I get a phone call this afternoon. “Oh hi! Can I speak with the lady of the house?” (Who actually says that anymore?).
“Yes, this is she.”
“My name is Nancy, and I’m calling from (she rattle off some red-state sounding name of an organization, with the word Family in it). We’re not trying to sell anything. We’re a group interested in media and entertainment. Parents and grandparents today are being forced to be ever more vigilant…”
I cut her off. I can feel where this is going. “Well, I feel that it’s my responsibility to monitor what my children see.”
“Oh yes. That’s great! But some people just aren’t able to do that. We are concerned with content.”
Now I’m SURE I know where this is going, and I say “I am against censorship in all its forms.”
“Oh, so are WE.” she rushes to reassure me. “But did you know that for every 12 R rated movies Hollywood puts out, only 1 family movie gets made?”
I tell her I believe that the market will reflect demand. She tries again to tell me that is not the case. I tell her I believe it is, and that my personal tastes should not be imposed on the artists creating film today. She senses the call is getting circular.
“OK, well, our organization serves families who are concerned with the well-being of children, and this obviously doesn’t include you.”
I laugh. And hang up.
I AM concerned with the well-being of children. I am terrified that my children would grow up in a world where the “moral majority” dictates what is and isn’t art, what we may or may not see. I want my kids to question everything. (OK, that’s slightly bullshit. On a daily basis, having a 4 year old who questions everything is mind numbingly irritating. But I indulge it, because it’s important.) I want my children, all children, to “spot the oppressor smiling among the oppressed”. My plan is to expose my children to everything I can, and be available to explain, guide, or help research things that confuse them. Will my children see things they may not understand, or even be ready to digest? Undoubtedly. But the idea that their minds will be as open as possible is more important to me.
I love a good argument. Call back anytime, Nancy.