Feeling Unsettled

I've been reading some unsettling books lately: "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer and "Shopping for God: How Christianity Moved From In Your Heart to In Your Face" (or something like that) by James Twitchell (or something like that). They're completely different, but have congealed in my mind to make me feel like running off into the woods somewhere.

Most people seem to know about "Into the Wild". If not, here's a synopsis.

Chris McCandless was a bit of a loony, but I always seem to admire people who don't do what they're supposed to, and he actually did run off into the woods against all proper etiquette. Really I'm probably not the type of person who would want to do that, because I get sick of camping after about a week. However, I do identify with the instinct to drop out of mainstream society with all of its irrational expectations. I think that instinct would be more likely to manifest itself in me in just dropping any ambition I've got, moving around and doing odd jobs for a living--moving from Bottletown to Bottletown. I'm sure I'll never do that, but maybe if I hit my head or something, and it puts me over the edge... In the meantime, I'll try to direct my counter-cultural instincts towards something a little more productive and sustainable (and acceptable to my wife).

The other book was about the commodification of religion, as the title suggests, and that one made me feel dirty, dirty, dirty. I don't really even know what to say about it, other than it pointed out all of the reasons that the American religious environment makes me want to move to Canada. The Church growth movement makes me feel queasy, and the corporate model of doing church has reaffirmed my conviction that you shouldn't leave even well-intentioned human beings to their own devices. The good news is that, from a marketing and economic standpoint, the author determined the Episcopal Church to be completely inept, and therefore doomed. For some reason I take comfort in that.

So, I'm going to head off to eat locusts and shout prophecy from the wilderness.


Jim said…
yikes! I don't think you shd take it so seriously. I mean it's just a book by an English teacher, for goodness sake. Stay at home, have a smoke, settle down, and maybe watch some tele (I'd suggest Curb Your Enthusiasm). You'll feel better. I promise.


Jim Twitchell