Monday, December 31, 2012

Can WE Do It?

Final thoughts as the year ends:

Last night I went to see The Hobbit.  It was not The Hobbit of my teenage imagination. It was violent and gory and to the young children in the next row, I imagined, the stuff of nightmares.

"How did you like the movie?" my husband asked as we exited the theater.

"I couldn't stop thinking about those small kids behind us," I said.  It was totally distracting.  Every fang, every scream, everything flying from the screen in 3D seemed too much for them. And if it wasn't too much for them, if they weren't sensitive to the horror, that was even more distressing.

I talked for a few minutes about the way the motion picture association and movie makers manipulate movies and ratings to gain the most profit from them.  How parents don't preview movies, ignorantly send their children to see things they shouldn't see. I would have probably sent mine to The Hobbit with a babysitter or gone with them from reading it years ago.

I don't do war movies, but I love war novels.  When I read, I am limited by my imagination whether innately or deliberately.  In movies it isn't like that.

I came back to those children in Newtown and the boy that killed them.  What can I do? I keep asking myself, feeling small and helpless in the face of the media and their lust for money, the gun people with their powerful lobbies and big money, the decreasing funding for mental healthcare.  What can I do? I asked my husband.

"You have a blog," he said.

Yes, I do have a blog.  I've posted every week in 2012 and fifteen hundred people have read my posts.  Not a huge amount - I know bloggers who have that many visitors in a day - but that's fifteen hundred people I think are thoughtful and concerned.

I go back to the title of this blog: Can I Do It?

In 2013, I'm going to ask CAN WE DO IT?  I'm going to do research about the big issues that surround tragedies like Newtown and find ways to make small changes that will have a big impact. I'm going to put together town meetings at my local bookstore. I may ask people to guest write; my daughter who was a schoolteacher has strong opinions.  I'll post at least twice a month about what I've learned.

In the theater, I found myself thinking, "In my day...." and it made me feel old.  But the truth is, in my day, nobody came into the schools and shot classrooms of young children.  The worst you faced in the theater was people spitting on you from the balcony.  There weren't any malls, but I could ride the bus downtown and spend the day window shopping with my friend and come home with nothing worse than clothing lust. I want some of that back.

I hope you'll be an active participant in this undertaking. There's real power in the WE of CAN WE DO IT?

A sense of safety for everyone.  Prosperous in the ways that count. Working to change what's not working. Lucky in '13.  My wishes for us in the coming year.


Ginny Wood said...

Seems to me, more readers to participate would be a good thing. So I Tweeted this (on both my accounts) and shared it on both my Facebook pages.

mamie said...

Thanks, Ginny, and Happy 2013 to you.

Jessica Mollet said...

I like your ideas. The problem seems so big and complex. It feels like a lot of different things need to change on many different fronts - gun control, mental health, violence on TV/video games. Thanks for starting this discussion.

mamie said...

Jessica, One of the ways that change will come is from within each person. Thanks for being an agent of that.