Via Shakespeare’s Sister:
"The lifestyles depicted in this movie [Rent] are not the majority, not the lifestyles of 99.9 percent of the kids that live in these two towns," School Committee cochair Donna Mansolillo told a meeting of the committee this week.
That’s a school board member from Glocester, Rhode Island, talking about a controversy involving a high school field trip to see the movie "Rent". Read more about it here.
That quote is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Yes, Mrs. Mansolillo — the lifestyles depicted in the movie "Rent" are NOT reflective of the way most people live in your town.
But the same thing could be said for lifestyles depicted in the following films: "Pride and Prejudice", "Casablanca", "Gone With The Wind", "The Wizard of Oz", and, oh yes, "The Passion of The Christ".
And just about every other movie made.
Should we just ban the film and television medium altogether in Glocester?
The notion that we should shrinkwrap and blindfold our kids is antithetical to the idea of education. Education means openness and exposure, and learning about new things. It is not, as conservatives seem to think, indoctrination of one finite set of values.
And seeing interracial and gay people on the movie screen (as well as heterosexual couples) does NOT mean the teens of Glocester are going to become gay (or a different race or heterosexual or whatever).
But the best quote comes from a school board member who actually has a, you know, brain about the whole controversy:
"I just don’t get what the problem is," Kelly Hunter said. "If you don’t want your kid to go, don’t sign the [permission] slip."
And there you have it!
But, noooooo….. The sanctimonious moral crusaders want to control everybody’s kid. They want NOBODY to be exposed to diversity.