so i was chatting to some of my guys-who-meet-at-lunchtime-on-a-thursday guys yesterday and as i was speaking i felt the conviction of what i was saying (pretty much more to myself than to anyone else)

the conversation was sparked by me watching the dvd Kick-Ass the day before while tbV was at varsity – a movie which i’d initially heard some bad things about (like little girl saying the ‘c’ word which is one of the few words that i actually find quite hectically harsh – and if you’re wondering what the ‘c’ word is now then good for you – in fact the only time that word has ever been funny in my opinion is in the eric idle monty python skit where he says all ‘c’s as ‘b’s and at the end learns to substitute ‘c’s for ‘k’s and he can finally do it and pronounces “you mean spell ‘bolour’ with a ‘k’?… kolour…. ah, what a silly bunt” – it’s funny cos he doesn’t actually say it) but then recently a bunch of people told me it’s really great and it’s not so hectic and i should just watch it

i am really glad tbV wasn’t around and if not for the infernal curiosity that did all sorts of lesser things to the cat than happened in that movie (dude having finger snapped off, people being sliced up all over the place and dude in walk-in microwave machine) i could have happily switched it off and not needed to know how it ended. and should have. it was horrible. i just cannot stomach unnecessary graphic violence like that and as tbV and i chatted later one of the biggest concerns is how can a parent allow their little kid to be in something like that and do those kind of things and have that kind of hectic adult dialogue – has to mess them up in some way

then a little more previously another movie that i had decided not to watch – ‘Hangover’ – but again which recent friends said was really not bad at all and was really funny i also gave in and decided to check out and to be honest it was not as bad as i thort it was going to be, but it also wasn’t particularly good in terms of being the kind of thing i really need to have had put into my head – definitely feel worse about watching Kick-Ass than the Hangover but i don’t think i would recommend either of them to anyone

i remember when i watched ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ on the big screen by myself for some reason – hyped movie when it came out, decent cast, and so i went to check it out and walked out feeling dirty like i don’t think i’ve felt more strongly with any other movie – what made it particularly bad for me was again the graphic over the top violence but also the fact that it was completely unprovoked – so in Kick-Ass you have good guys versus bad guys and so it kind of makes sense, but this was a dude going around killing people violently because he was a psychopath – incredible acting, directing etc etc etc but it made me feel absolutely sick – it was just so dark and violent and graphic and real

and maybe that’s the key – because it was done so well from acting/directing/believability standpoint that made it even worse… because the point is that it is real – maybe not in the talented mr ripley, but in the newspapers and on tv in the news section, every day across south africa (and beyond, don’t think your country is any better, unless it is) and getting desensitized to it feels like an incredibly bad and dangerous thing to do…

yesterday, i challenged myself to be more selective again (because i used to be) about the movies i watch and to be quick to leave if necessary (because i used to walk out of a fair amount of movies) and to challenge others to do the same

i don’t think i will come up with a list of ‘this is okay, this isn’t okay’ – i’ll trust you are wise enuff to do that – and it may be that it is different for different people – i know my weaknesses (in terms of sexually explicit stuff) and i know what i don’t like or want to fill my head with (horror, graphic violence, blasphemy) but the challenge is to have a line – make a choice – know where that line is – and stick with it

walking out of a movie is a highly frowned upon and much judged activity (because the people who stay behind feel judged by you that they didn’t walk out i think) – i remember when the white cop (matt dillon i think?) was feeling down the black dude’s wife in Crash and there had already been a few things in the movie that had me on the edge, and at that moment i thort ‘this is not something i want in my head right now’ and so i got up and left. and got judged. and it may be the excellent movie i’ve heard it being made out to be. and it may be that you enjoyed it and thort it was incredibly and that i am incredibly lame for walking out. that is all okay with me. at that point, watching that scene, i thort this is over my line, and i got up and left.

and i want to be back at that place where i’ll do that again. leave the cinema. switch off the movie. it’s just not worth it to do that to myself.

my bottom line on this topic is this – no matter how good a movie is (schindler’s list probly the best movie i’ve ever seen imo) there is nothing i will miss out on (intrinsically) by not watching the movie… so nothing i ever miss that will critically adversely affect my life…

BUT on the flipside, there is stuff i might watch that i will regret, that will haunt me in my sleep, that will etch images into my mind which will replay at a later time, that will affect my mood or my actions or my peace… and so when in doubt, don’t. that’s my motto.