Episode 156: Bingewatching is a sin

On August 14, 2021, Kasie and Rex continued the Seven Deadly Sins discussion with this episode on gluttony. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day(s)

The Seven Deadly Sins – Gluttony

Agenda

  • Summer project update
  • SCWA Upcoming events and goings-on
  • The 7 Deadly Sins recap
  • Gluttony as a character trait, motivation, and antagonizing force
Photo by Mauru00edcio Mascaro on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Segment 1

This summer we’re working on serialization projects. You can review the show where we covered the benefits and opportunities of serialization here. My work is on Wattpad and it’s called The Full Moon in Neverland. It’s eleven full chapters, 43 parts, and clocks in at 5 hours and 29 minutes read (phew!) already and about one chapter from the climax. I think it’ll end up being between 14 and 16 chapters. So a lot of work and I’m giving it away. Yeesh. 

Rex is working with Vella and has this epic cover for his vampire novel. I know, copycat (ha). So he’s going to go live after he gets six chapters loaded. Vella is a service of Amazon.

We had two livestreams this week. This interview with author Julia Daily about her debut historical fiction novel No Names to Be Given. And this Authors’ Corner feature for SCWA with members A.M. Ialacci and Linda Lovely, both mystery writers. Anna’s third book has just been released and Linda’s new series has just begun, though she has a dozen other titles to her name. Click the links to check out the YouTube videos.

Let’s get to the fun stuff. Sin. From the Wikipedia page:

The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices, or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings,[1] although they are not mentioned in the Bible. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities.[2] According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth,[2] which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues.

So the 7 Deadly Sins discussion started with “Pride” and then we did “Greed” which is not to be confused with gluttony which is a sin in and of itself. Then we did “Wrath” and “Envy” and last week “Lust.” That was fun!

So this week we’re up to Gluttony and we’ve done this topic before. In Episode 134 on avarice and greed, we worked on how greed is characterized by wanting more than you really need. Isn’t that the theme of all the Seven Sins? Aren’t they all about being insatiable?

Gluttony, specifically, is insatiable hunger. Eating. Food. It’s primarily associated with the consumption of food and drink. So, Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Greedy for more chocolate, he falls into the chocolate river and nearly drowns.

Sometimes it’s cute — Pooh Bear and the honey pots, Yogi Bear and the pic-a-nic baskets, Wakko Warner’s savage sandwich addiction. 

The gluttonous character will want an abundance — more praise, more money, more food, more indulgence or pampering. The side effect will be waste. So what’s left behind? (this link)

Segment 2

How does gluttony manifest in this character?

  • Actions
    • Shoplifting
    • Buffet visits — stealing food from the buffet
    • Filling a plate at the dinner table, eating it all
    • Ordering multiple entrees, desserts, etc.
    • Taking free handouts (samples) when not needed
    • Getting drunk, stoned, or otherwise inebriated
  • Words
    • Don’t you want to get … (whatever benefit) — convincing others to take, too
    • You’re missing out … (whatever feast) — taunting others who are not indulging
    • So long as I get mine … (whatever food, etc) — a sense that they’re owed this indulgence
  • Relationships
    • Wants others to join in, make the gluttony less conspicuous
    • Hides the gluttony from others for fear of ridicule
    • Chooses the gluttony over others — stays to eat instead of chasing someone out the door; “are you going to finish that?”

What is the purpose of the character’s gluttony?

  • Other characters are disgusted by it
  • Other characters are warned by it
  • Other characters are victims of it
  • It fills an emotional or spiritual gap for the character

What is the character willing to give up to ensure more resources?

What is the vision for the use of all these resources?

Is this a wipe-out-my-enemies effort?

Here’s Barnes & Noble’s list of gluttonous characters:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a happy ending)

Augustus Gloop

Robert Baratheon, Game of Thrones

Shakespearean gluttony:

Richard III — wants the throne for himself, plans to kill his brother Clarence and expects his other brother, the sickly king, Edward, will die.

Falstaff — a drunkard, could be a better man, but cannot withstand his natural inclination toward excess

Segment 3

Is there anything good about gluttony?

From this link:

Gluttony is the excessive consumption that deprives another being of a life-giving necessity. Gluttons devour more, leaving others with less. It’s immoderation.

This link talks about how the gluttonous are the happiest among us. They are fat, jolly, and don’t care what people think of them. 

But Dante punishes them by putting them in the third circle, wallowing in a deep, stinking, disgusting mire pounded by eternally falling sleet, snow, rain, and hail. To make matters worse, they’re tormented by Cerberus, the three-headed dog.

Why? Why is gluttony a sin?

It takes resources from those who need it.

It takes one’s attention from goodliness, righteousness, and faith.

It’s placed in the same camp as lust of the flesh.

Here’s this writer’s biblical take on it:

  • Gluttony plunged the whole human race into a state of sin and misery with the first transgression (Genesis 3:6).
  • Gluttony, or “excess of food,” helped earned a curse of utter destruction upon Sodom, the standard example of God’s wrath and judgment (Ezekiel 16:49).
  • In Moses’ day, When Israel craved meat in the wilderness, the Lord sent quail. “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague” Strikingly, the name of the place was called “Kibroth-hattaavah” which means “Graves of Craving” (Number 11:18-34; Psalm 78:26-31).
  • Drunkards (liquid-based gluttons) will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10).

From Wikipedia:

St Gregory the Great said that one may succumb to the sin of gluttony by: 1. Time (when); 2. Quality; 3. Stimulants; 4. Quantity; 5. Eagerness.

Let’s break that down:

  • Gluttony of time might be wasting time, spending it on things that don’t matter — goodbye Netflix bingewatch
  • Gluttony of quality by purchasing name brands, refusing bargains, wanting new things — that’s right, you non-recycling freaks
  • Gluttony of stimulants by drinking, drugs, other mood altering things or too much excitement thrill seeking, daredevil behavior — cut out the bungee jumping
  • Gluttony of quantity by having more than you can reasonably use — multiple cars (you can only drive one at a time) or multiple wives, children, or other relationships
  • Gluttony of eagerness is about taking when it’s not necessary to do so, or taking more when the food isn’t luxurious or delicious. 

Segment 4

So how do you do it? Build a study of gluttony into the story.

  • Character Size and Shape
    • This essay talks about not trusting a lean character (per Shakespeare)
    • Gluttonous people are rounded, soft, pudgy — seemingly enjoying their life, not worried about fitness or health
  • Value Systems and Family Traditions
    • The same essay from above: being a good eater — as a compliment
  • Characteristic
    • The character eats a lot, the character doesn’t eat much, the character’s relationship with food can tell us a lot about them
    • Preoccupied by dieting and weight can be the opposite of gluttony; starving oneself for vanity
  • Plot point
    • At what point does the scale tip from deserved and enjoyed to overindulged and gluttonous?
    • What is the character a glutton for? Hard work, fitness, alcohol, reading — anything done in excess can be gluttony
    • What does the character miss out on because of the gluttony?

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