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“itchy skin, dirty words and heroin”

January 11, 2008

 A. O. Scott has a good peice in the NY Times, Take the Kids, and Don’t Feel Guilty, fairly well summed up by,

I blanch when I see very young children at “American Gangster.” But I also roll my eyes when friends choose to interpret the PG-13 rating as a literal injunction rather than an attempt by the movie industry to protect itself from complainers.”

He goes into a more detailed exploration of the idea (and specific movies as examples) in the article, but the part i really liked was the intro:

I defer to the pedagogical expertise of the professionals, but something in me nonetheless rebels against the idea that the books children choose should always be safely within their developmental comfort zone. There is pleasure to be found in bewilderment, in the struggle to make sense of what is just above your head, and there is wisdom as well.

Personally, i was so much more resilient as a kid than i am now.  I watched Seven sometime in middle school, and i just came away thinking it was one of the best movies i’d seen (if kinda gross).  There’s no way i could watch it now; i’d have nightmares.  Actually i get more of day-mares, where i just think about scary movies too much while i’m awake and freak myself out rather than dreaming about them…but, umm, the point is that i’m all for treating kids like they aren’t actually idiots.
(And i am a total New York Times whore, as has become clear this week.)

Lady Brett
“Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings” – Lucinda Williams

One Comment leave one →
  1. linaria permalink
    January 11, 2008 4:13 pm

    when I look at my bookshelves I can see the history of my development as a person. I kept every book that had a major impression on me, and now, as an adult, I can recognize which pieces of literature were too “advanced” for me at the time–nearly all of them. but those were the very pieces of literature that shaped my worldview and made me who I am.

    of course, they’re mostly very dark stories, and I’ve turned out a bit twisted and cynical. so maybe that’s not the best argument I could make–but hey. I’m with you anyways.

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