Sunday, June 17, 2007

Scattered Stuff

Apparently, being "man of the day" has gone to my husband's head. I was planning to pick up his dinner tonight at Passage to India, which he hasn't had in a while. Circumstances made it easier for him to get it. But where I thought he was asking not only if he should get it, but if I also wanted it, getting some for me never crossed his mind.

S'okay. I have a mint or two left in the bowl on my desk here. That will suffice. *sigh*

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My Snapple cap says August has the most births of all the months. Which is funny, because I only have one birthday on my list in August. My year is front-loaded, with five each in January and February, and four in March.

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I read in both Entertainment Weekly and Parade magazines this weekend about government encroachment into television programming and film ratings (and/or related issues). The EW column talked about how lots of parents will take their kids to see Hostel: II because it's "only" rated R, and that's a reason to just do away with the rating system 'cause it doesn't work. And Parade addressed the FCC's interest in regulating the amount of violence on TV by actually dictating content.

First, any parent who needs an NC-17 rating to avoid taking their five-year-old to a horror movie, especially one with the horrendous levels of torture reported in Hostel: II, is criminally negligent. Much as I would like to stand outside the theater and tell them that, though, it's not my place. Nor is it the government's. I think the rating system is as good as it can get, and we'd be much better off trying to educate people than to regulate them. Those who care can get the information they need from existing processes. Those who don't care won't ever care.

I know it's harder to keep your kids from watching stuff on TV without your knowledge. But our TiVo system's ratings/parental controls combination is working fine for us. As is the fact that we have raised sensitive, self-regulating kids who don't want to see images that are inappropriate for them. If we can do it, anyone can.

And even if they can't...I know there are solid studies that show exposure to violence promotes it in kids, and interferes with learning self control. The biggest argument I ever had with my husband was back in college, when he said violent video games and TV shows were no big deal. He stormed out of the room; I flipped him off through the window. I won, as here we are 17 years later, my philosophy in the lead. But I know some of my kids' friends are watching the stuff I don't let mine watch, and they're not going around beating people up. Look at some of the movies that were PG when we were kids, and compare it to the fare out now. Remember the cartoons we watched? The vast majority of us turned out A-OK.

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Parade also has an article that states that in contrast to the independent loneliness of America's historical "heroes,"

The science of the past decade has demonstrated that love, companionship and community are woven deeply into our DNA. Emotional connection is a biological imperative, and we pay a high price for ignoring it. Isolation is what's unnatural--and deadly.


Science aside, romance authors have been saying this for a lot longer than a decade.

I also think that in my own generation, at least, the stoic, "I feel nothing" male has no place. Most of the men I know have no problems making connections with others, talking about their feelings, and even showing those feelings. We see it, too, in the popular entertainment that is the barometer of our national tone. In the character-driven shows, at least (and the reality shows!), men have no problem saying "I love you" or expressing their anger and the reason for it. Even if they don't say it, they at least explore it inside themselves. And I think for an actor to be able to convey emotion, they have to know how to feel it. That might be naive of me, but it can't be universally untrue.

So. Make friends, fall in love, talk things out, and live a longer, more satisfying life. And if you're not sure how, read some romance novels.

2 comments:

MaryF said...

Sadly, a lot of my students will see Hostel. They've seen every other "torture porn" movie. I read the same article as you and was just disgusted, knowing, my students will see it and be desensitized by it.

Natalie Damschroder said...

I don't remember what grade you teach--is it fifth?

Someone had taken a kid probably about 5 to see Pirates a couple of weeks ago. They ended up taking him out crying.

People are just idiots.