The Shrubbery
October
1999
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Adventures in Maturity

by Gordon Dymowski

To be honest, I had no idea what I was going to write about, so I figured I'd check out my e-mail address at Gordon_D@theshrubbery.com. The best - and only - idea came from Billy Ford. He had written to complain about theaters letting people into R-rated movies indiscriminately. They let him in to see American Pie but not Deep Blue Sea, or something like that. He wanted me to write about this and to ask why "they" don't make it easier.

Personally, I am in no way qualified to write about this. When I was young I scammed my father (against my mom's wishes) into taking me to see Blazing Saddles, which was the most raunchy movie ever made at that point. Plus as a teenager, I then scammed both parents into taking me to a triple feature of An American Werewolf in London, Halloween 2, and the Paul Schraeder remake of Cat People. Werewolf was scary; the other two were scaringly bad. Plus if you have complaints about ratings, you should really be bitching to Jack Valenti at http://www.mpaa.org. He's in charge of that kind of thing. Plus, he has some wonderful cheeks.

But I would like to ask a question - who is "they"? Let's face it, you always hear about how "they" are, how "they" don't understand, etc. Who exactly are we talking about? Republicans? Democrats? Adults? Children? Masons? Porn stars? Life isn't an episode of the X-Files, folks - sometimes the truth is just there. Nobody is working against anyone else. There's no grand conspiracy afoot, unless it's a conspiracy of stupidity. Sometimes, things just suck because they do. We don't make the rules, and once we try to change the rules, we end up making dumber rules.

Another thing that really frosts my muffins is this whole assumption that life should be "easy", and that almost every inconvenience known to man is some kind of, well, crime. Now, show of hands - how many people were told, when they were younger, that life somehow gets better, and "easier"?

Both of you, cut it out. I mean it.

Life ain't easy - I have to admit that this is being written in the shadow of Hurricane Floyd. I'm concerned about the people who will definitely have something to complain about. There are people in our country living in cardboard boxes. I'm sure that if you did a random poll of private citizens, you would find a lot of people wondering when things get better. If you're at one end of the spectrum, you feel that life is wonderful yum yum doodle fun, and that things are just peachy, never mind all the ickiness out there. If you're at the other end, like Sartre and Kierkegaard and those wacky existentialists, you feel that life is just a big pile of muck, and that life is torturous like a Real World marathon.

As someone who's been through his own personal hell and back, I can honestly say that life is neither. It is a series of highs and lows, no doubt about that. Life is a lot like Jerry Lewis - it can be manically funny, and then swing to almost preposterous pretentiousness. Most of the time, life is kind of ...well....there. Our job is to just make sure that we eat right, keep breathing, and avoid major injuries. There are various potential tragedies in our lives; some things are just less of a tragedy than others.

Yeah, yeah, I just scolded you like your parents would have. My apologies but I have to be honest about how I feel. Life is just there, folks. It's up to us to decide how our attitudes are going to be. Not being able to attend R-rated movies...sorry, it just doesn't rank with me as one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. If you want to argue, e-mail me at Gordon_D@theshrubbery.com.The worst thing that happens is that I anger more people than Angry Dan, the Robot from the Future, and Hitler combined.

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