I find the brain’s capacity for storing minute bits of random data fascinating. A friend once described those cerebral data banks as endless rows of filing cabinets. I am always grateful the Master Organizer is better at designing filing systems than I am.
For the most part, I can retrieve almost any bit or bot of info or trivial morsel of input at will or whim. Given enough time, I can remember almost anything I want. I can recall everything I don’t want to remember even more.
To be clear, I didn’t choose to hang on to the factoid that in the Soviet Union the average sorghum plant grows to a height of sixteen feet. That is the first nugget of information I learned as a high school freshmen in world history and civilizations. I guess my psyche figured: “Incoming—momentous learning opportunity. REMEMBER THIS!”
I can’t un-remember it.
Which is why I am very careful about what I put into those memory banks. They are most injudicious—they somehow have an auto-save feature I cannot reprogram. I know I won’t be able to get some images, moments, and experiences—particularly visuals—out of my mind.
This is exactly why I will not see “The Hunger Games.”
If it wins every cinematic award from now till the end of time, I will not go to see that film nor rent it nor watch it years from now on late afternoon cable.
Because certain images can never be removed once captured.
When I, the last human in this hemisphere to have heard about the story, read the synopsis and read the phrase: “ …where teenagers kill each other with bricks,” I knew I’d read enough.
Already my mind has run its own imaginative reel-to-reel footage on that. I do not need to input the edited, sound-synced, theater-screen-sized, digitally enhanced version of it.
Sometimes I think we need to be more protective of our filing cabinets. Just because they have unlimited capacity doesn’t mean we have to let everything have a home in there.
I guess I’m running more things through my filters these days—like my: How will this improve the planet, filter. And my, Will this make me a better, more loving human, filter.
Am a missing an opportunity to join the record throngs beating a path to the theaters to see children beating each other? Perhaps. But then that's an image and a thought I’d like to forget.