Friday, July 17, 2009

No guts... no glory

My mom used to get horrible migraines when my brother and I were little, and if there's anything harder than taking care of little kids whose favorite game is Sibling Dismemberment, then it's trying to referee Sibling Dismemberment when even a wayward sunbeam can make you vomit. Once when my brother and I were about 9 and 6, Mom needed a little help from the Electronic Babysitter so that she could writhe in agony in relative peace. At the video store, she went for a nice safe choice, something that was a cartoon at the time... Robocop.

That movie is forever seared into my brain, which before that fateful day had been mostly devoted to My Little Pony, ballerinas and sparkly unicorns. Robocop originally got ELEVEN X ratings for graphic violence before they finally cleaned it up enough to get an R. (And what kind of genius went to a board room and pitched the idea for a kids version? "Hey guys, you know that new movie, the one that kept getting ratings that would have kept it from wide release? I think there's a real market for it in the 7-11 year old range." He's probably still trying to get Schindler's List: The Animated Series made.) Remember that scene where they torture him at the beginning, right before they kill him? Yeah, I still do.

Anyway, my point is that well meaning parents make mistakes. All the time. When we saw The Watchmen, someone in the theater had brought a little girl who looked to be about four years old with them. Besides the gallons of spurting blood and prolonged soft-core porn scenes, there was also, oh, THAT ONE PART WHERE A LITTLE GIRL GETS CHOPPED UP AND FED TO DOGS. Maybe their reasoning was the same as my mother's: if a movie is made from or into a cartoon or comic book, it's okay, right? We shouldn't be so judgemental of other people's parenting choices. I watched Robocop in my formative years, and I didn't end up a drug lord snorting cocaine off of... um, ladies... and their, um... lady parts. I mean, I gave it a go, but it really wasn't anything like it's portrayed in the movies. For one thing, nobody ever makes mention of all the bookkeeping involved in running a drug cartel. Unrealistic expectations... if you ask me, that's the real problem with the media and kids these days.

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