mu-sick

i’ve had this revelation a hundred zillion times…but once again it came…and it’s so true…so very true…and so very simple.

we can’t live by how we feel or don’t feel.  period.

i’ve been downloading music for more than 10 years, since the age of 12, when napster came out.  yeah, baby, 400 bytes per second.   i’ve felt fine about it, and sorry if this causes you theological issues, but i’ve never heard any small voice saying “ronit, this is wrong” every time i clicked the mouse.  but you know what?  it *is* wrong.  you know how i know it’s wrong?  because it’s stealing.  stealing is wrong.  end of story.

what a hypocrite i’ve been up until now.  my response to the baffled gasps that follow when my fellow soldiers see that my movie collection is in actual, copyrighted and legally distributed reproductions is “i’m not going to download movies like everyone else.  it’s stealing…”  and music isn’t?  perhaps the stealthy justification complex in my head bended the truth, because, after all, movies are multi million dollar productions while a cd is not…and music from cds can be heard for free over the internet legally and on the radio, so what’s the difference?  and i felt just swell about it.

i also felt fine when i picked a few nectarines from a field during a patrol, but i couldn’t escape the truth that was uttered from the mouth of a friend, the commander of the jeep:  “those are someone else’s trees.  that’s stealing.”   the fact that they have acres of land and two peaches would not make any significant dent in the owner’s profits was irrelevant; on principle, my action was taking that which was not mine.  (but don’t you worry about me; there are plenty of free and lonely trees bearing prickly pear, figs, and peaches…and if i happen to catch workers in the fields, they are usually more than happy to share with me a fruit or two.)  my head creates complicated webs of rationalization allowing my feelings to contently comply to my self-centered wants, but it takes a most simple thing, a truth spoken directly and concisely, to pierce through those excuses.

and so i asked my army friend who i consider to be my greatest israeli authority on music if he’d like me to send him the benny goodman track he had just thoroughly enjoyed on my phone to his, and he launched an arrow through the tangles of false justification surrounding my core values in saying, “no, ronit.  that’s stealing.”  in an instant, a fluttering little thought floated about in my mind: “he’s right.”  about 5 seconds were left for me to reach out, capture this fact and insert it into my heart, or ignore its presence entirely and continue walking in delusion.   reluctantly, i grasped hold of it at the last second and said admittedly, “yeah, you’re right.  it is.”

currently i’m at home, where i’ll be for an entire week (yay!)…stopped on the way at tower records and bought 4 new israeli cds (because israeli music is all but missing entirely from my life, and what a shame it is) and then realized that i could have gotten them much cheaper at a used cd store in jerusalem, which i’ll venture to next time.  anyway, it’s not as if i’m going to refuse to listen to a mix cd that someone gives me, and i’m still going to download music that someone far away suggests to me in order to determine whether or not i like it enough to buy it, and if i don’t, say hello to mr. recycle bin.

oh good golly.  where the heck am i going to get $700 to buy legal photoshop?  this being moral business can be expensive…

BUT on more interesting subjects, at least to me, i found the prettiest tomatoes: deep red striped with forest green.  they were a whopping 8 shekels for a basket, which is expensive for produce in israel, because they’re “fancy” oooo (about $2…in america i assume they would be around $4-7, depending on how snooty the store is…sucks to be you, americans.  oh, wait, everything except food is cheaper there.  sucks to be me.)  i also found yellow cherry tomatoes, which are about the size of the mini fresh mozzarella balls that i also bought.  with fresh basil from the deck, the cutest caprese ever…  so, way to go israel on the smaller tomatoes, which are consistently sweet and robust in flavor, but what the heck were you thinking with regular tomatoes?  i don’t even know which species this is but if i did i would commit genocide on it.  the geniuses of this country have developed some of the most advanced agricultural techniques in the world, so why can’t we crank out some full-bodied beefsteaks?   or some ugly looking heirlooms, whose inner beauty shines through in juicy red perfection?  i can’t take anymore of these bland-no, tasteless- tomatoes with an enormous and annoying inner core and come in two levels of ripeness: hard or mealy.  one of my favorite things about this country, in fact perhaps my very favorite thing, is its produce.  one would assume that what is perhaps the most consumed item in the country would have been refined to perfection, or at least available in more than 2 varieties.  israel, you’re letting me down.  i might just have to revolutionize the tomato as it’s known in this country, but that will be after i introduce to it the wonder of the lime.  big dreams, i know, but it can happen… 🙂

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8 Responses to “mu-sick”

  1. Yahnatan Lasko Says:

    While you’re saving up the $700 for the legit Photoshop, check out the open source alternatives! I’d start with GIMP…
    The fact that open source software is free is only one of the many reasons to support it (i.e. use it, and not the $$$ competition). And it’s easy to console yourself about any missing features with a “hey, at least I saved $700!”
    http://sixrevisions.com/graphics-design/10-excellent-open-source-and-free-alternatives-to-photoshop/

  2. ronit kory Says:

    well all i really use these days anyway is the levels and the highlight/shadow tools and the occasional clone brush or heal brush…i thought that photoshop elements which came with something as free software would have the basic levels and curves and highlight/shadow whatnots…but it’s not quite the same =/ and i guess it is kind of a waste to spend so much money when i hardly use the program to its maximum capacity (i bought a tablet and started to free paint a bit…but other than that i just use it to fix lighting on my crappy photos)…anyway i’ll check out the other programs, thanks for the tip!

  3. Avi Brown Says:

    “we can’t live by how we feel or don’t feel. period.”

    wait… but since our heavenly spirits are connected to our consciences, which plays quite a large part in what we feel, then if we get to a state of submission where we actually follow our God-given conscience (without letting the our dead flesh get in the way) then, technically, SHOULDN’T we live by how we feel or don’t feel?? Maybe I misunderstood.

  4. ronit kory Says:

    just because we are in a state of submission doesn’t mean that we always hear correctly. our conscience may be foolproof but i don’t think how we tap into it is…we may think we are listening to it when in fact we’re only listening to our feelings…which is why even something that may seem like conscience has to be tested with what we know to be truth…so i think that living by how we feel or don’t feel should be limited to what toppings we want on our pizza and which shoes we wear.

  5. Avi Brown Says:

    But, “our feelings” aren’t really “our feelings”, are they? I’m just speaking from Romans at this point, about the whole flesh thing. Of course, I’m not saying that we should declare the Bible obsolete (may it never be!!!) since we have our almighty consciences..but what I’m saying is that when we know how to test thoughts and feelings, and are able to identify exactly where they’re coming from (the Bible gives a few great tips on how to do that) then it’s all up to us…which thoughts will we follow? Most people SHOULDN’T live by how they do or don’t feel, well, I don’t think ANYone should ALL the time…but our consciences are, in fact, untainted by sin. It’s when we allow them to be clouded by our dead nature that bad things happen…
    I don’t know if that makes sense. I’ll post again after school.

  6. Avi Brown Says:

    Okay, I ended up forgetting that I said I’d post again…but basically I mean what I said. God definitely uses our consciences, which we have a choice whether or not to follow. So when I have a choice of whether or not to steal, or whether or not to watch a certain movie, and my conscience gives me a feeling against doing or seeing it….well I think that’s God trying to say something. I can post scripture references or whatever if that would make more sense..

  7. ronit kory Says:

    Like i said…just because we have a conscience doesnt mean we can always distinguish between its voice and the rest of the ones floating through our heads. There have definitely been times when i did or didnt do something based on what i thought my conscience was telling me, but looking back i realize that it was based on strong feelings coming from other places…how i was raised, instincts, etc. Because of this i think that we have to balance conscience with established truths

  8. Avi Brown Says:

    Hmmmm….. I think I understand a little of what you mean. So then, we CAN live by how we feel, sometimes?

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