To Hell with It: Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous Inferno skewers and questions fundamental beliefs: Are we really damned? Part memoir/part spiritual essay, Moore is asking what would our world be like if eternal damnation was not hanging constantly over our heads, stoking our self-loathing and making so many of us vaguely miserable? At the same time, To Hell with It examines the various ways that organized religion inevitably taints spirituality. How can we truly love ourselves, be in touch with our spirituality, and love one another if we can’t come to love ourselves. How can we be lovable if we are all sinners? Is it true that God is perfection if we were made in His image? Men are greedy for power, and religion is a way to hold sway over others, so once a religion begins to construct a hierarchy, bad things start to happen. (Plus, Dante who influenced theology for centuries does not even look nice, begging the question: Why do we still hold these beliefs?) The book is written with humor, what one reviewer has termed “stand-up theology.” You’ll never look at chicken wings, medieval poetry, the church (really, any church), your tortured and supposedly damaged soul, and perhaps even your life, the same way again. Debunk with Dinty W. Moore and Drop In with us!
Dinty W. Moore is author of the memoirs Between Panic & Desire, and To Hell With It, the writing guides The Story Cure, Crafting the Personal Essay, and The Mindful Writer,among many other books. He has published essays and stories in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Moore is founding editor of Brevity, the journal of flash nonfiction and teaches master classes and workshops across the United States as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico.Leave a comment for radio show guests
What’s the story behind the story? We’ll find out on Dropping In. Our guests are today’s original thinkers. Conversations that spark new ways of seeing what’s going on. We bring it all to the table. Diverse perspectives, controversy, loving and singular voices. Magically stories reveal the common threads that link us. Experience the joys, the fist pumps, the detours and the hard-won truths of those who blaze the trail so that we might do the same and now here’s your host Diane Dewey.
Diane: Welcome to Dropping In everyone. Every so often during the pandemic we’ve been tempted to say to hell with it. It’s only natural to be drawn now to a book called To Hell with It: Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous Inferno and its author Dinty W. Moore who’s with us today. While we’re pruning Marie Kondo style and throwing out what we no longer need why not throw out some of the outworn ideas especially those espoused by organized religion. To Hell With It published by the University of Nebraska press is a book about questioning but it’s really a book about the marks left on people as the questions are left unanswered about being born a sinner, requiring salvation, eternal damnation and inherent guilt. Is it any wonder that the self-worth business is so big to probe the misery and the mystery is Dinty W. Moore, writer editor and professor extraordinaire? Welcome Dinty.
Dinty: Thank you Diane. Thank you for that lovely introduction.
Diane: It doesn’t sound like a funny book but it is a funny book and it’s a fun book. No one can say you didn’t tackle a big subject so congratulations. There was bravery and brevity.
Dinty: Thank you very much. It was foolhardy to think I could write a funny book about hell. It took me many, many, many years to figure out how to do it but it’s done and it’s out. I’m certainly happy about that.
Diane: It’s a very liberating book. It’s a refreshing book that took me back to a truer self and I was reminded of the saying from Louise Bourgeois, the sculptor she said, “I’ve been to hell and back and let me tell you it was wonderful.” I love this. She has like a little cross stitch of this. The point though is that hell is not a place. That’s what you figured out through this and actually way before you wrote this book. Hell is not a place. Other myths that we embraced like the world, the earth is flat, ours was the only solar system. These have fallen by the wayside. How have these religious “truths” held on for so long? We’re just diving in at the deep end here.
Dinty: I’m not exactly sure why they held out for so long. They’re just so powerful. What I’m talking about specifically is not for those of you who are Christians or from a Christian-based religion I’m not talking about the words of Jesus. I’m talking about the first, second, third century when they sort of started to formalize the idea of a church. They came up with this idea of hell which was in the Old Testament but they formalized the idea of hell and then along came silent Saint Augustine with all these ideas about original sin and how all of us are just this close to ending up in hell. I mean they’re very frightening notions that the early organized religion, church leaders put into us and they’ve been passed on for hundreds and hundreds of years. I don’t know if it’s the frightening part that keeps us from letting go of them. I don’t know if it’s something in human nature that wants to feel this concern but they’re just persistent. There are a lot of hooey.
I mean the original sin is it’s a really complex. If you’re catholic you certainly know what I’m talking about. Some of the other Protestants depending on what brand of Protestantism but here’s my main point. I’m going to jump ahead. Here is it’s not just if you had the unfortunate luck of going to catholic school and getting beaten by the nuns before and after religion class that these things affect you if you’re, if you’re from a non-Christian religion, if you’re not even sure what you believe just living in the western world, our artwork is all based on these religious notions, our judicial system, our prisons, our sense of our literature so much, our western moral codes. They’re all sort of draw from these ideas that we’re born sinners. Deep down inside we’re evil. If we don’t watch ourselves we’re going to end up in hell forever that there’s this mean, angry god out there that’s going to catch us in the act. I think it’s been bad for us. There’s a lot of depressed people out there and a lot of self-loathing. I think these religious notions are part of what causes it.
Diane: Well we have the idea of punishment, self-punishment, being punished for our wrongs, that we are inherently so sinful. I wondered about the idea that a lot of, I looked at your references Dante and the inferno which is certainly an unappealing idea. You traverse the poem in your book and you bring out the fact that like none of this feels good but maybe it was written during a time contextually when not much did feel good. It’s a 14th, 15th century, the Bible Gutenberg or now back in the 15th, 16th century came out the modernized Talmud. These were medieval times, difficult times. Is it possible that the sense of suffering that was appropriate then just hasn’t quite transferred and is maybe obsolete?
Dinty: Well I think it is. I don’t know and I mean whatever way you come at it. If you think of it in religious terms why would God create this world only to populate it with sinners and the whole Adam and Eve idea that like that by unexpectedly the first two people he created turned into sinners. If there is such a God, now picturing that sort of old testament fellow with a big white beard? I mean you think he would have had had that under control. Then it’s ridiculous from that point of view. It’s ridiculous the whole idea that hell is somewhere underneath the earth and there’s a cave you can go down. People believed that for years and years. That’s ridiculous yet it’s still actively taught by many religions but as I said it’s also just sort of we sort of carry it around on our backs like we’re afraid to say even if we identify as atheists or agnostics or we reject some of these more medieval teachings we’re still afraid to say it out loud because what if we’re wrong and what if we do end up in hell which is eternity which is of course also absurd.
Diane: What if we’re struck down? What if the internet goes out like it did for me when I was just about ready to begin this interview? I mean you talked about in the book and you kept it light and alternating between light and profound that even in the book you chose to capitalize God just in case. What if we don’t really know? What if we’re wrong about all of this?
Dinty: What if I die someday and I go to Saint Peter’s pearly gates and he says I heard that radio show you did with Diane Dewey. You’re not getting into heaven.
Diane: That Dropping In thing is really where you turned to the wrong turn. Let me just inform people that Dinty Moore, you have a day job so that’s good. You can fall back on. Dinty W. Moore is the author of the memoirs Between Panic and Desire and now To Hell With It, the writing guides, the story Cure Crafting, the personal essay and the Mindful Writer among many other books. You’ve published essays in and stories in Harper’s, the New York Times magazine, Canyon Review, Creative Nonfiction and Elsewhere. Moore is beloved as the founding editor of Brevity 20 years in now Dinty, the journalist/nonfiction and you teach master classes and workshops all across the United States as well as Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico. How do you describe yourself now that you’ve come out with this book on some pretty serious questions and propositions about what might really be? How do you think of yourself now?
Dinty: Well let me let me start by saying that those people listening I have no qualms, no argument with the teachings of Jesus. Beautiful, beautiful teachings and a beautiful philosophy to live by. I have no real problem with religion. I hope people do have spiritual lives and any religion that encourages people to be kind to one another and to be kind to themselves. I’m all in favor of that. My argument here is not with religion or religious teachings or the other religions that aren’t Christian but also you know have some elements of kindness and help people to be good to themselves and good to others. I’m all for that. It’s the organized religion and specifically what’s happened to Christianity, Catholicism and the Vatican but also some of the other organized versions of Christianity that I have an argument with.
I don’t think of myself. I attend Quaker meeting which is a very wide open community of spiritual seeking. I read widely in Buddhism. I don’t reject the idea that there’s a god. I reject the idea that there’s like God the father sitting on a cloud with a big white beard. I just don’t know what holds the universe together. We can call it God. We can call it all kinds of different things. I do believe that there’s mysteries out there we don’t comprehend or understand. I went to catholic school for 12 years and had a pretty bad experience with the Catholic Church. I think it soured me on any sort of organized spirituality so my spirituality is very personal, a little bit of Buddhism which isn’t even quite a religion so much as a philosophy and a little bit of Quakerism which basically tells us to sort of listen, to hear the voice of God suggesting to us how we should act rather than going to a preacher, a figure, a minister just sort of listen for ourselves. That’s where I’m at spiritually.
Diane: As part of dismantling hierarchies that exist these hierarchies that become distortions of the original concept of god and spirituality. We really in the unknowing have much more of a common denominator than selecting what we think we know. I think that what you’ve really talked about in the book is the way we’re all in this together and should have compassion for one another and that these teachings of Christ and the kindness among others. It becomes more appropriate if anything that there’s just a way in which we are connected in the fact that we don’t know where we came from, we don’t know why we’re here and we don’t know where we’re going. That’s not so discomforting as it sounds it’s more that it’s creative and we kind of need one another. Is that sort of, did a takeaway that I hit on accurately for you.
Dinty: Oh very much so. Both parts of that one that we don’t really know and maybe that’s the appeal of some of this religious, some of these teachings of organizations. They offer a certainty. No, we do know. Here’s the answer. It’s right here. We have it. Certain people are drawn to that and need it. I find it quite easy to look to live with not knowing because that we have the perfect answer, solutions that the religions are offering just don’t pass muster with me and with a lot of people and more and more. As statistics show us religion is much less popular these days for those reasons but also the second part of what you said is really important because we need each other. What do we have? We have one another. We’re all down here on this earth, on this planet together and it’s a great source of power and a great source of joy is interacting with other people.
Diane: It’s something we especially resonate with now and connect with. I think that there’s taking back our power as people in the community of earth is something that I’m drawn toward in your book. We have to pause for a commercial break but when we come back we can look forward to staring into the abyss. That’s what I want to do with you Dinty W. Moore. It’s delightful to have you here on Dropping In. Don’t go away we’ll be right back.
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Diane: Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Dinty W. Moore, author of the book To Hell with It: Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous Inferno. I have to say it’s entertaining, all of it, every chapter you go there Dinty. I think it’s a tribute that it is a romp. It’s fun. There’s really fun drawings throughout the book. It’s eminently readable. On a serious note you talk about we’ve just touched on Dante and his entirely unnecessary and ridiculous inferno which is the cause of all this guilt that we carry around. These burdens that we’re questioning can we shed the backpack at this point? Is it entirely appropriate to listen to ourselves and say wait that feels not good. That feels really icky and say well maybe we should listen to that part of ourselves.
You say Dante published his ambitious and unusual poem The Divine Comedy more than 700 years ago and in the ensuing centuries countless retellings, innumerable adaptations, tens of thousands of fiery sermons from catholic bishops and Baptist preachers, all those New Yorker cartoons and masterpieces of European art have afforded Dante’s fictional apparition of hell unending attention and credibility but you Dinty did not buy in. Can you talk to us about your sense of curiosity and the role of curiosity in your thinking and in your work?
Dinty: Well sure but I think that’s why I’m a writer. I don’t know where it came from. I’m glad I was born with it but I was the kid in grade school but when the teacher said something I raised my hand and sort of said well that doesn’t make any sense. Of course many teachers weren’t too open to that certainly in second and third grade they didn’t want a seven-year-old kid trying to win an argument with them but I met the teachers along the way who were quite open to it. I thanked them for it. That curious little kid just wanted to think through everything for himself. He didn’t just, I never seem to take well to authority just telling me this is the way it is. I needed to experience it, see it and then I would believe it. That’s what a writer does.
I mean I’ve written books on not a good career choice to write books on so many different topics because if you stick to one topic you get well known but I’ve written books about the internet and the culture of the internet. I’ve written books about Buddhism. I’ve written books about writing. I’ve written books about Vietnam and not Vietnam so much as America in the 1960s and 70s during the Vietnam protests. I’ve written this book about the Christian notion of hell and how it affects because I’m just curious about those things. I get an idea in my head and I think gee, I want to know more about that or I want to answer this question for myself. I think I was thinking about really I think I started by thinking about depression and my own family has a history of depression and unfortunately suicide back at my grandparents’ generation. I started thinking well what role did religion play in all of this because we were raised in a strong Irish catholic tradition. That led me to the book.
Diane: I’m glad that you pursued your curiosity. This expanse of subjects that you’ve covered even in this book To Hell With It you’ve woven together a lot of strands. You’ve given us a historical perspective, your own family perspective which you just touched on. How the inherited sense of shame could weigh into depression that does weigh into depression and our sense of self. Just not feeling good about ourselves. Amazing Grace, a wretch like me. I mean Garth Brooks couldn’t get anybody to sing along with him at the inauguration. I mean it’s a tough sell anymore. I mean what exactly have we done that is so wretched in our trying to live together and to create meaning and happiness in our lives.
Dinty: Let’s talk about sex Diane.
Diane: That’s a big no-no.
Dinty: Yes, again every religion is a little bit different and even within religion there are some catholic preachers, some Baptist preachers, some monsignors, do more shaming than others but most religions are like tell us we’re bad because we want to have sex or because of the way we have sex or if we have sex before marriage or we have dirty thoughts. What more primal urge is there in the human soul, in the human chemistry than I’m talking about when you’re a teenager and you first start getting those urges? You’re immediately told those urges are bad. You’re wrong to have them. You have no control over that. It’s biology. It’s chemistry but the first message you hear is no, no, no, no. You’re bad. I’m happily married and have been happily married for many, many years. I believe there’s a lot to be saved from monogamy but you tell a 15 year old you can’t act on these urges until you get married and nowadays people are getting married in their 20s and 30s. There’s something wrong in the way we deal with sex, sexual urges. I think religion again has played a big role in setting up these rules that people break left and right of course because the urge is so strong but then they feel horrible about it.
I mean unfortunately there was killings in Atlanta two days ago. Apparently the fellow they arrested, I don’t know his name. I don’t care his name horrible thing he apparently did came from a strong religious background and was acting out of what he calls his own sex addiction. He needed to stop the temptation so he attacked those who we thought was tempting him. It’s just I mean you couldn’t find a more horrible and lurid example of how the religious teachings just screwed this young man up apparently.
I’m sorry and that’s an extreme one but I mean I know so many people who that certainly when I think back to my high school and college days who just were just torn apart by this idea of like I shouldn’t be thinking of this, I shouldn’t be wanting this but I want it so bad because the body chemistry, the biology of it is much more powerful than we think.
Diane: They shouldn’t have stuck us in physical bodies if they didn’t want us to have urges and sex and food and drink. I think there’s the first hypocrisy but also like the CEOs and the COOs of the major religions like they are celibate. How’s that working out? I also wonder and this is a very, another warped you pointed out Atlanta and the hate crime and the sexually induced crime. I mean how is it a kind of betrayal of trust also? You look at for example the scandals of the Catholic Church and it’s come from the abuses that have occurred at the hands of celibate priests. You asked this question in a very common sense way in the book like how’s this working out, this system of celibacy and this sense of betrayal of our trust. I get the sense that you maybe never really bought in too much but what about these people, myself included at times who do buy into religions and then realize no, it’s gonna let you down in these various ways. Is it not something that also fundamentally just disrupts our psyche and our ability to trust?
Dinty: That’s a good point. I hadn’t thought of it that way directly but you’re right. I mean when what presents itself as the heart of all goodness religion is all about goodness and righteousness and every religion, every religion has its scandals mainly having to do with men who are at the pinnacle of power in the particular organized religion. I’m talking about Buddhism. I’m talking about Judaism. I’m talking about all manner of Christian denominations. It’s like religion is a way to motivate people but it’s also a way to manipulate people. I guess human weakness is such that once you get that power you end up twisting it in sordid ways. Sexual scandals are certainly part of it but there’s all kinds of other abuses too including just the amount of wealth that is amassed by some of these churches is I think obscene.
Diane: When I was forced to because your book is provocative and funny, when I was forced to look at well how has this kept up all these years. I thought to myself well the flat earth society didn’t become one of the largest real estate holding entities in the entire world which the Catholic Church was at one point at the height of its powers. It’s not as institutionalized as these entities are and as Jenny Holtzer, another visual artist says abuse of power comes as no surprise if you have that much of it. It’s built on these kind of flimsy premises.
I wondered, you really went into, I want to talk about chicken wings here seguing quite quickly into that because it’s also one of my favorite stories from the book. It’s the first story that I personally heard. You talk about the seven deadly sins gluttony, lust, greed, pride and chicken wings comes into that. Certainly addiction comes into that. I was forced to ask myself about like archetypes, the addictive archetype. The idea that without this idea of having to give up our power to an external substance that exerts authority or that maybe is authority provides kind of like an order to our life but of course it’s no kind of resolution whatsoever. There was an interplay in your family as well with addiction and depression and suicide. Those things are related right?
Dinty: I think so. Well I mean I guess the simplest connection would be these urges we’re drawn to food, we’re drawn to alcohol, we’re drawn to drugs, we’re drawn to sex. Then we feel so horrible about it that we start to loathe. We start to hate ourselves. I think everybody has a little bit of self-loathing here and there once in a while on a bad day and then for some people it becomes a way of living that you wake up every morning hating yourself. For the worst among us that ends up being a cycle of self-abuse which might be alcoholism, might be drug addiction, might be some other harmful behavior. For the very worst among us that ends up in suicide which is tragic. I think it’s all tragic but it’s a cycle this addiction to whatever. You can be addicted to money. You can be addicted to risk. Addicted obviously to alcohol and drugs but that addiction takes us takes us down with it.
Diane: I will say that reading a book like yours calls it out for what it is and may even be helpful in dismantling the whole cycle. I think you’ve done something really good here. I want to also, we’re going to pause for a commercial break but we are going to look at chicken wings and the role of humor, the laughter of the gods, this spirituality of as you say in your St. Patrick’s Day post looking at something big, treating a joke as something serious and treating something serious as a joke. These are really important ways for us to digest the messages of To Hell With It. believe me, it’s no burden to read it. It’s an absolute romp. It’s total fun and we’re here with Dinty Moore to talk about all of it. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back when we talk about laughter and the gods.
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Diane: Welcome back everyone. We’re sitting with Dinty W. Moore author of the memoir and book, spiritual book To Hell With It. It’s a lot more fun than that sounds. Dinty, you this past week posted for St. Patrick’s Day a gorgeous quote from Sean O’Casey. That it’s the Irish people all over. They treat a serious thing as a joke and a joke as a serious thing. How to simplify these big concepts with humor? How did you arrive at the ability to do that or is that always been a lens that you viewed the world through?
Dinty: I’ve been worried about the listeners to this show because you’ve told them once or twice it’s a very funny book. I’m thinking and now we’re talking about suicide and now we’re talking about depression and now we’re talking about addiction. That sure doesn’t sound like a funny book but I do use humor in all of my writing. I naturally find the world, I mean it’s probably what has helped me survive. I do find the world to be a funny place and I find other people to be delightfully funny. In the book you mention chicken wings. I enter a chicken wing eating contest to learn about gluttony. My goodness competitive eating is a strange, strange world. I go to the world’s largest yard sale to look at our addiction to things. I do look at that.
I have childhood memories of falling in love when I was six with my neighbor’s five-year-old-sister. I do look for the humor in Dante’s various circles of hell which more or less align with the seven deadly sins though there’s nine levels of hell. I do try to find the funny in it because sometimes if you point out the absurdity of something it takes the power away. A lot of these notions but I mean Dante’s poem itself which is beautiful and it’s why it’s remembered but it’s also ridiculous because Dante was a real person who lived 700 years ago in Florence, Italy and had a falling out, a political falling out with many of his fellow citizens.
He ended up being exiled from Florence. Dante, the character, Dante, the writer put Dante the character in this poem where he goes to hell and all of the sinners he encounters are like people that Dante, the writer actually knew he’s basically calling out his neighbors and naming them. It’s a revenge fantasy. It’s humorous on many levels, the poem itself. The idea of why he did it that way. Some of these notions of sin which are basically just basic human urges I find the comedy in them. I like laughing at the world and I find it a way of sort of loving the world.
Diane: Well it is absurdist that view. Some of the best, I mean Barrack Obama also talks about the humor. You’re keeping very good company I want you to know because last week’s guest was Linda Olsen who lost two legs and one arm in a horrific accident. She was a radiologist, a doctor by profession and she talked about the black humor that gets doctors through having to joke about what’s going on. Maybe we’re appalled by that but I think not really. I think we all know that we need to take what’s sacrosanct and laugh about it otherwise we just have no lever. We have no balance. There is no way to kind of integrate things unless we put them in balance and perspective.
I think the thing that you just pointed out Dante was a man. He was vengeful man. Having you even just alluded to something crucial about all of these texts that we regard as sacred they were composed by a human being at a specific point in time. Is there a way in which their meaning can evolve through these more current interpretations and questions? You say in To Hell With It that sin and suffering forever is rooted systemically in caste orders, hierarchies of all stripe and somehow our definition of ourselves. It’s caused wars, overturned monarchies, the causes of right and wrong have been exaggerated and our need to defend that. It’s kind of spiraled out of control and I think to be devil’s advocate, sorry for the pun, is hell or any kind of threat of hell important as a kind of ballast to create right doing on our parts. I mean does it have any redeeming features do you think?
Dinty: You got me there. I mean I don’t think it works in the long run. Sure there are I’m thinking back again to childhood. They tell children that there’s a God and God will be disappointed in you if you do something. The kid doesn’t do it. I guess that’s effective. There’s some other there’s people who because they believe they might go to hell and even as adults probably suppress some fairly bad behavior but I don’t think it works in the long run. Look at the history of mankind. Do we still have wars? Yes. Do we still have crime? Yes. Do we still have people who feel compelled to abuse other people? Yes. Do we feel that people who feel compelled to abuse themselves? All of those things supposedly are banned by religion and they’re not going away. I guess my answer is in individual cases the threat of hell might be effective for some people but it hasn’t worked out for mankind very well. It’s got to be a better way. I think it’s taking the power into ourselves.
Diane: Exactly. Taking back power as opposed to the power that punishment and the threat. We’re looking now at the whole criminal justice system and discovering that the threat of jail is not preemptive. All of these ideas created an efficacy maybe at one point but I think you’re absolutely spot on. The fallout has been far worse and the sense of rehabilitation or growth has been stunted because these measures actually really don’t work as you say. I think that that is a really profound conclusion to come to.
You talk also about limbo which is really, talk about hell limbo is also a drag because that’s where even unbaptized children who die go. That no one is really innocent. Now we know in our bones that this possibly true. We are innocent. We are born innocent. I just wondered we’ve just got a few minutes left but I mean how do you think people really suppress what we actually really in our bones know in favor of what we’re told?
Dinty: Boy, I wish I could answer that. We’ve been wrestling with that as a country with our politics lately obviously. Well this has been an odd year obviously with the pandemic. I’ve been sitting on my sofa a lot because there’s not many places I can go to and thinking. That’s one of the things I think about so often is whatever we’re talking about political lies, we’re talking about religious lies, we’re talking about cultural lies, we’re talking about lies about other groups of people. Why are we so gullible? Why are people so willing almost anxious to believe them? I don’t have a good answer so I’m not going to lie and pretend that I do. Humans are just so complicated which is fascinating, which is wonderful, which is what makes life so rich but it’s also baffling too.
Diane: Yes but you talk about looking into the giant hole, the void, the emptiness that’s inside of us and maybe filling it with junk food, maybe filling it with Oreos, Oreos dipped in fat like at the fair. Is that part of it? I mean when you get comfortable and you talk about the whole actually shrinking in your own life. What brings that about? Is it love? How do you heal it authentically?
Dinty: I think the struggle is to love ourselves, to somehow soften if not eliminate those constant voices that are telling us that we’re bad, that there’s something either wrong with us or that we’re an adequate or that we’re not enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, tall enough. The battle for self-acceptance I think so is where it starts and certainly loving other people and having other people love us helps us get there but I think everybody I know struggles with that some worse than others but to fill the void you have to love yourself. Loving yourself could be a lifelong journey.
Diane: Yes it is. I personally think that the book To Hell With It really moves the needle and moves the needle on that progression. You talked about the heaven and hell of Pamela Children who describes it as our vilification versus our acceptance and gratitude. I really thank you Dinty Moore. It’s hard to believe that we’re coming to a close here but any further words. Are we here to enjoy ourselves? Is it possible with all the pressures sort of yes or no? Is it possible? Are these beliefs going to fall away eventually that impede us from that?
Dinty: I hope so. It’s happening in small ways. I don’t think I mean you mentioned the dark time, of medieval times. I don’t think we’re living in quite so dark a world right now. I’m sitting here looking out the window and spring is coming to Southern Ohio so maybe I’m a little more hopeful than usual but I’m feeling hopeful I think. I think that we are making progress as people specifically in the area of what we believe from organized religion and what we reject. I think we’re making progress.
Diane: That’s lovely. Also ending your book on forgiving oneself as part of loving and maybe to laugh at our foibles. Goodness knows there’s enough of them there. Thank you Dinty Moore. It’s been a joy to speak with you.
Dinty: Thank you Diane.
Diane: I loved it. Thanks to our engineers Matt Weidner and Aaron Keller, to our executive producer Robert Giolino and most of all to you our listeners. Remember to stay safe and to make choices about either filling up a hole or becoming whole. Until next week thank you for dropping in. You can find Dinty Moore at his website dintywmoore.com, twitter brevitymag and Facebook dintywmoore. Thanks so much. Be well.
Thank you so much for dropping in. Please join Diane Dewey again next Friday at 8 AM Pacific Time and 11 AM Eastern Time on the Voice America Variety Channel. We’ll see you then.