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Lia Beachy
O Passion, Where Art Thou?
Scene4 Magazine-inView

november 2007

When Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster, a World Chess Champion spanning three decades and a candidate for the Russian presidential race in 2008 appeared on the October 19th HBO show of Real Time with Bill Maher, he spoke with great eloquence, conviction and passion. He didn't waste words, doublespeak or avoid the issues at hand. He was a clear bright mind stating his beliefs with heart and intelligent intensity. He was connected to every word he directed out. If only the politicians of the United States were as willing and as capable of expressing themselves. If only our citizens did too. Yes, some do, but most do not and it's an uphill battle to speak with well-informed fire within a culture that lacks passion and isn't comfortable being around it. We are lost in a whitewash sea of puritanical lethargy. Which makes me wonder if the apathetic and listless spirit of Americans will corrupt every other culture in the global community.

We are the land of plenty in the United States. We, the people, eat too much food, spend too much money, have too much stuff, and give too much attention to material things like cars and clothes and squander too much time on our cellphones, computers and TV sets. We are too self-absorbed. We are too short-sighted. We are too removed. But when it comes time to show healthy emotion and deep thought, we, the consumers, cringe with embarrassment and falter.

I'm talking about passion, and I don't mean the quiet martyr suffering of Jesus Christ kind of Passion but the loud intense emotion about a subject or a person or one's own life kind of passion. I'm talking about passion as the heat burning inside that stirs the soul, changes the world, and reminds us we are alive.

But too often I see the condescending eyes roll and hear the phrases Chill out! Calm down! Keep your voice down! Don't get so excited! Don't be so serious! Relax! Why would anyone think about that? Why are you getting upset? Why are you being such a fucking bitch!? Must be your time of the month! You're hysterical! Whatever! Lighten up! Smile! when expressing ideas or sentiments about love or a piece of art or philosophy or sexuality or the human condition or something that simply upsets me. Is it the actual thought that is being rejected or the strength behind it?

How do I dull the passion that runs through all aspects of my life, big or small? When the number one box office movie in America is another horror/bloodfest/pop-culture-only-caters-to-the-most-adolescent-and-under-developed-masses, I have to pontificate about the dumbing down of Western Civilization. When people are killed or tortured or raped in the world every single day, I question any person's blind faith in omnipotent beings. When a lover breaks my heart or my current relationship leaves me restless and unsatisfied, I relish the thought of burning giant effigies of the male penis. When I find the most fabulous pair of turquoise leather and gold trim pumps by Marc Jacobs in my size and on sale, I call up all of my girlfriends and squeal with abandon about the simple joys in life.

Any given day is filled with light or darkness or equal amounts of both and rather than ignore it and numb it, why not feel it and express it into words? There is plenty of opportunity to participate in innocuous or anecdotal conversation about the weather, pop culture, traffic on the 405, the best place to find parking, or a favorite bar. But to dwell on the small talk for too long is a loss. The chance to relate to each other's soul through tears or laughter or whatever common experience brings us together is what we are here on earth to do. We are hear to love, to connect, to feel. It's that simple. And to shy away from the passion inside is turning our backs on the very thing that makes us human and gives us purpose.

I won't be calming down anytime soon. This 'fucking bitch' has too much passion!

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About This Article

©2007 Lia Beachy
©2007 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Lia Beachy is a writer in Los Angeles
For more of her commentary and articles, check the


Scene4 Magazine-International Magazine of Arts and Media

november 2007

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