Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the farm...

Last night seemed like any ordinary night. There we were, sitting peacefully in the living room, watching The Cosby Show, which is one of Hubba Hubba's favourites. (I won't tell you some of the others, it might embarrass him.) It was a good episode--the one where Rudy's sick, and Claire is up for partner at her law firm, so Cliff has to take care of her. Funny, funny stuff. At least BoBo doesn't get his temperature taken "the baby way."

But back to our story. As I said, it seems calm and peaceful. Our family, watching good family programming together. A show I don't mind Wiggle Man watching. I guess he had a problem with it, though, so he did what you do when you have one of those problems:

He called 9-1-1.

Seriously. He'd been playing with our cordless phone when suddenly we heard a man's voice on the speakerphone. Hubba Hubba grabbed the phone, realised it was a 9-1-1 operator, and explained the situation.

Our story doesn't end there.

Twenty minutes later, 2 state troopers pulled in. With a spotlight attached to one of the cop cars. One officer came to the front door, one came to the side door. I was so nervous, I couldn't find the light switch for the porch light. Yeah. They're required to check out all 9-1-1 calls these days. Even accidental ones made by toddlers. They were very kind about it, thankfully. Maybe they have toddlers of their own at home.

Needless to say, Wiggle Man is banned from the phone until he's 46.

My brother-in-law, a former 9-1-1 Chief himself, found the whole thing very amusing.


On a completely different topic, I wanted to address some of the issues that have come up about Twilight.

The whole reason I began reading the book was to understand the hype, and be able to talk intelligently about it. (Sort of the same reasons I read books like The DaVinci Code.) I wasn't necessarily planning to end up liking it. Which I do, actually.

The vampire thing really doesn't bother me from a Christian perspective. I mean, we're dealing with mythical creatures. No one has a problem with the Narnia books (also favourites of mine) simply because they have pretend creatures in them. But C.S. Lewis, for the most part, maintains the traditional line between "good mythical guys" and "bad mythical guys/witches/evil guardians". Just because in this case the "good guys" are mythical creatures we typically cast as "bad guys" doesn't mean we're glorifying evil. In fact, I think it has a lot to say about judging people/vampires/werewolves/unicorns/other pretend things for who they are and what they do, rather than what category of fairy tale character they fit into.

Other people have problems with the sensuality of the book. And yeah, there are scenes in the book that I wouldn't want my daughter to read. (Not that I have a daughter, but you get the point.) I do, however, have a young son, and as I alluded to in the beginning of this post, there are things in our culture I'm not comfortable with him coming in contact with. Which is why, as a parent, I make decisions about what he sees on tv, what movies he watches, and what books I read to him.

I think this is an issue of age appropriateness. The people I have recommended the book to are all grown adults, married themselves, who are unlikely to be affected by the kissing scenes. (Which, in reality, are rather tame compared to some of what's out there in the mainstream media--but that's another soap box.)

I guess my point is this: Let's be aware, as parents and role models, of what we allow the children in our influence to read, watch, and listen to. Just because something is targeted at 14-year-old girls, doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate for your 14-year-old daughter to read. Let's make our own parenting decisions, instead of letting the media do it for us. Let's remember that there are things that are appropriate for adults that are not appropriate for teenagers.

And let's look for the good lessons in books like this. Lessons like abstinence. (Yes, it's because of his vampirish strength, but also because Edward values marriage. No one talks about that part.) Lessons about the nature of good and evil, and redemption. Commitment. Sacrifice.

What are your thoughts about these books? I've said my piece--what's yours?


Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn, this is "James Dan" from Kate and Johnny's blogpost the other day concerning Twilight. I'd generally agree with you, after reading this post, in what you've said. It gets a little fuzzy for me when saying that mythical characters could be viewed more in terms of what they do instead of the character they are. I do agree, though, that people ought to viewed more by what they do rather than what they are. Fun concept to think about, I'll agree.
-Take care, James Dan.

Amanda said...

Jen, Don't worry too much about Wiggle Man calling 911. MacKenzie did it a while back from Joel's cell phone, and we didn't realize it until later. We'd thought they'd called I called back and explained to them what had happened...Thankgoodness they didn't show up on my door step!!! WOW SCARY!!!!

Seeryus Mama said...

To's a book. Nothing more, nothing less. If I get something out of it great. But you know me...I'm a librarian...I'd never be able to censor! :)