The summer… thus far.

“Kids these days. They don’t scare like they used to.”

Monsters, Inc.

So far it has been a fairly blah summer. The thing about it is, it’s weird how things have seemingly mirrored last summer. Emotional disappointments. Check. Fling that started off well and then… “excuse me what happened”? Check. The mirror image has been particularly obvious on the guy front. Well… enough whining.

I actually have some socially relevant commentary.

Last Friday, shortly after midnight West coast time there was a shooting at a showing of the latest Batman movie. (See my Grio article on this topic hear.

http://thegrio.com/2012/07/23/colorado-theater-shooting-do-we-need-metal-detectors-at-the-movies/)

The shooting was a senseless tragedy. To be clear no one deserves to be the victim of gun violence, or any form of violence for that mater. I am a hopeless diplomat and believe all conflicts should be sorted out through dialogue. That said, I can not help but to comment on one small detail that has emerged regarding the incident.

Who takes a four or a six year old child to see a dark, loud, violent, movie at any hour of the day?

Let’s be clear. At midnight, or at noon a movie theater should be a physically safe space for any American, regardless of their age. My issue is with the content of the film in question. I should actually say the perceived content because frankly, superhero films are not my thing. No, I haven’t seen a Batman film since Michael Keaton played the lead role. But I have seen the promotional material for this film, and just a still image of Bane makes me want to sleep with the lights on in my apartment. So how is it that a child could see this film and not be scared?

I posed this question to my mother, a retired education professional, last weekend. She reminded me that a lot has changed in the twenty years since I was in the age group of the children who were at the movie theater in Colorado. The proliferation of cable t.v, violent video games, two ongoing American driven wars, a major terror attack on U.S soil… It has all lead to the seemingly more violent society that kids, as well as adults have to exist in.

Mother is right (as per usual). At the same time, I still think it’s a sign that American society is worst off, not better. I can still vividly remember being scared and having to be taken out of a showing of Roald Dahl’s “Witches” as a kid. (rated PG) The thought of the scene at the conference where they strip out of their everyday wear and slip into “witch casual” still frightens me. I still wouldn’t watch that movie alone, especially not at night.

I also reminded my mom of the time that she took me to see some sort of “Dinosaur Alive” type of exhibit at a local museum. It was very dark inside the main exhibit… All I remember were the wailing sounds of “dinosaurs” and catching a glimpse of a triceratops. Wild horses couldn’t have dragged me past the front corridor. I refused to go inside. My mom had to ask for a refund for the tickets.

I was no scardy cat. These were natural reactions for a child of my age and of the era. What’s going on in a world where a four or a six year old is seemingly no longer scared by the things that go bump in the night? A child shouldn’t have any major concerns in life. What’s for snack? Is it time to go to ballet? These should be the perplexing issues for a four or six year. Perhaps the fact that today’s children have to be concerned about being shot at a movie theater makes Bane and maybe even The Witches seem a lot less scary.

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About chelsealynr

Chelsea-Lyn Rudder is a contributor to The Grio, the Huffington Post and the Downtown Express, the local paper for Lower Manhattan. She holds a master’s of science degree in International Relations from New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. She was appointed Executive Director of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus in 2005. A position that she maintained until the summer of 2010. Miss Rudder is a member of WNET channel 13′s Community Advisory Board and of Community Board One, the local governing body of Lower Manhattan. She received her bachelor’s degree from Pace University in Communications and Political Science in 2005. Chelsea-Lyn resides in New York City and is a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan. Chelsea-Lyn is a former Miss Teen USA delegate representing the state of Michigan. Miss Rudder has served as a spokesperson and fundraiser for The American Heart/Stroke Association, Michigan Special Olympics, SADD and Detroit’s Caribbean Cultural and Carnival Association. Follow Miss Rudder on Twitter @ChelseaLynR . Please direct media and speaking engagement requests to RequestCLR@gmail.com .
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