacking women with a coke bottle (let your imagination fill in the rest.) This book is the only one of his many students' works to "make it" in the last ten years. So what does that tell us? What it tells me is that the marketplace has not changed….a lot. The law of supply and demand plays out. People want violence, the media provides violence.

Then again, Don wrote the screenplay for "Fallen Angels," a beloved Hallmark Christmas movie. (It will be airing on Hallmark Channel again this year all through the holidays, especially on Xmas Day at 8am and 6pm.) That tells me that decent movies and plays are still in high demand,too. Is it the holidays that actually do bring out the best in us or is there an undercurrent of love that exists there all year round?

Rough sex and violence - some of us have experienced enough of that to last a lifetime- why write about it and pollute the earth even further? We worry about keeping the environment clean and saving the planet. What about the environment of our minds? What about saving each other? If we contribute to the mental pollution of human beings, then, in my opinion, the earth doesn't stand much of a chance.

There I go again, sounding like Tiny Tim from "A Christmas Story" (my favorite holiday movie….next to "Fallen Angel.") I'm not sure my own books, "Losing the Way" and "Walkaway" have enough sex and violence in them to make it in this marketplace but I worry that I'm doing my own share of polluting. I mean, who wants to hear about a young girl corrupted by a cult? But this story bears witness to the truth, my truth, and the truth sets us free, or so said Jesus. Plus, it has a happy ending.

I remember how much The Doctor used to enjoy teaching Christian Family and Sex. He showed us raunchy pornography movies "just to expose us to what the devil was up to." Remember the one with the two lesbians and the German Shepherd? Once when I visited him in his motorcoach he had a folder of obscene photos spread out over his desk. He said he was doing "research." Some research. In my experience, Wierwille was a polluter, not a savior. I don't think there are any saviors out there. We're it, gang. And we get what we're asking for.


Carol V. Hall said...

Thanks for the movie tip, Kristen.
I feel like I'm in a constant battle to protect my mind from violent and perverted images. And the so-called wholesome "Christian" movies I've seen are extremely boring and narrow-sighted. I watch a lot of foreign movies that have strong messages of courage and hope and love.
I agree, Wierwille was a polluter, not only of young people's minds but their very souls. I am still in clean-up mode from his perversions.

Oneperson said...

You stated: "..this story bears witness to the truth, my truth,..."

For me, that is worth every pen stroke and key tap. One's story - I think it is a sacred trust. If one wants to give that story voice, it is to be honored, imo.

Some give voice not with writing, but via other means of art or expression.

In the end, I don't think of one's story as polluting, even if it is harrowing, but rather as adding more color to the world. And within that color others too may find strength.

Thanks for continuing to give voice....
~carol :-)

Billy said...

Just curious, Kristen...Since you have been hearing about sex and writing, what are you being told about language? I am not a fan of the explosion of four letter and related words in movies and to a lesser (it seems to me) extent in writing, though I can watch/listen/read such works if it is not overdone (The worst example, only IMHO, was the movie "Odd Couple 2")

In my only visit alone with VPW in his coach, I did not get the pleasure of such "research" as you did; I wonder why? He actually seemed quite businesslike as I ate his culinary offering. However, in my shadow time with him at HQ in the fall of "79, I was forced to digest a steady stream of those words.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you are exploring how far to go with this sex stuff as you go beyond your own story in your future writing. I don't think I can help you with that. However, after reading what Carol (oneperson) posted above, I suppose a good artist might have some advice on expressing one's self.....

jeff said...

Once again, a very brave thing to post Kristen. God bless you.

It all seems so easy in retrospect, I can vouch for the truth that Wierwille's perversion reached down to the street level in The Way International. I tried for years and years to make a marriage work upon this shaky foundation and might have won if my ex hadn't received comfort in the counsel of another predator coincidentally named Victor with his roots in Way Corps training.

Kristen Skedgell said...

Thanks! sorry to hear about your marriage, Jeff - one of many casualties left in the wake of VPW's tide. (I would say "tsunami" but that's giving him more credit than he deserves.) Glad you survived and are thriving.

jeff said...

Thank you Kristen, that means a lot to me coming from you.

As far as the writing goes let me throw out an idea. Because your writing and you don't pander to the baser instincts that are very popular I have a lot of respect for what you've written already. What you have chosen IMO is to shoot for relevance instead of sensationalism.

Do you remember a shower scene in a Glen Close movie where it graphically and dramatically shows the horror and revulsion she felt when she found out her current suitor was dangerous and scummy? It was a powerful scene, and I don't remember the movie's title and I'm not even 100% positive it was Glen Close, but I do remember the scene. HHhhmmm

I'm thinking that a writer I respect as much as I do you would be able to communicate your emotions without pandering or challenging your credibility,and as such it could actually improve the relevance as far as how people relate to how folks have been abused by these bastards.

IMO Way International apologists are mostly afraid of people who tap into these honest and healthy emotions any abuse victim must go through in recovery.

With respects,


p.s. As for myself, I can only imagine what my ex and others will need to go through when they realize the true character of their MOG/abuser.

Tommy Bruner said...

Hi Kristen.

I was involved with the Way for a few months in 1976-77. I went to one of the festivals in Ohio and I lived in a house for a time with other members. What finally soured me on the whole deal was simple. I'm a natural inquisitor, and I had a number of what I considered to be logical questions about their teachings that I desired answers to. I figure that had I asked Jesus those questions, he would have taken the time to answer them logically. But the attitude I got from the immediate superiors was that I shouldn't be asking those questions. To me that was a red flag. They also told me that, since I was (and still am) a professional musician, if I played anything other than Christian music I was working for the devil, which I see as simply ridiculous. At some point the logical inquisitor in me just said 'to hell with this' and I never looked back. I'm glad you made it out, too.

Tommy Bruner