What Is This? Bizarro World?

By Lynell Morgan
Co-Publisher, The Elgin Review
It was movie matinee day for the Morgans on Sunday.  Another busy week left both of us needing to get out of town for a little bit. Time to shake the cobwebs out and refresh the brain.
With a rare exception here and there, I do enjoy Melissa McCarthy movies (Bridesmaids, Identity Thief) so we decided to see Spy.
As an adult, overall I enjoyed the movie. It was an escape from reality for a few hours. I expected a large amount of raw language and adult situations. I was not disappointed.
What I didn’t expect was the number of small kids with their parents also at the movie. That same movie with a large amount of raw language and adult situations. I was disappointed.
How old were they? I can’t say for sure but the ones sitting in our row were well under ten years old.  After each movie preview we would hear a “Oh cool! I wanna see that one!”
As a fifty+ year old woman who grew up in the 60s, 70s and a bit in the 80s, I’m no stranger to swearing. I’ve been around a few people who can swear like a drunken sailor on any given day since most of my friends were guys — but now-a-days the “ladies” can make a man blush. I’m no prude. I enjoy South Park (most of the time) and even liked the days when Beavis and Butthead ruled MTV (before all the reality shows). Spy had a considerable amount of f-bombs, several c-words and at least one t-word that I remember (to be honest, I wasn’t counting). Probably because we all know that you can’t make a good movie without swearing — swearing and sex.  In case it needs to be explained, that would be a sarcastic comment.
Concerning the adult situations, it had the “usual” dose of sexual talk with a lot of groping, a man and a woman in “an act” on the street, close up pictures of a naked man – very close up. You get the picture. And so did those kids.
I’m all for progress and I know times change. I’m just thinking that they might not all be changing for the better.  I don’t understand how the parents weren’t uncomfortable having their kids at that movie?  I was. I was uncomfortable knowing that young kids were viewing and hearing what I was.
My point to this whole thing is, little kids don’t belong at those movies. I know the R-rating (which this movie is) states that there must be an adult accompanying them. The movie rating system is failing parents to a degree since this movie should have been stronger than a basic R-rating IMHO. Perhaps theaters need do a screening process on the adults to see if they can make a responsible decision? Of course many of those bringing young kids to these types of movies would likely be the same parents who would argue with the school that their child DID NOT curse at that teacher, is NOT BULLYING that other kid and there is NO WAY their child is sexting.  Again, that would be a sarcastic comment.  Their arguments remind me of the wonderful scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie blurts out the “mother of all words” and his mom insists he’s never heard that word in their home.
I’m not a parent but it doesn’t take an Einstein to know that children take their cues of what is acceptable and what isn’t by the examples and guidance of the adults in their lives. Parents should never rely on the music industry, the movie industry or the internet to protect their children. Won’t happen. Have you seen the movies that are being targeted at children? Have you listened to the lyrics? Have you seen the what children are reading and viewing on the internet?  They have one goal, “show me the money!”.…. not the welfare of children.
I’ve been in the news industry for 30 plus years. I would never and will never endorse censorship. The only exception would be by parents concerning their minor children.  What I expect is that we adults step up to the plate and start acting like responsible adults.

(Edit was to allow comments)