I’m deporting myself. (And fair warning, a lot of sex talk.)
I remember thinking that eating in a restaurant or seeing a movie alone were the loneliest, saddest things on Earth.
I got over the first one many years (and many passport stamps) ago, but I had never actually seen a movie alone until this week. I wanted to see The Hobbit before he put on his ring and vanished…from theaters. So I biked into town for the Tuesday matinee.
I can happily report that I didn’t feel lonely, awkward, or out of place for being there alone. But I did feel lonely and out of place…in America.
The preview to the previews was commercials, but fine, show me ads. But they showed this one from Kia that played during the Super Bowl. I don’t like linking to an advertisement, but in case you’d like to see what I’m talking about.
Ugh. More digitally animated baby humans and animals. Yawn through the pastiche.
But worse than dull, I find this ad irresponsible. It’s an implicit endorsement of a culture whose parents are too immature to talk to their kids about sex.
“Where do babies come from?” Asks the kid. The parents evade. Chuckle chuckle. Then the kid goes home and learns about sex from the internet. We have an entire generation (or two…or three?) who have learned about sex from pornography. That is a crime against ourselves.
Why talk to kids about sex even if it’s uncomfortable? Because otherwise they’ll get their sexual miseducation elsewhere. I presumably got mine from a 70’s era informative book of the “When a man and a woman love each other very much, they share a special kind of hug” variety, with drawing of the fuzzy pencil type that I associate with advent calendars. Illustration more appropriate to missionary handouts than the missionary position.
But I really got my info on the playground, which was cute in a clueless adorable way, but man oh man am I glad there was no internet back then.
Of course, neither kids not parents enjoy that process (though judging from my experience in college, Jews do a much better job of it) so my advice to parents: delegate the job to an uncle/aunt/godfather/godmother.
My family’s rather progressive-for-the-era plan was for our godmother to buy us a Playboy when we turned 14. Or as it 13? I don’t know, because years before that my folks caught us with a Hustler. We didn’t know why we wanted it, but we knew we weren’t supposed to have it, since sex was this big secretive thing that was the focus of 90% of pop culture, and that was good enough for us.
I am sooo tired of television, and our mass culture, performing for our weaknesses. And it’s not that I think I’ll find a country that does it any better, but it’s harder to tolerate when it’s your own. We fancy ourselves such cultural pioneers, but even after all these decades we’re even still fighting about gay marriage? Really?
Ok. Breathe. Thank you for letting me rant. I feel much better. Did you know you were a therapist? What do I owe you?
After my tirade played itself out in my head, I sat in the theater feeling out of place while everyone else cracked up. I deeply envy those who can just laugh at a cutsie commercial and not overthink it, I really do, but I can’t help it. Television, advertising, the media, all that stuff is way too powerful to waste on easy outs and inane fluff. And if I start thinking about the messages it sends women…my vision is already hazing towards red.
It’s enough to make me flee the country.
So I think I will.