Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm so annoyed by the hypocritical and -- perhaps even more -- the Puritanical -- attitudes in this country!  So I'm watching the movie, "Kickass," right?  I've actually only gotten halfway through it right now, as I'm writing.  I'm watching it now, because I bought it OnDemand from my cable company ... I thought I had it for 48 hours, but no... so, then, just having to know how it ended, I bought it again today.  I'm not sure the movie is worth the $10 I've now spent on it, but it is good.  And funny.  I like its originality and spunk.  SO the other day, after I'd begun watching it, I was telling a few people about it, and I found that not many of my friends had seen it.  I reminded them that it was the movie about the superhero guy that had become controversial because it stars a 13-year-old actress whose dialog includes every swear word you can imagine including words such as "cunt" and of course "fuck" and the like.  Just to give you an example, the last two people I told this to, who said they only vaguely remembered the controversy, responded with the argument, "Well, couldn't they have toned it down a little bit then?"  Both people said roughly the same thing...

I was like, "NO! WHY WOULD THEY?"  This, if you know me, is unthinkable in my opinion.  Um, hello, if that's the way the character is written, then why should they "tone it down" when the stupid American "public" says something about it?  That is not the way of art or literature or music or ANY creative pursuit!!!!!  EVER!  It's not just in the dialog for gratuitous name-calling or vulgarity!  IT'S THE CHARACTER! Oooh, I was pissed off.  I'm so glad the movie got made and people saw it and the role was cast perfectly in my opinion.  DESPITE all this bullshit.

I had to wonder whether the whole issue of the little pre-pubescent-looking blond girl in the role of the foul-mouthed super-heroine would have caused such a stir if she had been black or male or Mexican something else that people are more apt to expect vulgarity from?  There's no way to know for sure...

You might have heard, in real-life news, that two young men were recently released from jail (or prison or whatever you call it in their case) in Florida ... they are the King brothers, who were sentenced to something like 8 years (I'd have to review the case, as to the specifics) in some form of Juvenile Hall after being found guilty of murdering their father.  The unique thing about their case was that they were found guilty of their crime at ages 12 and 13.  The jury recommended sentencing for both boys of Life without Parole, but the judge intervened and gave them this sentence which amounted to a second chance for them.  I remember the footage, which I saw again last week as the guys were released, of these two tiny little white boys, with their bowl haircuts, who looked even younger than they were.  One boy's feet didn't even touch the floor of the witness stand!  And while the jury recommended a harsh sentence (I'm not saying it was right or wrong), many people commented on the fact that it was just so hard to look at these little angel-faced babies and think about the possibility of them having murdered their dad.

And then, at the same time, in the same state, there was another case.  A 14-year-old boy was being tried for the murder of his mother.  I don't know as many details of this case, but I did hear how it turned out.  Same thing, where the judge and jury had to consider what to do with such a young person who had maybe committed murder.  If he was guilty, do we throw him away?  The thing that struck me, though, was that this time the defendant was at least 6-foot tall.  He was black, with a stoic, serious face throughout the proceedings (at least in the footage I saw), and a grim mug shot.  He stood in court room a full head taller than his defense attorney.  I fear that the mere appearance that this boy had, and any ideas or prejudgments people might knowingly or otherwise attach to that appearance would be quite different than the one that the little swinging-feet white boys had.  Maybe I'm wrong.  And I know that there are individuals among us who have all sorts of non-typical viewpoints and perspectives.  But it just makes me wonder.

Anyway, the third boy, the 14 yr old, eventually ended up with a 10-year-sentence similar to that of the King brothers, so I guess you could say all was fair.  But the 14 yr old almost exhausted all his appeals trying to get there, and it took a lot longer, and therefore I can only imagine more stress and maybe more money, attorneys' fees, etc.  Just made me think about society's perceptions again.  

I don't think I have to tell most people that our society will gladly accept a whole bunch of violence, war, blood, rape, guts, and guns as part and parcel of any movie or tv show or video game that's out there, rated PG-13 or higher.  But if you want to show a sex scene or use a swear WORD, especially out of the mouth of a little blond girl?  Well, MY word!  Not without an NC-17 rating on that garbage!  And I think that is fucking sick, quite frankly.   It's true that words are mighty, that they can hurt and soothe and unite and wound ... this is why we have laws about hate speech and such.  But in the majority of contexts, words really are just words.  You can swear or not, you can use big, educated words or not, etc.  These are just ways we paint the picture of a person, a character, where they might have been, WHO they might have been or are going to be.  As a writer, I love words and value them.  But I do not believe in giving them so much power that THEY control US.  And as for references and depictions of sexuality, especially when it is loving, between two people, not even something "radical" or pushing any envelope?  I think it's gross that our society can't bear to look at that, can't bear to allow it in our films or TV, without crying out that it's shameful and improper and lewd.

It seems that only violence, in any and all forms, passes with flying colors.  What's wrong with this picture?

No comments: