Sunday, February 21, 2010
Dropping the Bomb
So I watched a movie last night on the recommendation of a younger person in our church. It was 1 hour and 53 minutes long. I was ready to turn it off at 28 minutes but thought I could endure. By the time 1 hour passed I held on believing I was too invested to not see the ending.
The movie: Boondock Saints. The review: baffled. I would say disappointed but that sounds rather parental.
I am all about relating to the younger generation and refuse to disapprove of what is popular if I haven't thoroughly investigated it myself. So with the rave-reviews of so many in the 20s I pressed "watch-it-now" on Netflix.
What offended me most was the language. According to imdb.com the "f" word was used 244 times. In one scene alone a major character only uses the "f" word during the dialog (or variations on the theme). My body almost literally recoils when I hear such language. It offends. It disturbs. It's ugly. It's tainted. It's poison not only to my ears but to my heart and soul.
And there is excessive drinking. There is so much freely-flowing alcohol with little to no repercussions. Coming from an alcoholic family this sets me on edge. I cringe.
The women in this film are strippers and prostitutes with not an ounce of compassion, wisdom or common sense between the three of them.
Violence dictates the story. Guns, Rambo-size knives, and toilets are used uninhibitedly. There is no remorse. In fact the violence is justified by the "heroes" because they believe God is leading them to clean up the streets of South Boston. They pray before and after each slaughter.
What, I think, struck me most about this film was how it was praised by my friend. It got me thinking about the differences in our generation. I've seen this during my time leading a middle-school youth group, reading on facebook and in my own kids...language is changing.
Yeah, language changes. Big deal. We all know that...gay doesn't mean gay anymore and we don't say thee and thou. But what has changed is the words that were "bad" words, not used in polite society have become mainstream. Without inhibition. I see OMG and WTF typed out in texts and I'm appalled but kids tell me, "It doesn't mean what you think it means anymore!" I remember during an afternoon of KFC (KidsForChrist) the kids were talking about "pimping" their notebooks. I turned in their direction, picking my jaw off the floor and said, "What did you say, do you know what that means?" "What? What's the big deal?" The word had changed. But in my mind it carried the baggage of offensiveness, bondage, degradation and slavery. Not to them, however.
Is the "F" word becoming the same? Passe'. Okay. Mainstream.
The kids were watching the Invention of Lying a couple nights ago. (It was so bad and offensive to them, they initiated turning it off.) This is a PG-13 movie and I heard gasps and "WHAT!" when the "f" bomb was dropped. This stuff makes me mad.
Am I just another generation out of touch with the younger one? Should I resign myself to the fact that language does change and each generation has it's own idiosyncracies? I am stubborn enough to say, NO. Language does matter and somehow, I think, this plays into the pattern of moral relativism-there is no good or bad-there is no good or bad language. It just...is.