*Posted by Kirk Spencer
Lydia will never be easy till she has exposed herself in some public place or other…
~ Jane Austen
from Pride and Prejudice
After playing wholesome kids in wholesome movies about wholesome lifestyles, child actors suddenly become young adults and they have to find work in a very unwholesome Hollywood. At this point, they often go crazy (or maybe I should say “they go sleazy”). They do something very public and very unwholesome to break out of their childish type-casting… and this usually involves removing most of their clothes and acting-out sexually. Recently it was Miley. Last year it was Selena and Vanessa—before that, Lindsey, then Jessica and Jodie and Drew etc. etc. Adolescent freedom revels in the false beauty of evil. It’s nothing new. Nor is it gender specific. The allure of all that has been forbidden is most clearly seen at that critical adolescent juncture in life when sugar and spice, and everything nice, becomes snakes and snails and (wagging) puppy-dog tails.
It may be most theatrical in adolescence, but Defiance knows no age. Old Daedalus was defying his Minoan king at the very moment his young son, Icarus, was defying his defiant old father by trying to fly to the sun. Old or young, Defiance wants to do the most taboo thing. It is not by accident that the forbidden fruit tree always seems to be planted in the very center of our garden? In the center it is always seen, always desired. In teenage terms, Defiance longs to leave behind its not-knowing innocence and prove, in public, it is not a kid anymore…It wants to know (by experience) both good and evil. And to obtain this knowledge, Defiance will captain its own soul to the very brink of self-destruction. Or, in “Miley” terms, we tie up our proverbial hair into horns and we paint our proverbial face. We go to the “window of the world” and there, with Jezebel, we stick out our tongue. And then—gorgon-like—in our defiance we bite down on our own defiant tongue. It is the way of Man (and Woman). It is also the end of Mankind without God. Without God we are destined to wander the nightlife alone, amid progressively insincere, insensate and insatiable seductions. More and more, we inhabit a world that has wandered far from Eden. However, if we were ever to return, we might find in the middle of our unkempt garden, not only the forbidden fruit tree, but beside it the Tree of Life. And I would not be surprised if—because of our defiance and because of God’s love—the Tree of Life was now the Old Rugged Cross. The two proverbial trees signify a clear choice we face every day: Rebellion? Submission? Do we eat the beautifully ugly fruit of defiance and bite our own tongues? Or do we put on the ugly beauty of submission by taking up our cross too?