doin’ my thing:
If you saw Pixar’s “Inside Out,” you may remember the charming short cartoon that played before the film. “Lava” features a shaggy old volcano in the middle of the ocean. He’s surrounded by happy couples: Two gulls arc overhead, two fish leap in the water. But he sings miserably all day about how he longs for “someone to lava.”
In despair he sinks to the ocean floor — but lo! A lady volcano (a much younger and more attractive peak than he is, I’m just saying) bursts forth and rescues him. They cuddle and sing together. At last, he has someone to love.
The short captures something real in contemporary American life. We are terrified of being alone with nobody to help us. And the only, or at least the ideal and normative, escape from loneliness is romantic love. There are no children in this cartoon and no community. The gulls have no chicks, and the fish have no school.
This vision that exalts and even idolizes couplehood should feel alien to most cultures and should feel especially wrong for Christians.