I saw the edited version as a youth, and was taken, like almost everyone else at the time, by the Crash Davis "I believe" monologue in Bull Durham. It seemed like a unifying event. A cultural flagstone. A well constructed house of philosophical cards. A string of clear, unqualified beliefs stated briefly and with unimpeachable conviction. When he said "I believe in the small of a woman's back," it was a revelation, written with fire on the stone tablets of my heart. I believed in the same thing--deeply, without reservation--but would never have thought to make it part of my moral fiber.
(It even holds up, mostly. Check it out here:
but watch out for where he says some "bad words" at the beginning. Like I said, I had only seen the edited version.)
Might we not all benefit from a small, but healthy dose of moral clarity by way of reduction? What if you had to encapsulate yourself in a 30 second speech? We don't have to do it as part of a plot to get into Susan Sarandon's pants, but we should all compose our own version. Lay it on the line. Forget about who might take offence and dance to the music that plays on our innermost gramophone.
I believe in the Body, and the Spirit, and that the two together constitute the Soul. I believe in Sushi, Green Tea Ice Cream, steamed Broccoli, artichoke hearts, avocado, and whole wheat pasta. I believe in Garlic Salt and Lemon Pepper. I believe in Nectarines, and that any apple besides the Fuji is a waste of my time. I believe in fiber. I believe it is morally, logistically, and sanitarily impossible to mass produce meat. I believe that cats serve Satan. I believe that pornography is poisonous. I believe Wuthering Heights is worth reading once a year. I believe in the Cohen Brothers, Sketch Comedy, and that someday the world will be rid of classic rock and that it will be a better place. I believe that the Smiths were the greatest band of all time. I believe that the only thing more evil than a person who doesn't share with those less fortunate is the person who thinks it's OK force people to share with those less fortunate. And that the only thing worse than an overbearing evangelical christian is an overbearing evangelical atheist. I believe in the necessity of preserving green, open places, because I believe in Nature, even as I believe her primary objective is to kill me and everyone else. I believe in perfection. I believe in words. I believe that Joseph Smith saw and spoke with God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. And I believe in long, soft, deep, passionate kisses that last three days.
(Sorry, I had to steal his final line. It's just too good. And you'll note I failed fit in anything about my disdain for obese people--there just isn't space enough.)