Friday, May 27, 2005

Episode III: Return of the Stupid Parents

I just went to see Star Wars, Episode III: Return of the Sith. I didn't find it to be "all that." There again, I'm from the old Star Wars generation, where plot, comedy, and special effects could all share the same screen at once. Clearly, that tradition is long past and now we can only fit one concept on a big screen at a time. The movie was good, in the sense that it ties up a number of loose ends and answer some questions. The acting was debatable, at best. I am, however, surprised (I know, why should I be?) at the number of parents who allowed their 4 and 5 year olds to attend. Perhaps I am an old-fuddy-duddy, but I can't imagine letting my pre-kindergarten child watch anything that showed a graphic depiction of a man being burned to a crisp, mercenary-style murders, and the murder of small children. I would NEVER allow such a thing, and yet countless parents are taking small children to this movie to watch this, paying no attention to the PG13 rating. It is as though because it has "Lucas Film Ltd." attached to it, parents automatically ignore what might be in the movie. I used to think it was parents who raised children - apparently we have turned over the raising of our children to movie producers. I don't have a problem with children seeing violence - it is a part of life, and you have to accept it. However, you have to use some judgment and forethought. Small children do not have the ability to reason, rationalize, and feel empathy. Showing them violence only reveals to them the behavior, not the thoughts and feelings behind it. Violence is then a meaningless entertainment, and the corpses in its wake are funny shapes and outlines. As we grow and get older, we learn empathy and reasons for violence. Then we can appreciate the need for violence and to respect its use. Common sense parenting seems to have taken its leave - replaced by foolish attempts at buddyhood and popularity contests. I must be getting old.