Thursday, January 31, 2008


MM and I went to see a movie yesterday evening. Juno. You know the one. 16 year old pregnant girl?
I must tell you, I thought it was a great movie, very well done. The girl, Juno, has a great, sarcastic sense of humor. Despite it's delicate subject matter, the movie is a comedy,(with some drama) and I did note the numerous men in the theater (probably dragged there by their wives/girlfriends) were laughing as frequently as the women in the audience. So, if you want to see a good movie, go see it.

What really got me thinking was this, though. MM and I were discussing the prospect of life imitating art. Specifically, would a sixteen year old girl, (or, any teenagers for that matter) see this movie, and WANT to be pregnant, like Juno? Or would it serve as more of a cautionary tale, of the difficulty, and turmoil a pregnancy adds to life, especially the life of a teenager. We both thought the latter. You'd have to see the movie to decide for yourselves on that one.

What I can talk about, without really ruining a good movie for the rest of you, is the role of movies, music, and media in our lives? We hear countless stories of the influence it has. For instance, Pearl Jam's Jeremy. Did someone else hear that song, and decide to do what he did? How about the video game, Grand Theft Auto? Kids using that as an excuse to drive like a homicidal maniac, and then get out and beat down a few thugs? Or, even, the nightly news. Especially in cities. Do the kids see that and think a life of crime is for them? Should we be forbidding children from all of these things in their lives? It would mean blindfolding them and wrapping them in bubble wrap. They are going to see it. And I don't mean the little kids. It's easy to prevent the little ones from being subjected to this. I'm talking older kids, say, from the age of 10 and up. They all have friends, and talk amongst themselves, and come to the inevitable conclusion that we adults are "old" and we "just don't understand". Truthfully, we may not.
But rather then preventing them from seeing all the crime, the teenage pregnancy's, from hearing the music, or playing the game, (because you know they find a way to do it, if they really want to), aren't we, as the adults in their lives, more responsible to talk with them about those things? So they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Grand Theft Auto IS NOT real life, that crime IS NOT the answer, that, teenage pregnancy does happen, and can be dealt with, one way or another. That guns are not to play with, that Shout at the Devil is just a song, that, though the news is sad/awful/full of violence and death, that we can make a difference by choosing not to go that route?
And that brings me to one, last thought, in this blog that just kind of snowballed into being. At what age do we start letting the innocence take a hit? I suppose that is dependant on each child, and their personalities. I made a comment on Holly's blog the other day, that parenting isn't for sissies. I stand by that comment.


My Own Woman said...

Parenting is the most important job any person can undertake. Unfortunately, I find, and my view may be tainted from the ER, that parenting is not really done anymore. Most parents do the "you takem shuffle." I was one of those parents that did the taking. I was the taxi to a multitude of children. But, on the good side, when kids get together and start talking among themselves, oftentimes they forget that the parent is there and you get to hear all about the things that other parents don't. I was much more aware of the activities of my children and their friends and I certainly did not hide my head in the sand.

I agree Mielikki, parenting isn't for sissies!

holly said...

i think the main problem is that a lot of parents aren't into parenting. those of us who are trying to 'give good parenting' have children who are surrounded by those who don't give a crap.

that *said*, i also think that some of us get so wrapped up in the 'give good parenting' stuff that we lose sight of the fact that it should just boil down to 'give good love', which pretty much trumps all the crappy stuff. or most of it.

am i wrong in the thought that a lot of the problems boil down to hangups? the thought that something is not-quite-right? that 'i'm going to get in trouble/be weird/be disliked if i do x?' if i had known my mum loved me no-matter-what, and that i wasn't constantly pissing her off, i might be much happier myself. i wouldn't want to scissor-kick anyone.

life is never going to be a complete bed of roses. but perhaps feeling loved makes it possible to cope happily with the weeds.

god i hope i said something coherent there. although why break my trend... ;P

but most importantly, i *whole-heartedly* agree with you - it is MUCH more responsible to chat about these things than to sweep them away.

but i think we have made significant progress from a few generations ago in that area. no?

Anonymous said...

Having a teenage step-daughter who has dabbled in sex, I refuse to promote a movie that glorifies or makes light of teen pregnancy.


mielikki said...

Jef- that is totally understandable, I can't even begin to imagine what that feels like.

Holly- yes, that was pretty coherant! I am still wondering where this blogpost came from in my brain, now.

MOW- I agree!

Mimi said...

I can't imagine someone thinking "hey, that looks cool" so I don't know. I saw the movie and loved it. Even though I was out of high school, my oldest (as you know) came pretty quickly after that, and a lot of it did resonate with me, although different choices and life paths were taken.