Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When No Means No, Yes Means Yes, and Fifty Shades of Gray Means "Meh"

Can someone please explain to me how the following two stories can co-exist, even in the liberal progressive world?

This past Sunday and before, stories out of California have reported that the legislature in that liberal bastion is ready to pass a law that says "only YES means yes." It is purportedly a corollary to "No means no." It tells college students that when it comes to sexual encounters, there must be an affirmative acceptance to what is about to happen from both parties. Either a verbal okay or an affirmative nod of the head has to be signaled in order for the festivities to progress. Isn't that special?

Now, that attempt in California to legislate sexual behavior comes at the same time as the second story: Live Action catching Planned Parenthood employees on camera encouraging minors to engage in sadomasochistic behavior.

So here is the question: When the law in many states provides for crimes such as statutory rape, where children under a certain age are presumed to be unable to consent to sexual intercourse, how can a Planned Parenthood employee get away with telling a fifteen year old that she can consent to whips and chains and beatings and other abnormal activities? Is this not a crime in and of itself? How can a child consent to behavior when s/he does not even know what it entails? What is wrong with the world?

I don't get it. And I don't think I want to. As long as my stepdaughters know right from wrong and Yes from No, that is about all I have the strength and the inclination to worry about.

The Giver: A Movie About Life under Liberal Progressive Control

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
in The Hunger Games
Several years ago I spent the summer reading the Hunger Games trilogy on my Kindle. Despite the story being targeted for an audience of adolescents, I was completely enthralled with the three books. I spent a lot of time pondering whether the events that Katniss Everdeen and her comrades faced could indeed happen in our future.

When inevitably the first movie came out in March of 2012, I waited until it left major theaters and then went to the see it at a local cinema and draft house with my husband. There are fewer children in theaters of this nature -- just a fact. We both enjoyed immensely the first installment of the four-part movie series. (Like both the Twilight and Harry Potter series, the final book has been broken down into two movies, to milk the story's popularity.)

The Hunger Games movie was relatively true to the book, compared to some adaptations. For months after seeing the first episode, I looked forward to seeing the second part when it was released -- titled Catching Fire. Well, although the second installment has been out for nine months now, I have not yet gone to the theater. I even bought the DVD so that I can watch it when I want at home. But it still sits in its original packaging, unopened. Since it is two and a half hours long, it requires a bit of a time commitment to watch, and in the summer I would rather be outside in the yard as much as possible. I will get around to watching it, eventually. Hopefully before the third movie is released later this year!

But I am now intrigued by the upcoming release of another movie about the future. This one is called The Giver, and it is based on a book of the same name written twenty years ago by renowned author Lois Lowry. Here is how the back cover of the book introduces the story.

My younger stepdaughter had to read the Newberry Award winning book The Giver for a class several years ago. I read it at the same time so as to be able to discuss it with her and quiz her on it. Although Lowry wrote this book for a young audience, it has a plot and a message that all American adults should heed.

I could go into greater detail on the story, but there have already been many synopses of the book written over the last two decades by more eloquent reviewers than I. There are also reviews of the movie available if you are interested in reading more before deciding to see the movie. The trailer below will give you a feel for the movie and its darkness.

Until I have seen these two movies, I will refrain from my urge to predict that these societies--one of fakeness and one of sacrifice --are where we are heading in this country. The desires of many in political leadership to control all of the aspects of our everyday lives -- from the size of our Big Gulps to the food served in school lunches to who gets to live and die (government control over health care funding, access to birth control, euthanasia and suicide on demand) -- are signals that we could be headed to either a Panem or to a world of Elders in a futuristic "utopian" society where a Giver and a Receiver are needed to carry the pain and memories for all of the others whom the leaders have judged to be too weak or too inept to be saddled with the truths of life.

Catholics should see this movie because it portrays a life that is completely in opposition to the freedoms that are the basis for Catholic Christian anthropology.

The Giver opens in theaters tomorrow..