|Originally posted by Renegade |
Apart from "The First Man", as I mentioned above, I've never really been able to find myself emotionally involved in novels. I can remember getting the "lump in [my] throat and burning eyes" during movies, although I can't remember any specifically atm. ET gave me nightmares for about 3 months when I saw it when I was about 5 though - does that count?
Let's see...hmmm...of the top of my head...books that got to me would include "Pet Cemetary" by Stephen King, Anne Rice's "Memnoch the Devil", and Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman's "Drangonlance Chronicles". Some movies would be "The Idiots", "Moulin Rouge", and "The Fly II". Oh yeah, and the last episode of "Family Ties" got to me as well for some reason.
|Originally posted by Renegade |
I know exactly what you mean. I've never felt any sorrow about anyone close to me that I've lost (although, apart from my grandparents, I've been lucky enough not to be in this situation too often) but seeing the misery of others - without wanting to sound sound like a bleeding-heart liberal - really does get to me against my better judgement sometimes.
In all seriousness, though, I do understand the feeling you must have felt, but it's a feeling I've trained myself - if, indeed, one can ever train one's own emotions - to avoid over the past couple of years. I read in what must have been Nietzsche's "Anti-Christ" (can't remember precisely and can't be bothered looking it up ) about pity being the most vile of human emotions, and I couldn't help but agree with him. If you encounter someone who is clearly encountering certain hardships, you can feel pretty certain that the last thing they want to feel is "pitied". To feel pity is, afterall, to condescend to someone and to feel condescended to, on top of all the other hardships they are facing, must feel pretty damn shitty. That is why, even when I encounter someone facing fairly evident hardships - like someone begging for change on the streets, for instance (pretty common in Melbourne, btw ) - I try to greet them with a smile rather than an sympathetic frown. Afterall, people feeling sorry for themselves would much rather sense of hope, I would think, than pity, regardless of how sincerely the sense of pity is intended.
Well, I'm pretty far from being a "bleeding-heart liberal" (using the US derogatory sense of liberal here), and believe me I never openly show pity to anyone, even if I cannot help feeling it in some cases. Actually, if I could somehow be relieved of feeling awful by showing pity - no matter if the recipients would be worse off by my show of pity - I would do it. However, showing pity is an indulgence to the feeling and it only grows stronger in me if I do so. So no admirable motives here, just pure hedonism.
Oh, and about the beggars: I usually avoid eye contact or signal to them to go away. Mostly because I'm always in a hurry and can't spend time on some random individual, but also because I never give them any money, and in my experience participating in a conversation inevitably leads to a "so are you going to give me some money"-confrontation, sometimes followed by a "why didn't you say so immediately, you fuck"-resolution.