Thursday, February 20, 2003

Kerry's thoughts:

I have to say something about the Chicago nightclub deaths. The first thing that I read had a passerby claiming that he had seen them taking a pregnant woman out and that she did not look like she was doing well at all. The first thought that came as I was reading was "what was a pregnant woman doing there anyway?". I chided myself, remembering that I was pregnant with our son at the young age of 25 (-relative to most of my friends and family) and that we did go out once to a local Scottish pub to meet with friends for New Year's and that we left early because I was so nauseous. However, then I started hearing the "rest of the story". Many, many of these people were young single parents, with children at home as young as 3 WEEKS!!!! Why, in God's name you need to be out at a club three weeks after you have birthed a child I can not imagine. Leaving an infant to go to a nightclub at 3 weeks constitutes child neglect in my book. And I shudder to think of who a 25 year old mother of 3 gets to stay with her young children so that she can go out to a club. Or a father for that matter, since there were plenty of single dad's there as well. Am I sorry for these people? Yes. But I am so much sorrier for their children, and the children of all of those everywhere that live like this every day, as an accessory to their parent.

On movies...saw Catch Me if You Can last week. At it's least it is an entertaining film, one of those that makes you root for the guy that's "gone bad" and still connect with the guy that has to bring him in. But at it's most it is so much more. My husband and I had interestingly different views on the message. He got that it "excused" the main character, played by DiCaprio, for his lawlessness because "it wasn't his fault, his parents screwed up his life". He saw it as a typical example of today's pop-psych society in which everything anyone does is never "really" their fault. I, in turn, saw it as a very strong statement against divorce and infedelity. (BTW, I have to say that it is truly ironic that this is coming out now and that in the movie the French mother cheats the American father for the 'better deal' when the going gets rough, although he "rescued her from war-torn France in WW2"---not so unlike real life, hmm?) OK, back to my point. I was saying to my husband that it truly showed how a kid feels when this happens, that although plenty of kids with divorced parents don't get into trouble, it can cause kids to do desperate things that they certainly wouldn't normally do. The guy's entire life is spent trying to "get back" the family that he once had. The scene in which he is told all of the usual things, "it isn't your fault", "nothing will change", etc. was fabulously executed. His entire world is collapsing in on him and he is supposed to absorb this and choose between his parents in the space of minutes. The rest of the movie tells the truth about divorce, that it changes everything, destroys lives, and most of all how it takes all control and safety out of a kid's world in a heartbeat.

Of course that may be my own projection because of my parents divorce when I was young, but I'm hoping not.