Friday Thoughts: Things I’ve Noticed

Like many of you, I enjoy going to see a movie in the theater. Or binge watch a show on a weekend, or weeknight. But I have noticed something that disturbs me greatly. From trailers showing a man acting as a terrorist is the hero. Or how rebellion is herald as good while authority is both mocked and taught to be distrusted and disrespected.

Sexual acts, be it shown or hinted at, has become a mainstay. That any relationship must either include sex or they are objectified in some manner. Either as a scantily clad individual or a mountain of muscle. That to be in love means you must share your body and your bed. I have not seen a movie where there was not some innuendo about sex. In addition, the fact that people can hop from one relationship to another, from one bed to another, and not have some sort consequence shown disturbs me. What of the emotional harm from having such intimate relationships for a shallow a reason as sex? Or the number of STDs that come from those relationships? What happened to stories where people had to get to know each other before such intimacy? Where did the depth of relationship go in today’s world?

Likewise, humor has changed since the days of the Thin Man or I Love Lucy. Where Bob Hope and his generation used wit and cleverness to bring humor, this generation seems to rely on innuendo and crude humor to bring laughter. The jokes of today also make light of such subjects as porn or adoption. Today’s humor also shows fathers and authority as jokes. Either as fools or things to rebel against. In other things, people themselves laugh at strange things. For example, in the recent movie Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Yondu kills a ship’s worth of people. Not defending himself or killing those who stand between him and freedom. No, he killed them because he wanted to. Because he could. And the people laughed at how he danced and smiled.

This brings me to my final point: blood.

Today’s shows and movies are violent things. Some more. Some less. Some for good reasons. Others, not so much. There are war movies where the battles of war need to be shown as gruesome. Other times though, it is sheer entertainment. Games and movies make light of these bloody battles. They walk among the bodies without comment. Or neglect to note the sheer loss of life. The series Transformers is a great example. Entire cities are laid to waste in the battles but no one mentions it. Even more disturbing is how today’s shows treat the “killers”.
Tweens Harry Potter, X-23, and Eleven all kill without much regret. Harry kills a teacher by touching him. X-23 kills quite a few, including decapping one fellow. And Eleven snaps the neck of several with her mind.

Granted each had a reason why they are murders but very little shown about how they kill others. Whether they show regret or remorse. Or even if they understand. Harry goes on with his education and his teachers are “yep, he killed a colleague his first year”.

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Friday Thoughts: Tolkien and War

Good morning! We made it to another weekend! Unless you work on the weekend then I wish you much strength and courage.

On my commute, I have been reading Lord of the Rings. I am happy to say that in six hours worth of riding the train, I have finished The Fellowship of the Ring.

It has been many years since I last read these three books and I am disappointed in myself for this. However, the long wait is over and I am much better for it. I once again walked through the Shire, saw the beauty of Elrond’s home, and felt the terror of the Nine Riders. In the recent news of attacks in England, disappearances of children from around the city, and the poor representation of “heroes” in the world, it is good to have some wholesome things to read.

I have noticed that in the movies, no one quite puts enough weight on the numbers killed. Regardless whether the hero slew them or the villain. In DC’s Man of Steel, an entire city was destroyed but no one mentioned it. Going further back, every single Transformer movie. No one notes it. More recently, in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Yondu is seen killing an entire crew of a ship and enjoying it.

And the audience laughed.

It was disturbing to hear people enjoying one man and a garbage panda kill hundreds of men. Without warning. Without mercy. Perhaps it was justice because they killed his entire crew. Perhaps it is because Yondu has a black soul*. But was it necessary? Was it needed?

In Tolkien’s story, either the characters note the number of dead. Or the narrator does. From the number of men killed in the defense of Gondor to the number of Urak-Hai slain for control of Helm’s Deep, you can see the cost of war. You can also see why the war was fought. Or why the hero had to fight.

I think that is something we are in danger of losing. That we forget just how horrible war is because of the gory movies we watch or how easy the “hero” takes to killing the enemy. Or why some battles must be fought or why some battles are not worth the fight.

But that is just me. Maybe I am a strange individual who believes in fighting but at the same time wishes to avoid it. Maybe I am strange for wanting to be like Faramir: a warrior and a scholar. But then again, these are my thoughts.

In light of this, I will leave you with this question:

If you fight all the time, are you able to know when you must fight?

*Disclaimer: when I use the word “black” I mean in relations to evil deeds.