Romanticizing Evil

 

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What is it about the bad boys/girls?  Why are some people attracted to what they should instinctively know is bad for them?  Why are predatory, controlling, narcissists romanticized for entertainment value?  Unfortunately, I do not have the answers to these questions…only more questions.  It is a disturbing trend I have noticed in the last decade or so.   I recently saw a trailer for a new show on Netflix called YOU.  The trailer shows a stalker pouring over his next victims social media.  The narration is powerful and somewhat intoxicating, and I quickly clicked off of it, because I knew where it was going.  Same old story girl meets boy, gets stalked, controlled, tortured and killed.  I have made an effort to be careful what I watch, what sort of content I allow to occupy and program my brain.  But then I read a post on facebook raving about the show and equating it’s main character Joe to Dexter.  So I decided to watch after all.  I liked the show Dexter, we’ll get more into that in a bit.  The writing and narration in YOU are superb, but the content as I first had feared is most disturbing.  It is entertaining in a macabre way.  But what disturbs me most is that the main character Joe, a mentally ill, predatory stalker, and killer has fans, lots of fans.  That’s right…there are some, and a lot of them are young girls, who think Joe is the bees knees.  WTF?! How is stalking, and killing, for whatever reason hot, or romantic?  Because Joe is intelligent, slick, and has a couple of altruistic penchants some are willing to overlook his killing ways.  Even the actor Penn Badgley is shocked at the amount of adulation his psycho character is receiving.  Lets be clear, Dexter is nothing like Joe.  Dexter used his dark passenger to mete out justice where the system failed to.  He only killed those who truly had it coming, with the exception of those who got too close to catching him.  While Dexter could be charming, the series was careful to show his lack of emotion and empathy.  I worry that shows, books (50 Shades of Grey), are being created and written that glamorize, and romanticize predators.  Even psychopaths that aren’t killers (the vast majority) still leave landslides of emotional abuse and wreckage in their wakes.  Instead of glamorizing and romanticizing we should be teaching our sons and daughters what warning signs to watch out for.  They need to learn when further investigation is appropriate, and when to walk, if not run for the hills.  Of course, that’s not the responsibility of the entertainment industry, but at what point do they have to bare some responsibility for the harm their content can and does cause.  Why can’t we have shows similar to YOU that show a smart young woman who realizes the danger and escapes it while bringing her stalker/killer to justice? A show that shows the bad guy as a bad guy and shows the red flags to look for to flesh him out?  I would like to see in the next season of YOU the tables turned on Joe by Candace, who he clearly thought was dead.  At best we can view these type of shows, books, movies as teachable moments.  We should as parents watch with, pause to explain or wait till the end and have conversations about content.  That’s our job, but we can’t be there 100% of the time and the likelihood of our youth viewing something like this and forming the wrong opinion is a real threat.  Media, shapes us, and not always in the best ways.  We must be vigilant, and like with all things we vote with our dollars.  If we feel something is truly harmful we don’t have to watch, we don’t have to let our kids watch, if we can help it, and if they do, it is up to us to make sure they have all the right information to form valid, healthy opinions.

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer

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A couple of nights ago I took holiday potpouri oranges to each of the neighbors closest to us.  I even gave one to a neighbor we have had issues with. Last night I filled out and mailed our holiday cards.  I feel at this time it is paramount to remember who we are, and what connects us on the most basic levels.  We’ve become so divided with all the horror that is going on right now.  I see it on social media every day.  People reveling in small victories, celebrating hatred with no care to who they’re hurting.   Families harming each other at the voting booth while smiling happily across the holiday table.  When did we stop being human? We all bleed, we all hurt, we all cry, we all get angry, we all want what we want, but most importantly we all LOVE.  I’ve been binge watching sappy Christmas movies on Netflix.  I need to feel good, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.  The hatred and vitriol that dominates the news feeds and social media is really getting to me.  There are good people doing good things, we’re just not hearing about it.  It doesn’t make headlines, generate enough page clicks.  So it’s up to us to spread kindness, and love, and to try to aid healing.  I’m not suggesting we not be woke and vigilant against the countless atrocious inhumanities plaguing our country at the moment, but that we focus on loving, living, healing, and spreading good cheer.  We have to recharge our batteries to fight the good fight.  We have to focus on the good to keep doing the hard work.  Sometimes a little kindness can help us reach across the table to hear and be heard.  We have to be the difference we want to see in others. I wish you all the best holiday whatever you celebrate, and a fabulous new year.  Celebrate LOVE!

That Stupid Turtle Sign Won’t Bring Your Baby Back

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I know this might piss some people off, but it needs to be said.  It is NOT okay to let small children play in the street.  There is a lady that recently moved in to our neighborhood and she lets her toddler children play in the street.  Our street is a very busy street. It runs parallel to the main street that an elementary school is on.  That street has speed mountains so people come down our street instead so they can go faster and avoid the speed bumps. The residential speed limit is 25 mph.  While many, myself included, obey that speed limit, a greater many do not.  This lady also lives near the corner which makes it even more dangerous because a driver has even less time to see and react to the sudden appearance of something in the road.  We also have a lot of contractors that live at that end of the block so there are big vehicles parked all along that area which makes visibility even worse.  One day I came around the corner and had to come to a complete stop because her children were in the middle of the street riding slow moving motorized toys.  She puts this stupid turtle sign out in the street and thinks somehow this means it’s okay to put her children in harms way.  Every time I see that stupid sign I want to run it over.  Streets are for cars not children.  Now I understand that there are locations that don’t offer kids a safe place to play, and I get it. Cities like New York where many homes do not have back yards or front yards. I get it. Cul-de-sacs where there is better visibility and it’s not a through street. I get it.  Dirt roads that don’t have much traffic, I get it.  Older kids who can watch for cars and get out of the way, I get it. Little kids are irrational, and unpredictable, and very likely to run into the street from between parked cars where a driver won’t see them until the very last minute. Our neighborhood has very large back yards and there is literally an enormous park complete with very wide walkways, a large jungle gym play area and even a duck pond where you can feed the ducks, just a block away.   In our city we have tons of very nice parks that are located in almost every neighborhood.  I think our park is the nicest because of the duck pond.  We use to take our children over there often when they were young.  So why would any decent parent choose to put their kids out front in the street where they are very likely to get hit by a car when they have an easily accessible safe alternative? Why!?  The fact is a 25 mph impact can still cause serious injury and even kill depending on the circumstance.  Why would any decent parent even take that risk?! I often enter my street at the other end so I can avoid that area altogether. I don’t want to be the poor driver that through no fault of my own hits one of those kids and has to live with it the rest of my life.  That stupid turtle sign won’t bring your baby back, but good parenting and not allowing small children to play in the street will keep them from getting hit in the first place!?