Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Because "Porno" is In The Title Does Not Make The Movie a Porno

I'm going to add my two cents to a post by Devan Desai over at Madisonian.net (if that name sounds familiar it is because it is the other home of Pittsblog legend, Mike Madison). Devan points out:
Megaplex Theaters has banned the film from his theater chain.

Fair enough. That is his choice. The odd part is that the chain has happily run Saw V “which features beheadings and explicit self-mutilation” and is “Rated R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, language and brief nudity.” And runs Quarantine “Rated R for bloody violent and disturbing content, terror and language.”

Now suppose that the issue is, as claimed, that Porno has “‘graphic nudity and graphic sex’ and that it was ‘too close to an NC-17.’” How does one explain that Sex Drive, Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, language, some drug and alcohol use - all involving teens. is playing on a couple screens within the Megaplex chain?

It is perhaps one word, a five letter word, porno.

It is that one five letter word, and it is scary. Nothing is scarier in this time of religious fundamentalism (I'm referring to you, Christians) then hiding from an individual word. Do I think that children should watch pornos? Of course not. However, it remains important that Zack and Miri is NOT a porno, and that it's "R" rating prevents anyone under 17 from seeing it without permission from their parents. The notion that the word "porno" in and of itself is evil is reprehensible. How are our children supposed to learn about the world if we shelter them from the very existence of half of it? Here's how I would respond to the question "Dad, what's a porno?" at every age from 1 to 14, after that I assume they know:
  1. Ga Ga Goo Goo
  2. Don't say that word in public, I'll teach you next year.
  3. I lied, one more year.
  4. It's a movie you can't watch, like Terminator.
  5. You still can't watch it.
  6. It's a movie that is made for adults.
  7. It's still made for adults, you can't watch it.
  8. Remember that "birds and bees" chat we had, it's an innapropriate movie that shows that.
  9. Pornos are sometimes watched by people because they do not have the right kind of relationships in their lives.
  10. Pornos can be bad because they can objectify women and lead to trouble and addiction.
  11. Maybe when you're a couple years older we'll rent Zach and Miri, but for now just understand that pornos are inappropriate because of the way the industry has been built around them.
  12. Because sex is so taboo in our society, pornos and other sexually "bad" things have been forced under ground. The reason you should stay away from such things is that there are a lot of bad people associated with that underground.
  13. You can watch Zach and Miri with me, but remember the conversation we had about safe sex and what is (and is not) an appropriate age to start having sex.
  14. Seriously? You're in High School now and you still have no idea what a porno is?
Is it that difficult to be open and honest with your kids? Do you think it will really harm them that much? As Jesus pointed out, we should not be "of" this world, but we do need to live "in" this world.

2 comments:

Sherry said...

good post!

Burgher Jon said...

Thank you! I find it exceedingly irritating the number of things that are done to "protect" our children from things that responsible people would/should expose them to. There's a psychology of "well if I didn't show it to them, they probably don't even know it exists" that some parents find comforting, but that has one of two effects; it either keeps the kid from growing up, or it makes them learn things from places they shouldn't be learning things from.