Friday, October 22, 2010

Of Heffalumps and Hollow Trees

‘Twas past her bedtime
So I put her to bed.
Read me a story she said.
Knowing not more than me when I was ten
The honey bear and Blyton were called upon again.

If sleep was a friend
Some shame must have passed
For he had found his abode someplace far.
She cocked her head, with a look of disbelief,
“It’s a plain ol’ elephant and tree!”

With an arrow that pierced the depth of my soul,
I tried to explain; and myself console,
The heffalump in its fantastical form
And the house inside a tree trunk.

As I battled to keep my childhood alive,
Her army surrendered,
To my friend who had blundered.
I rescued my past, but left it’s soul on the battlefield
Hoping that one day she would follow it’s lead.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love in the time of Censorship.

Tom and Jerry is now rated PG13! It’s Tom and Jerry for chrissakes!! C’mon! We all watched it and a few of us went out there and became extremists. But violently speaking, the majority of us turned out alright, right? Ok, I’ll admit, it’s not so much the Tom and Jerry thing that’s bothering me, it’s more that the hype around sex and violence is made such a big deal out of, that when you give a kid a Bob Dylan record nobody even raises an eyebrow. Kids can’t watch the same cartoons as us but they can and do listen to the same music and nobody questions it? What’s my problem with love songs, you ask? They’re deceiving, and have been for generations! 

Love songs make you believe that the person you fall in love with will be able to express his love for you as romantically as Bob Dylan or the Counting Crows. And the disappointment, on learning that not everyone is as lyrically in tune with the world of romance as these heartbroken conjurers of poetry are, is likely to cause much more damage to a kid than watching a cat and mouse beat the living daylights out of each other with pots and pans. At least the violence depicted in Tom and Jerry is real and not some cover up trick for the real thing.

Love is real, as is heartbreak… but these guys make it sound like it’s an amazing, beautiful feeling. It’s not! Having your heart broken and dealing with the emotions of falling in love are the most painful things you could ever experience. A physical wound will heal faster because you can see it and heal it. You could live with the pain of a broken heart forever and noone will see it, so noone will care and when they step on it, they won’t know because they can’t see it…but you’ll still feel it. And it’s not the kind of pain that’ll go away with a painkiller and there’s no heartbreak ward in the hospital that you can check into. You are in it alone and only you can get yourself out of it. And no matter how many times you listen to ‘Something’ by the Beatles or (if you have bad taste) ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ by Bonnie Tyler, the pain is not going to go away. But you’ll still listen to it on repeat... making yourself more miserable and falling deeper into the hole of self-pity.

People will warn you about sex, drugs and violence…but nobody prepares you for heartbreak. The only thing you can hope for is that it hits you so hard and so fast that it dulls you and your heart, forever. Should you be so lucky, you’ll have on that invisible cloak that all of us have been wishing for since we were kids. You’ll think you’ve conquered the world; that you’re indestructible. But in truth, they’ve taken your soul and rendered you dead. But it’s such a smooth, clean kill that there’s not a trace of evidence.  No evidence means not guilty, so the love song gets off scot-free. In the meantime, while the heartbreak casualties increase, censorship boards continue to waste their time with sex and violence. I don’t get it.