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Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 18, 2002 || 6:55 pm

So, Maxim and I got all tooted up on tequila and decided to go and watch Red Dragon and make out like pimply teenagers if it sucked as badly as Hannibal did. It didn’t. It was delicious….got right up inside you the way that Silence of the Lambs did, and maybe even further.

This time around they had the benefit of an exceptional cast; while stellar performances were turned in by three divine actors in Lambs (Hopkins, Foster and Scott Glenn), Dragon had a solid team of heavy hitters on board. I particularly enjoyed –and was pleasantly surprised– by the performances of Mary-Louise Parker (my, what a hottie she’s become, Dorothy!) and Emily Watson (who puts a SOOOPER face on abject terror). All in all, we were thoroughly pleased and satiated at movie’s end; I didn’t even have to fall back on my fawning affection for Edward Norton. This is one that I would recommend catching on the big ole screen at a theater, although it will be no less slyly effusive (just a titch less tantalizing) on your twenty-seven inch in the bedroom, with the covers up around yer nose.

After the movie was over and we were headed out to the car for some quick oral sex, I paused at the door to the still-pitch-black theater to respectfully let a family with wee ones pass.

It took about twenty seconds, but when it registered, it settled in hard. I turned to Maxim. Of course, what I had to say came out loud. LOUD.

“What the FUCK are a five- and six-year-old doing in a movie like this?? WHATAREPEOPLE THINKING??” Maxim, being his easygoing-and-mostly-silently-disapproving-self, shrugged and got all thin-lipped. He had the hard set of anger to his face. For once, he didn’t shush me….he just shook his head in disgust at the errant judgement of the little ones’ parents.

Remember, we are the parents who don’t have cable. We are the parents whose children think we are nuts because NO SHOWINGS OF DRAGON BALL Z ARE ALLOWED IN THIS HOME is a hard-and-fast rule (as a substitute, Sam draws them obsessively and he and the others make up their own dialogue). We are the parents that allow some PG13 action into our home, but insist on seeing every movie (no matter the rating) before immersing our children in it.

I think, in these amorphous times, Maxim and I are a true anomaly: We are sincerely concerned, but not to the point of zealotry. We try to give our kids enough rope to hang themselves and then we yank it back, but it is a carefully-crafted rope.

I ranted and raved and railed and about midway to the front of the theater, I noticed two women casting sullen and squint-eyed looks my way. They had children of about six and seven in tow, and having just come out of the SAME FUCKING GRAPHIC-ASSED movie that we and the Family With Wee Ones had, they assumed I was talking about them. So in true Jett Asshole Stylie, I kicked it up a motherfucking notch.

Look people, how you choose to raise your spawn lovely offspring is truly your business, and maybe I should mind mine. But I think that:
a) having to share this planet with what you ultimately raise up, it should be fair and okay for me to share my opinion on certain matters and
b) basic common sense on your part should come into play.
On the big issues like diet and spiritual beliefs and attire, I will butt the fuck out, but when I see a child being psychologically/emotionally harmed, I am going to whip out my hard-as-nails soapbox and start testifyin’.

Basic math. That’s all it boils down to. This movie had VERY graphic rape and murder scenes. The scenes that didn’t have graphic imagery and violence were very emotionally intense. Kids. Don’t. Belong. In. That. Atmosphere. And I believe that it’s not too great a stretch for me to add ‘by anyone’s standards’.

If you don’t want to sit your ass through the Veggie Tales’ Newest Yea Verily installment, if you find the thought of it too boring or trite or painful, then hire a babysitter. If you can’t afford a babysitter, then you sit your ass at home and wait until the kiddies are tucked in all snug before you pollute your cranium with the latest DVD rental fodder.

It’s verrrrrryyyyyy siiiiiiimmmmpppllllle. It is.

We wonder where all the miscreants are coming from. They are six and are trailing out of bloody movies with twisted psychological undertones. They are ten and streaming from music stores, songs of despair and destruction (and not in a radcoolfun way) clenched in their fists. They are four to fourteen and dabbling in adult-themed worlds right under our parental noses, sometimes with our approval. We are creating the miscreants with our apathy and our too-liberal views on what counts as suitable for preteen consumption. We do our children a disservice by not demanding ‘yessir’ and ‘nosir’ and ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ from them. Basic manners are not paltry; they are an impetus to a social conciousness, a groundwork for making young ones cognizant of the feelings and needs of others. Humanity, I may not by-and-large-as-a-rule like you, but I ByGod respect you until you fuck up according to my not-overly-stringent standards.

We are creating infidels with outrageous personal codes of conduct because we present them with the wrong people to look up to. Because my dears, face it: As nasty a muthafukka as Hannibal Lecter is, he is also insanely* cooool. He’s smart, he’s witty, he’s cultured with the eensiest little touch of smarmy gauche so as to render him non-stuffy. He’s sexy and fun –from a personality standpoint, because EEGADS!, who’d want to sleep with Mister Oldy McWrinklyparts?– in that psychotic sort of way. Don’t tell me that you’ve never known a little mental mattress action with a Truly Crazy Persontm. It was heinously glorious, the mindfuck, wasn’t it??

And I shudder and want to cry and scream and give those wonderful Moviegoing Parents the beating of a lifetime because these precious little brains in the peak of their formulative years were being exposed to a seedy grossness that (yes, exists but) they should not have to know anything about for some years to come. The thing that kills me is that there are no laws safeguarding children from this sort of recklessness on a parent’s behalf. You can make the mind’s eye blink, but you cannot wipe it clean.

It was a really good flick. You should go see it. Preferably with other adults.

*Not a pun!! NOT!

13 worked it out »

  1. kd 10.19.2002

    excellent rant. very right on target. thanks.

     
  2. delmer says...we're all going to hell in a handbasket. 10.19.2002

    how many useless laws will it take?

    YOU CAN”T MANDATE RESPONSIBILITY!!!

    Oh yes, and be sure to post next time the gub’ment sticks it’s nose in your business and tell’s you how to raise your kids.

    I agree that the parents should have been taken around the side of the building and beaten until they spit teeth. Ijust don’t think the gub’ment should be the one to do it.

     
  3. trish 10.19.2002

    That is my movie pet peeve, but combine that with taking them to the 10:30 showing of a graphic R movie. I have been in the theatre and had to listen to children whine “Mommy, please can we go home, I’m sleepy.” Some people don’t deserve to be parents.

    On a lighter note, hey, we’re Sims roomies! Your outfit is da bomb!

     
  4. kaleegrrl 10.19.2002

    Amen!

     
  5. theSpaceMonkey 10.19.2002

    It doesn’t take a new law, what it takes is responsible theatre owners and managers. They could prevent parents from bringing young kids into R rated movies on their own, they just don’t. They’re cowards. They only care that a ticket was purchased.

    If you complained they might give you a free ticket but they won’t do anything about it. THEY’RE one of the chief reasons why the American moviegoing experience is being replaced by the home theatre experience.

    Here in Austin we have the ALAMO DRAFT HOUSE. Simply the best moviegoing experience I’ve ever had. Not only can you order actual food that someone brings to your TABLE (every other row is removed for a narrow table) but you can order beers, wine, etc. And there’s generally no kids. All screens are either 18+ or 21+ for admission. And everyone is always quiet and respectful during the screening.

    Oh, and, BTW…MANHUNTER kicks RED DRAGON’s ass…Hopkins is a ham compared to Brian Cox’ Hannibal…and Ed Norton sucked next to Will Peterson’s Graham!

    :)

     
  6. Jett 10.19.2002

    Del: you’re right. The laws that we have now against actual physical abuse are for shit, but that is another rant for another time. No, I don’t want the government mandating everything I say and do…you of all people should know that about me….but my point was that, given the gross level of incompetence and neglectful disregard in the parenting arena, something should be done. My primary reason for not going apeshit on these people was that their little ones were with them. Then, regardless of my message, what kind of monster am *I* for traumatizing Johnny and Susie by pulverizing mommy/daddy in front of them??

    SpaceMonkaaaay: Wrong. I checked the law(s) and the theater has no recourse unless the children are

    a) unaccompanied by parent or legal guardian or

    b) they are disrupting the movie-going experience for other patrons (and that one is timid at best).

    Neither was the case here. The theater can offer a strongly-worded advisory on content, but cannot deny the patrons admittance based on the ages of their children. If they do so, they open themselves up to possibility of litigation. As you may well know, these are sorely litigious times. And, for the record, I’ve heard the same opinion on Manhunter that you just gave, but not so much for Peterson’s turn as for Cox’s. I intend to check it out.

    But Ed Norton is still my boyfriend. He went to Yale. This forgives the fact that he had those wack-ass highlights and foofy ‘do in this flick.

    Trish: ROCK ON WITH YOUR HOT SIM SELF, SISTAH. I am so in love with the top you’re wearin’!

     
  7. Tara 10.19.2002

    Re: small children shouldn’t be allowed in movies like Red Dragon

    THANK YOU. Finally, someone understands me.

     
  8. delmer 10.20.2002

    jet sed:

    “something should be done”

    del sed:

    “gub’ment tain’t the answer”

    space monkey sed:

    “It’s the theatre’s fault”

    jet sed :

    “affected patrons will sue”

    —so, what is the answer? the most immediate conclusion is tort and lawsuit accountability reform.

    yet, that doesn’t solve the underlying issue..what do you do about parents who expose their childeren to such things?

    before you (anyone) answer…what does society do when it finds your parenting at odds with the “norm”

    (don’t tell me that there aren’t facets in your familial life in which “society” does not approve)

    so here we are, in a socio-political tug of war where you can’t have a free society AND enforce such laws, therefore allowing such parenting to exsist. The worst part is the monsters spawned from this situation go on to compose the populace of, and define the parameters of our (free) society.

    I have a theory as to why this is becoming an issue, but will save it as I am almost as tired (in general) as you (all) are of reading this post.

     
  9. theSpaceMonkey 10.20.2002

    Jett, there’s also the “right to refuse service to anyone” that is well within their power.

    The only thing they are bound by law to prevent is exposing minors to indecent imagery or bar them from entering if they serve alcohol (like the Draft House) if they aren’t with their parents.

    But the ratings in and of themselves carry no weight. The MPAA has no authority of any kind and their ratings are only a guideline. They have no means or power of enforcement of any kind.

    Even enforcing the “under 17 permitted only with adult or guardian” is an something they either choose or choose not to do. There is no law or authority involved besides what any proprieter can enforce on their own.

    Enforcing no-minors in spite of the language of “Rated R” would be no more or less a self-enforced policy than simply abiding by the language as is which has nothing to do with the law because R, PG, G, PG-13, NC-17 or even X have nothing to do with the law.

     
  10. theSpaceMonkey 10.20.2002

    Oh, Delmer, I’m not saying it’s the theatre owners fault. Because it’s the parents that should know better. But the theatres could do more to prevent it from happening. For the kids as well as for the other moviegoers.

    But, ultimately, I’d say 99% of all parents shouldn’t be, or shouldn’t be when they are. That’s based on my ever growing sample size of all people I meet in the world with kids.

    You have to have a license to fish, hunt, own a dog or (legally) sell lemonade or a beer. But anyone can have a kid and fuck that kid up and outside overt, extreme abuse there’s nothing our society can do about it. Nothing. The price of “freedom” is the freedom to fuck up. And we love to exercise that right, as a society.

     
  11. delmer 10.20.2002

    spacemonkey..

    I didn’t mean that you said the issue was the theatres fault, I was paraphrasing your comment to set up the real issue..parenting.

    btw…the licenses you sited aren’t about public saftey as they are about taxation revenues.

     
  12. Jane Doe 10.20.2002

    Jett,

    Though I don’t have children, I agree with you 100%.

    I’ve lost count of how many times we go out to the movies, for say a 10 PM showing of an R-rated movie, and there are parents with their young children there. In the same 10 PM R-rated movie.

    It bothers me. It makes me think that these parents are selfish, or living in a bubble. Selfish because they just HAVE to go out, and put themselves before the mental welfare of their own children, or living in a bubble because they seriously don’t see anything wrong with taking an impressionable seven year old to see an inappropriate movie.

    There is nothing wrong with being liberal, it’s the way to be. But when you have children, there is but a thin line between “liberal” and “stupid”.

    I’m glad you made those parents uncomfortable by making those comments loud and clear. They should hear them and take them to heart. Motherfuckers.

     
  13. Smitha 10.20.2002

    (avoiding the debate ;o) )

    THANK YOU. It’s so nice to see other parents who are responsible enough to feel this way, and don’t just use the TV to babysit/raise their kids!

    While I always complain about how strict my parents were, not letting me see ANYTHING even remotely violent or sexual on TV (it’s now to the point where I can’t handle any violence in TV, movies, or animation, or at best a bare minimum)…I definitely prefer it over being desensitized and bitter and jaded at a young age, the way virtually all kids these days are.

     

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