Looking for Love at the Movies

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People have been complaining about the movies ever since they were invented. Our culture is organized around many values that are economically oriented.  Sex doesn’t really sell, it just gets our attention.

Don’t you think that the book and now film Fifty Shades of Grey have gotten a lot of attention? I wonder what they’re selling?

Dr. Miriam Grossman, a medical doctor with training in pediatrics and in the specialty of child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry recently posted what I thought was a very much needed response to the popular culture craze over Valentine’s Day related to the film Fifty Shades of Grey.

Please take a minute read her post here.

The film is very popular and making a lot of money on it’s opening weekend release. I think it’s difficult to teach and demonstrate healthy sexual relationships in this culture we have built. It’s even more of a challenge when mom is reading the book at soccer practice.

I don’t usually go to the movies in the evenings. Out here in the suburbs the experience had become more akin to the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes as the teens took over the mall and the neighboring multiplex theater. Of course the theater itself was being operated by teenagers…

Over the weekend teenagers stormed a movie theater in what reminds me of a scene from any number of current apocalyptic horror films. A witness at the end of the CNN interview hopes that the kids will be punished by their parents. That’s wishful thinking. Ever try to get a cat back in a bag? I’m afraid these kids don’t have parents. They’ve got one parent (who’s trying to be their friend), parents who are working all the time, or a family so fractured that it no longer works.

I did go to the movies during the evening over the Valentine’s weekend. It was eye opening. Love was everywhere and appropriate dress was optional. I kept wondering who’s dad let you out of the house like that and does he know where you are at this hour (and what you’re doing in public?).

While mothers create our civilization, I think it is the duty of fathers to protect it. When things start to fall apart – and everyone agrees that the American family is in free-fall – we look for someone to blame, but really someone to be responsible and solve the problem. We need some everyday heroes.

Fatherlessness in American produces moral chaos like we witness in an oversexualized media. Increasing teenage deviance, behaving like packs of wild animals, happens because there is no literal or figurative presence of a dominant, just and good father figure in the home and community.  These teenagers all lined up to get into the mall night club that night had such empty looks on their faces. I was probably over-diagnosing the whole situation but it made me wonder about what might be missing from their lives. Most didn’t look happy or excited to be out having fun. It was an empty stare.

So much that we worry about with our teens is really a deep longing  to just belong.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

 

 

About Randy Wilson

Professor of Sociology at Houston Baptist University I read, think and write about religion and culture in the United States. It's very interesting and very complicated but incredibly exciting. For many years I have been trying to figure out how people learn best (my students and myself). The classes I teach are always in a state of experimentation - trying to reorganize around what students bring to the table and where we have to go.

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