Motherhood and violence (fatherhood too)
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Lately I've been noticing that my tolerance for violence in movies has basically gone down the drain. The more I think about it, the more I think that it has little to do with my age and more to do with the fact that I am now a mother. It all started when I was pregnant and my husband and I went to see Children of Men. I'd heard it was sort of violent but had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The movie is basically violent from beginning to end, with very real-life like violence playing throughout. Images of bombings and war and that kind of thing, not the stuff you see in video games (which is extremely violent too). This looked totally real.
The whole movie was very intense, to the point that, during the last third I started crying. My poor husband asked me if I wanted to leave and I said no, just hold my hand. The thing is, it was a really good movie, perhaps the best one I'd seen in the last five years. It just happened to be really violent.
Ever since then I have been very sensitized to violence on television and in the movies. So has my husband. We just don't see the need to watch so much senseless violence when the real world is already so full of it.
This is hard for me to say because I am a total, 100% horror buff. I'm not really a slasher film buff, but I've sat through my share of those too. This business with the Saw franchise is totally lost on me though. Pardon my pun, but those people are hacks. I guess that is a little off the subject except that half the nation seems to be tuning in to these slash 'em up films while I have no interest in seeing them whatsoever. I saw it back when it was Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original) and it was actually scary.
Everyone else seems to in tune with these kinds of movies and I think they're either boring or pointless or violence porn. The old me, the one who was all about the horror film, scoffs at this new me, the mommy me, the one who cannot imagine any harm being inflicted on to anyone now that she worries about harm being inflicted on her little one.
My desire to protect my child has basically extended to characters (not people) in even the most absurd of situations. I guess, too, I simply can't image the things I see on screen as being possibilities of what could happen to my son. There's the real terror, if you want some. I don't need to be reminded of all those awful things, those very real things. I don't want to imagine someone taking him away, blowing him up or slicing him up.
What possibly scares me the most is that I know at least half the things I see on screen are happening to people in the world as I write this. People do get tortured and killed in horrible ways, they do get blown up and raped and beaten to death. And, frankly, I don't need to be reminded of it. It's more than I can take. Way more.
So instead of watching these intense, violent films my husband and I watch baseball, where the only intensity lies in whether or not Giambi will admit to steroid use and if the Mets can get out of that slump already. we also appreciate total junk like The Benchwarmers. It may be the stupidest movie I've seen in years but it had me, my husband, his dad and his stepmom, all of us from very different worlds, laughing ourselves silly.
Maybe that is the future I have to look forward to--one filled with silly movies. Fine. So be it. the most entertaining thing around is still my son. I'd rather watch him than some slasher film anyway. He's so much more entertaining.