Monday, March 14, 2011

And Now, a Word from Hollywood

I love birthdays.  I love parties.  I love planning birthday parties.  Sooo much fun!

But I've been off my game lately.  Between the new baby and moving, this has not been a shining year for parties for me.  Mostly we've been just doing sleepovers and family stuff.  We celebrated Henry's party yesterday with a movie and Chuck E. Cheese's for the family.

As I sat in the darkened theater, watching hippie Martians hug, it occurred to me that Hollywood these days seems a bit heavy handed with their morals and messages.  Has it always been this way?  It seems to me that this is a more recent phenomenon.  Or at least maybe in past years they've been more subtle about it.

We were watching Mars Needs Moms.  It was a decent little flick.  Cute, made me cry, and pretty squeaky clean as far as language, violence, and sex goes.  A PG movie like you'd like to expect PG movies to be.

But whoooeeee was it propaganda!  Not bad propaganda necessarily since it was a message I didn't mind my kids hearing, but it definitely wasn't subtle.  It was the conservative's version of Artic Tale or Walle.

The general premise is that years ago Mars started tossing their males on the trash heap (literally) because they are "dumber than a box of rocks".  Males raise the male babies down in hippie-love trashland and females run the world and have the female babies raised by nannybots in a very strict, technologically advanced, and militarized society.

The moral?  Guys are good for something, love your mom, and the two parent family is best.

I can get wholeheartedly behind the first two, but cramming that third one down people's throats rubs me the wrong way.  I mean, we're a two parent family.  I like two parents families, I'm all for them.

But while I'm pro-two-parent-family, I'm not anti-single-parent either.  Everybody's gotta do what they gotta do.  Sometimes maybe the guy does need to be tossed on the trash heap, especially if he's tripping on psychedelic drugs.  And where does that leave mom?  Well she has no choice but to go to work in the Martian army and leave her offspring in the care of nannybots.

Just sayin'.

And while I was pondering the additional pro-graffiti message of Mars Needs Moms, it reminded me of Weeds.

No, the hippie monkey men of Mars weren't smoking MJ, but I've been watching episodes of Weeds for the first time lately and I was also surprised at how heavy handed that show is too.

I'm not talking about the pro-marijuana legalization message, because that's actually one thing that I don't really see in that show.  No hardcore "weed rocks" messages there.

But what Weeds seems to be doing is trying to gather together a more degenerate audience (you know, the type that would be attracted to a show called "Weeds") and help them along the road to educated and enlightened middle class.

For example, the multigenerational, black, drug-dealing family is very up on their modern parenting skills.  The new baby is worn in a sling and breastfed.  The new mama sends Conrad out for a breastpump and then sends him BACK when he brings home the wrong one.

Tell me guys, which do you think is worse, buying tampons or buying a breastpump?  I felt bad for the guy, but was impressed at the pro-breastfeeding message woven into the story.

It was after this particular episode that I started to notice that Weeds seemed to be full of these little "The More You Know" type moments.

Heylia warns against being too germ-phobic with the new baby.  We get mini history lessons on Noriega and several other topics throughout season 1 and 2.  The list goes on.  And I'm not even to season 3 yet (still waiting on that one - I requested it from the library - gotta love MNLink!)

Again with this one, I like the messages, but they stick out like a sore thumb!  We're smarter than that, Hollywood!  If you want us to take our pill you are going to have to hide it deeper in that spoonful of ice cream.

Have you noticed any particularly blatant propaganda-ing in your recreational media these days?

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