Have you ever noticed that kids in the movies are never realistic?
Think Hagrid talking to Harry Potter at the beginning of the first movie: “It’s not every day your young man turns eleven, you know.” It’s not what he says, so much, it’s how he says it. He talks to Harry like Harry is about three years old.
The same thing happens to the child Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. I don’t know how old Bruce is supposed to be in that scene, but he looks to be about that same age—nine or ten, maybe even eleven. He’s asking questions about Wayne Tower and the train they’re riding, and the dad gives him an answer in a tone of voice that I didn’t even use on my kids when they *were three years old.
On the other end of the spectrum are the kids who act like adults. Like the little girl in Black and White, or either of the girls in Infinitely Polar Bear. Or for that matter, the kid in the animated “Son of Batman” that Alex and Christian were watching earlier this week. The kids act like adults…except they’re insufferable. The most precocious kid I have ever met wasn’t that insufferable.
I think the directors must be going for the proverbial “out of the mouths of babes” thing, but it always pulls me out of the story when a child capable of semi-rational thought is treated like a baby, or when a child acts like an insufferable adult and says things no child ever says. I think, “What is the deal? Haven’t any of these movie makers ever had children?” Surely someone, somewhere in the process—an actor, if no one else–would say, “Ummmm…I don’t think this is terribly realistic.”?
Then again, maybe I’m the only one who finds this distracting and irritating. Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive because of the kind of child I was: longing to be taken seriously, and painfully aware of every time an adult talked down to me. (Which was often.)
While we’re on the topic of movie tropes, I’d really, really love it if movie makers would start showing us GOOD guys who like to listen to classical music again. I’m so tired of the only characters who listen to classical music being bad guys. Come on. It’s like someone in Hollywood has an ax to grind with classical music!
On a much more positive subject, this winter I made a discovery that rocked my world. I’m sure I’m way behind the curve, but since I’m all about sharing the wealth, here goes anyway.
You know those bins you see sitting in parking lots? They are a way to get rid of clothes you can’t use anymore–WITHOUT SENDING THEM TO THE LANDFILL. Even the ones that are ripped, stained, or otherwise useless! As best I can tell, usagain aims to send usable clothes to secondhand stores, while PlanetAid is actually recycling textiles and sending the proceeds to the developing world. Which means that I no longer have to throw away all those ripped khakis and ripped jeans and ripped uniform pants and threadbare undershirts and hole-y socks and…well, you get the idea!
The convergence of some recent local events really crystallized for me how thoughtless our consumption is. I was twenty minutes early for school pickup earlier this week and I was shocked to see a dozen cars already sitting in line, with their engines running. People at a different school leave their engines running while they walk their kids inside in the morning. People get in their cars after working out and turn their car on, and THEN grab their phone and check their messages, with the engine running. People sit in the driveway while their kids are having a half-hour music lesson, with the engine running. I just don’t get it. I mean, half an hour? Completely independent of the pollution factor, think how much money they’re wasting! There are times of year when I can see how the extreme heat or cold might explain this phenomenon, but right now it’s 65-75 degrees outside, and people are still doing it. I’ve been puzzling over this for years, and I still haven’t come up with a rational explanation. I’m forced to conclude that we, as a culture, just don’t think about the larger ramifications of our own consumption. Or is there something I am missing?
It is Palm Sunday weekend, Nicholas’ birthday weekend, and Monday is World Down Syndrome Day, so we have quite the next few days. So I’m signing off to grocery shop, and Jazzercise, and do a writing workshop, and a birthday party, and a birthday, and… and… and…
Have a good one!