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Narrative nonfiction, Reflections

Cinema #1

“Show him the strap,” said one tall disruptive idiot surrounded by a group of his buddies. The herd of them had congregated at the end of one of the aisles with the objective of trying to intimidate some guy who was sitting in the theatre watching Hunger Games. A few rows back and smack dab in the middle sat my friend and I. This was happening during the part in the movie where the protagonist finds out the partner from her “district” likes her and they’re talking the night before the games begin. A crucial scene! And I didn’t hear a damn thing. Instead, I had to listen to these tall shadows speak profanity for almost 10 minutes. I had the urge to get up and start throwing punches, but I am a lady so instead I yelled, “Thanks for ruining the movie for the rest of us.” It was a good thing they were too preoccupied to hear me because my friend later explained to me that “strap” is the slang term for “gun”. Fantastico, now you can’t even enjoy a movie without worrying about getting shot right in the middle of a really good scene. You would think with the outrageous price we pay to watch a film on the public big screen ($12.50 CAN), safety would be included with our ticket. The bigger problem is these immature, low-pant-wearing thugs who think the world is a stage. No one paid to see ACT I of: What to do to feel cool… while actually looking incredibly ignorant and foolish. We most certainly DO NOT pay to be a part of ACT II:  Bang Bang.

Everyone sits around to watch the 11 o’clock news scratching their heads wondering why there are so many young people shooting each other and their families. Have you seen the latest video games? Have you been introduced to the wonderful world of CSI Miami, Las Vegas, NY (amongst the 900 other gruesome police shows on the telly)? What about the latest music videos? Artists trying to come out with more shocking subject matter than their competitors (i.e. not exactly a music video, but Nikki Minaj having an exorcism performed on her at the Grammys); oblivious to the fact most of their fans are underage and taking everything they do as gospel… or are they? Artists, including actors, love to say that they are just ordinary people like everyone else to absolve themselves from the responsibilities of being public icons. Whether they like it or not, their examples are followed. All of the above is what’s making our society a nice and shitty place. Keep it up folks! The end results: Boys who grow up to be men who have to swing around a gun to feel powerful (occasionally killing a person or two) and girls who grow up to be women who experiment with different drugs and genders solely to keep up with what’s “in”.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.”

E. E. Cummings

“My great mistake, the fault for which I can’t forgive myself is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality.”

Oscar Wilde

In all the world there is only one of you. It would be a waste to throw yourself into one of society’s general templates. After all, being different is what gets you noticed and we all know there is no such thing as bad publicity 😉

-LMS

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About Little Miss Spanglish

Bright-eyed dreamer, set in her ways... enjoys working-out to slow jams. Hates being called by her full name by people close to her. Has never had a pet, yet has names picked out for her future fish, cat and Teacup pig (name of future dog still in the works). Loves receiving handwritten letters in the mail (long, handwritten messages in thoughtfully picked out cards also result in a smile). Will stare in disdain at her plate if it is inhabited by: brown rice, asparagus or beets (coming around on the beets). Finds skipping-down-a-sidewalk to be a lost art in adults... refuses to let that happen to her.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Cinema #1

  1. ….And how about the rest of us, who play first person shooters, watch CSI like it’a a religion sometimes, and have NO DESIRE to go out and shoot anyone who annoys us? You have some good points about how the media has changed, and now we’re all *desensitized* to violence, profanity, and other unwholesome things. There are other factors at play here, including the way our government splits funding. More funding goes towards criminalizing people who commit minor offences (which leads to youth being put in a system that shows them no love, and increases their chances of becoming involved in gang behaviour), than towards creating training programs, and in general, EDUCATING youth about the dangers of their lifestyle, and providing them with options, and an opportunity to go and do something else with their life. Seriously, you’re talking to ME, Heidi. Don’t go all Hillary Clinton on me and tell me my video games are to blame for some punk bringing a gun into a theatre. Don’t blame my sexual preferences on Nikki Minaj and Lady Gaga, because I knew who I was, and who I was attracted to, back in the days where I was too young (and sheltered) to be exposed to such things in the media.

    I’m sorry you were in a dangerous situation, but I’m not so sorry that you missed the best scene of the movie. That’s a first world problem if I ever heard one.

    I’m harsh because I love you, my dear. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t call you out on what I perceive to be an incorrect (and highly simplified) conclusion.

    p.s. Why don’t you respond to any of my comments? lol

    Posted by Liz Vona | April 17, 2012, 8:54 pm
    • You forgot possibly the most important thing, Liz. Poor parenting is to blame in most cases as well. I’ve played violent video games most my life and was in the military and I’ve only killed like… 3 people. Not too bad, right?

      Ok ok. Not 3. 0. But my point stands. Parenting has gone downhill and we can see the results in the children.

      Posted by Kenny | April 17, 2012, 9:40 pm
      • You’re right about parenting. It’s like when those kids in China died because they played WoW for days straight and didn’t eat or drink; so many people blamed the nature of the game, but I say the parents should have been monitoring their kids and disciplining them. If they won’t stop playing, shut down your internet and hide your modems! I play WoW, too, but it doesn’t interfere with the responsibilities in my life, and if it did, I should be the one held accountable.

        Posted by Liz Vona | April 25, 2012, 3:04 am
  2. Numero uno: I wasn’t implying that the media is the source of all evil in this world (I didn’t intend for it to come across that way)…I agree, there are many other factors that come into play. However, in this blog I was specifically targeting the effects of the media on the youth of today. Like with everything there are exceptions…some kids are raised with a stronger moral conviction than others…and I’ll get to the topic of parenting in a moment…just like you and Kenny grew up playing video games without it affecting your sense of wrong and right, there are those who play those games and think, “It’d be pretty cool to carry a loaded gun under my highschool uniform, in case anyone decides to look at me funny in third period.”

    Just like you and Kenny, I can argue (for example) that I probably might enjoy listening to some of the same music as the thugs that were in my theatre that night… but I’d never have the nerve to disrespect someone else’s movie experience with vulgar slang.

    Point is, the media should be more responsible with what they throw out into the world. The word “cool” invisibly plastered all over the latest trends, video games, films, songs and celebrities have the power to convert the not so strong-minded into religious followers.

    Numero dos: Parent talk. I agree, some parents aren’t the greatest at raising civilized members of society… doesn’t help that nowadays a lot of parents are still kids themselves. However, by saying parents should be more in tune with what their kids are watching, playing and in general doing, one is also admitting there are things that aren’t healthy for youth to be exposed to. You can’t blame parents for not being the “all-seeing eye” when it comes to their children… they can’t shield them from everything or force them to make the right decisions. All I’m saying is, the media ain’t helping the cause.

    Final thoughts: You stated that “EDUCATING youth about the dangers of their lifestyles” could be a possible solution to bad behaviour. Think about it… who are young people more prone to listen to A) An educator providing awareness or B) Their friends whos choices may be influenced by media? Even if that particular young person doesn’t care about following in the foot steps of say, the coolest new rap sensation with a bad drug addiction, chances are if his friend IS, he might follow. So now we can say the media has the ability to affect people directly AND indirectly… cuz it’s in your face 24/7 whether you’re tuning in through your TV, radio, phone or friend. Subconsiously, through peer pressure, etc. it’s seeping in, whether you like it or not. In the end, some may still use it only for pleasure, but others may be influenced to use it as a lifetsyle… and that’s the sad reality.

    Oh and Liz… that’s Little Miss Spanglish to you! 😛

    Posted by Little Miss Spanglish | June 17, 2012, 11:03 am
    • lol, sorry, Little Miss Spanglish ^.^

      You bring up some very good points, which I do agree with. Regarding educating youth, I’m referring more to Bill S-10, which puts a higher priority of criminalizing minor offenses (such as possession of small amounts of marijuana), which will tend to put youth (especially marginalized youth) directly into a worse environment. They almost don’t even have a chance to improve their life. Studies conducted in other countries, such as the UK, and the US, have shown that a jail sentence is less effective in rehabilitating young offenders than a mandatory skills training program, or something similar. Canada actually has a drug initiative, and the number one priority on their list is education (criminalization is around #4, I think), yet our government’s actions and policies directly contradict that initiative.

      As you said, there are several factors in play; I do think the media has become increasingly liberal (and irresponsible) with the content they provide, but everyone must share the blame. Faulting the media alone will not solve anything. As long as the media continues to be so unwholesome (and it will only get worse), parents, teachers, friends, and family members of children should take the time and effort to explain to a child what they are seeing, what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and why they are seeing what they are seeing. I know a woman who understands that it is almost unavoidable for her young son to see degrading images of women in commercials and magazines, and she tries to explain to him that it’s an advertising tactic, that someone is using a woman to try and sell a product, and as a result, her son is learning to think for himself, rather than let television dictate his actions.

      I got a little defensive because the last line of this blog entry seemed to come out of nowhere. It shocked me a bit.

      Posted by Liz Vona | June 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

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