Posted by: King Bee | July 24, 2007

Teach the children well.

On my way to the movies on Sunday to see the new Harry Potter, I had a girl just steps behind me on the endless electric stairs at The Grove. Maybe she was 12, no more than 13. She was going on and on about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie adopting babies. The woman she was with was not her mom. Maybe an aunt? The woman just let her ramble. I found it obnoxious, sad and terrifying. I turned around for a proper look at the girl. She was ripe for body issues. If she doesn’t have them now, I’ll give it six months. Her baby fat seemed to have congregated around her midsection. We all know, I have no issue with the extra pounds. It was the inappropriate too tight navel baring shirt that made me gasp. She was making fun of Angelina. The last thing I heard getting off the escalator was, “Does she think if she adopts a hundred kids she is going to save the world?” I wanted to turn around and say, “Maybe.” But I didn’t. I didn’t care that she was making fun of Angelina, lord knows I have said a few choice words in my day. What I cared about was her rant. It was not a rant formed from her own assessments and conclusions. They were very obviously the rants she had heard from a peer, an elder, or perhaps Entertainment Tonight. And you could tell she didn’t know what she was saying, but was reciting them like a bad actor auditioning for a part. This child was ragging on the efforts of Angelina, while without question praying every night to her God for five minutes in the Minola Blahniks of Paris or Lindsey. To drive it home, she ended up in line behind me as I purchased my ticket. The woman was asking her which movie she wanted to see. As any red-blooded teen would do, she listed Transformers, Harry Potter, Hairspray and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry as her options. The woman asked her what a Transformer was. “It was a cartoon. It’s these robots that come to Earth. It’s got Josh Duhamel and Shia LaBeouf. They’re totally cute.” The woman replied, “How about we see Sicko?” I froze and waited for the little girl’s reaction. I half expected the gum she had been so loudly smacking in her mouth to either hit me in the back of the head or get lodged in her throat. “Ew. I have no interest in seeing that. I think we should see Chuck and Larry. It’s about gay people, but don’t worry, they aren’t really gay.” It’s just one more thing that terrifies me about the state of the world. I miss right and wrong. I miss manners. I miss children being children. If I could turn back time, I would’ve offered to pay the woman to take her to see Sicko. If the little girl wants to talk like a grown-up, she should know what us grown-ups have to deal with. Instead, I spent my day in a make believe land in London. For two hours and nineteen minutes grasping through the furthest corners of my mind for any innocence and imagination I once had as a child. Wishing I could go back to her age when my biggest care in the world was how I was going to fix my hair for school and if my mom would be able to tell I had used some of her Sun-In. To make myself feel better, I spent the entire movie convinced that if this girl were at Hogwarts, she would no doubt be a Slytherin and Hermione would put her in her place.

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Responses

  1. I really want to see this movie. We’ve had so many battles with insurance, and we’re one of the lucky ones to actually have insurance.

  2. “It’s about gay people, but don’t worry, they aren’t really gay.”

    Good Lord! I am frightened for our future.

  3. Ooh, dissing Angelina’s adoptions would’ve gotten on my nerves. I find her efforts on personal and global scales pretty damn impressive. She does more than most.

    The girl obviously doesn’t have the vision to see how the world could be saved if she even has any comprehension of what’s at stake.

    When I saw HP #5, I remember thinking the kid characters were kind of naive (aside from life and death issues) compared to a lot of teens today. Your post reminded me that that’s a good thing.

  4. I went to see Harry Potter this past Sunday as well. I took my 10 yr old niece and my 76 yr old Father for their birthdays. My niece Rachel also was filling me in on all the news on Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus. And commented on Lindsay Lohan because she was a question on the trivia shown while waiting for the movie to start. Children repeat what they hear….from adults, friends and the media. I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that the infomation they hear is truthful and correct.

    And as a side note, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books but have seen the movies. This being said I found The Order of the Phoenix a little confusing in that there seemed to be things missing to tie it all together. I do know that this is the biggest book and therefore they can’t put everything into the movie. I asked Rachel if I could borrow her book so that I could better understand the movie. Her reply – “I think you should start with Book 1.” And now I’m reading The Sorcerer’s Stone. 🙂

  5. Janet, I’ve missed your comments! You will read all 7 books before you know it! They are delicious.

    Claire, never lose the innocence of your childhood or you’re only left with an unsatisfying and dismal view.

    Sizzle, don’t worry. No one’s really gay!

    Geeky, let’s both go this weekend and discuss!

  6. I wish I could go see the movie this weekend. I don’t think it’s made its way to Singapore yet. I will certainly be looking for it. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to download it or have someone buy me the DVD and ship it to me. I had to go to the doctor’s this morning. He and I were talking about the movie and he wants to see it too. He loved Fahrenheit 911. He can’t believe the crap we go through in the U.S. It is so much better over here! He also thinks the that idiot who is supposed to be our leader is ruining our country. Smart guy 😉 Oh yeah, I find it amazing that he even has enough time to have a conversation with me.


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