7 of 31


Wall o’ movie marketing, Berkeley, CA.

The other day we took the kiddles to their first commercial movie, out in the theater. It was a Disney number about a bunch of white people, a bitter, betraying biatch of a “mother” — where’d they think that one up? — and a spunky blond (princess!) heroine. Don’t tease me, the boy’s been obsessed about the fairy tale Rapunzel for going on a year, on account of the whole long hair thing. Who are we to deny him his simple, propaganda-dipped pleasures?

Our previous cinema forays had been limited to the Castro Theater in San Francisco on Baba’s Day for kiddle programming (Free to Be You and Me, Dottie’s Magic Pockets), usually with a gaggle of other kids with folks like us as parents. Here, we were on our own. Literally. Before the matinee in the lobby, it was us, the combo ticket-taker and popcorn-dispenser behind the concession stand, and the 13 foot-high wall of marketing material for the most recent Narnia movie, complete with the clever addition of photocopied coloring sheets, a box of crayons, and a convenient table on which to make good use of them.

Upon leaving the theater 100 minutes later, the girl child remarked thoughtfully, “In Disney movies, even though the girls are always girlish-girls, they’re usually also pretty strong.” I’ll give her that. The beloved and I agreed that the best part about the whole experience was that we could sit with the kids essentially still in our laps for over an hour, stealing kisses from their cheeks at will.

2 thoughts on “7 of 31”

  1. It’s so great to get regular bitesized chunks of your life again!

    For me, when I was a kid, going to the pictures was a magical life shaping experience. We didn’t go very often, but when we did it was a big family afair, a special treat. I suppose it’s good not to go to the cinema very often to keep that magical feeling fresh. For some reason, going into the cinema when it’s light out, and then sitting through a 2 hour film and then coming out it’s dark totally blew my mind as a kid. It was like the world had changed! Starting in my early teens, as soon as I was allowed out on my own, I started a little film going a ritual. Now I go as often as I can afford it, alone, during the day when it’s quiet, take my shoes off, and really just enjoy that magic again, sometimes seeing the same movie more than once (sometimes more than once in one day…). It’s a hobbie 😀

    I suppose you have to trust yourself in that you’ve given your kids enough intelligent armor to be media savvy enough that beat back the rubbish and advertising and subliminal psycho-attacks and just see a film for what it should be, just magical and fun.

    • Thank you for reading and enjoying the bite-sized chunks of our lives over here, and thank you for sharing this morsel from your own. And you’re right about the armor. When I was in grad school, an Ojibwe chum of mine wrestled with her daughters’ desire to see Disney’s Pocahontas. In the end she went with all her kids, and they talked and talked afterward. We’re all in a big sea, and rather than keep my kids on shore, I’d rather they know how to swim really well. I’ll be hovering near them with a scuba mask (and a big fish net) for long enough, is my hope/plan.

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