Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indoctrination

I was culturally deprived as a child. It's sad to say that, because my parents probably wanted what was best for me, but it's quite true. We had only one television in the entire house, and for many many years it was a black and white one so I honestly believed that Leave it to Beaver, M*A*S*H and Happy Days were all filmed in the 50's. It also meant that I did indeed shout loudly and with consternation, "Hey! Who colorized this??" when watching Wizard of Oz in college. Oh yeah, that'll leave a scar.

We did not have cable so I missed the entire time frame when MTV actually played music (except for illicit viewing at various friend's house). I saw maybe... mentally totting up.... maybe 12 movies in an actual movie theatre by the time I hit high school and that includes Snow White where I wept bitterly for the last 20 minutes or so because Dopey had cried (I was going to marry Dopey and take him away from all his friends. Grumpy would have beaten the crap out of me), and Sleeping Beauty where I had to hide under my seat for much of the end what with the ginormous dragon and the possibility that the ginormous dragon would somehow come back and eat the poncey prince (leaving the three fairies as after dinner mints probably). I didn't see any Molly Ringwald movies when they came out which meant I had to get my fashion tips second hand (wait, no fingers in the gloves? And how many pairs of socks are we supposed to wear? Dangit, my mom won't let me wear a sweatshirt with the neck cut out 'cause it might show my bra strap) AND I missed the television airing of Red Dawn which had all the rest of my friends discussing how far from the blast point of a nuclear bomb you'd have to be to ensure instant snuffing rather than long, drawn out radiation sickness agony.

To be fair I was given alternatives. I could tell you who the Secret Seven were, I knew which new girls were likely to cause the most trouble each year at Saint Clare's boarding school and I had read every last Agatha Christie by the time I was 11. Oh yeah, I was really great at parties.

Kirk on the other hand had been handed a summer pass to the movie theatre each year (with strict instructions not to lean his head back on the seat - stranger hair goo is contagious, not to sweat, and not to come home for at least four hours). He was served his fast-food dinners on a tray in front of one of the two or three televisions there were in the living room alone. I was a granola child - he was definitely twinkies.

But I felt the isolation of not sharing culture with my peers, I truly did. So when I had children of my own I was definitely going to make sure that they were well exposed to all the most important and useful bits of popular culture. As a result they know most if not all of the really seminal Monty Python sketches (Dead Parrot naturally, but they also like Close Order Swanning About) along with several other really vital things, like Yes Prime Minister and Good Neighbors (British title - The Good Life). Recently I realized though that maybe this doesn't quite provide a large range of experiences. They need to be prepared for the tough life ahead. Perhaps old Brit coms aren't enough?

So we've been watching Animaniacs cartoons all week. I'm such a good mom.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm more of an exploding penguin fan myself.

Umbridge is brilliantly awful in the new Phoenix. The kittens alone were worth the ticket price.

For Kirk said...

"'E knows everyfing."
"Aoh, I would'n like that; take all the mystery out of life."

Excellent - the Children are going to see the movie this afternoon! About time we got a summer big release that is actually good...

Child 1 said...

So this is why my friends look at me funny occasionally and shake their heads! I thought it was something in my teeth or something. I really do have a weird cultural experience. I get to enjoy all those delightful fish slapping skits and so on, but I also could tell you in great detail exactly how low and baggy a guys pants should be according to regulation. How can I know that and not have the initiative to shave my legs each time I shower?

child2 said...

and the blood goes spurting..pshhhh, in slaow maoshun...
good times baby, gooood times.

at least you didn't inflict us with barney, little mermaid, or teletubbies.