The Seven Deadly Virtues

     Today, we are going address unfair animadversions against human qualities.  I realize that this material has been presented from other angles, but bloggery can be a haven for unpopular viewpoints.  Why don’t people speak more pleasantly about 

     WRATH: Despite its popularity on social media, recognition of this as a major virtue goes back generations.  The evidence is simply this: if you truly care about something, disrespect for it MUST make you angry.  The focal moment of Network—“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”—is the moment at which we are shown how virtuous wrath is.  The number of politicians who have made mighty careers based on fanning people’s wrath is massive, and our politicians have always been champions of virtue.

     AVARICE:  And what about “Greed is good”?  The great measurement of success is the amount of money something made.  A movie is no good without blockbuster box office receipts; the fact that a great invention is nothing if no one wants to pay money for it was a lesson learned by the young Tom Edison, who vowed never again to spend his time on anything that wouldn’t make him rich.  Some people have called this the greatest of all American values, but as I look over the rest of this list, I’m not so sure about that.

     SLOTH: How many major industries tell you to take all that money you’ve made and spend it on taking life easy?  We look on aghast at people who put in seventy-hour workweeks, using up their lives moving from job to job or project to project without ever contemplating a few months spent stretched out on a beach.  At heart, we are told, all of us are really working for the weekend, and what is so normal must be a virtue.

     PRIDE: Check the calendar.  I’m sure it’s Something Pride Week, be it Freckle Pride Week or Moravian Pride Week, with a parade and forty YouTube videos in its honor.  It started as a cure for people who had been made to feel ashamed of being a redhead, or being from a low-rent part of town.  Now we must be loud and proud of whatever we are, with the accent on the loud, and those of you who aren’t can go slink off to a corner somewhere (unless you at LEAST carry a banner for us.)

     LUST: Once upon a time, Jimmy Carter got into trouble for admitting to Playboy magazine that he “lusted in his heart.”  That was then.  Now, if you haven’t been loud and proud about whom you lust after, the world is suspicious.  We assume that everybody normal is lusting after something or somebody else; for a while audiences fell silent as a stand-up comic identified as “inary—because I usually just have sex with myself.”  But then it was decided that as long as he WAS lusting, it still counted as normal.

     ENVY: We all want what other people have; this is partly our nature and partly because society at large is built on advertising to let us know what we don’t have yet.  Wanting something because it is new, or expensive, or because Kumquat Kardashian has two of them is the way life was meant to be.  If you are content with what you have, you’re not only suspicious but guilty of sabotaging the economy.

     GLUTTONY: Unless, of course, you simply want a lot more of what you already have.  We still all super-size things, even if that has been dropped from the vocabulary of fast food joints who took so much grief for using the phrase.  I, personally, still react with a shudder to the memory of the time I bought something, was told they were having a two-for-one sale so I could get another one, and replied, “No, I just want one.”  I have friends who reconsidered being seen with me for a long time after that.

     All I’m saying, I guess, is give the Seven Deadlies a chance.  “Sin” seems such an unnecessarily derogatory term for the qualities which make up modern life.  We should be Proud to be upholding our end of the bargain.  Anyway, I intend to exercise my Pride in my virtues by going off now to take that nap I earned.  After I take care of Sloth, it’ll be time for dinner, so there’s Gluttony.  If I’m Envious that someone else has even more pizza, that takes care of too more.  As for how I handle Lust and Avarice after that…well, I guess we’re out of space right now, so you can’t check my Personals ads over on….

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