Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Gleek No More

Everyone has his/her things, right? I'm talking about members of our Church. A person will take a hard-line stance on a particular issue, say, R-rated movies and swear off of them and speak vehemently against them because our Church leaders have said simply, we do not watch R-rated movies.

And then that's it.

We'll go ahead and watch other things of questionable morality because Church leaders haven't explicitly stated, do not watch such and such. Left to our own devices, a lot of times we miss the mark. We keep the letter, but not the spirit of the law. Often we have those two things confused. We think that the letter is harsher than the spirit. It's not. The spirit is always more strict. For example, the letter says don't watch R-rated movies, but the spirit would indicate, don't watch anything of questionable morality, right?

I'm not perfect with that particular law. I had no restrictions growing up and so I was really used to just watching any ol' movie I felt like. Then I got to BYU and met a whole world of people who never watched any R-rated movies and I thought that was such a revelation. Good for them, and now good for me too! I reformed, didn't watch anything and was off serving in the vineyard called Chile.

Since then I've been off and on. I think more on than off. To be honest, it had a lot to do with who I was dating at the time, although there was a period of several years when I wasn't dating anyone and I held hard and fast to that rule. Now I'm on, and that has a lot to do with Amy's influence, but I think on my own I'd be pretty steady in this area. But every so often now, I'll let certain things in from time to time. (Example: I saw 127 hours. It was really good, but awfully graphic. Anyway...)

I'm getting away from my main point. Last year I let myself get into Glee because it was fun. They had cool performances, clever writing, and some cute characters, but at the beginning of the Fall season, I just got so turned off to it. Kurt became too central to the show's plot, Finn was constantly villainized, and I just hated it. I deleted it from my DVR.

Then a week or so ago I was stretching post-run in my room, and I'll always turn on the TV while I'm just sitting there, and Glee happened to be on so I thought I'd give it another chance. It was an episode about alcohol awareness and the whole cast was getting drunk, and the theme basically centered on how no one in the world could ever be expected to abstain completely, so try and be wise about when and where you do it. It boiled my blood.

I just can't stand this show. It's not just the same-sex issues. It's not just about the show's rampant promiscuity. It is pretty much everything about it. The show just seems to cut against the grain of anything and everything that we as Church members believe in. It makes me wonder how I can draw a strict line when it comes to the movies I'll watch, and then let this garbage on through just because there isn't an explicit declaration about TV-MA type shows.

What bothers me most about the show is that it has such an obvious target audience. Whether we think so or not, we are subtly influence by every message that is thrown our way. It comes through in what we see, hear, and read. And I guess this show is so irksome to me because it is supplying our youth, and ourselves, with false impressions of what is really valuable. It lowers our values and commitments to sacred principles. I guess it just bothers me because it subverts so much of what is supposed to be so valuable to us, and it aims primarily at kids who are so impressionable.

I hate coming off as self-righteous about this because I know that there is so much that I do wrong, but this is one thing that I know I can cut out. If you watch it, please don't. Let's not invest our time and attention into supporting something that doesn't agree with our standards. It's garbage, and will only hold us back. For a time I let myself get caught up in it too, but I'm done with that now. This is one less thing on my list of a million things to work on. If it isn't one of yours yet, please make it so now.


Caitlin said...

I could not agree more about the immorality of the show, but you know what is also funny too? I don't even like the musical numbers anymore, which was a primary reason why I was even excited about the show. The whole show really has lost its appeal to both Dave and I. It really is just garbage.

Dave said...

Agreed. I liked Sue Sylvester and the musical performances but I have not watched it at all for a while now. I'm disgusted by all that this program stands for.

I remember very clearly my film and literature professor discussing how nothing we watch or read is ever just for entertainment. What we watch and read influences us and shapes our thoughts, viewpoints, and decisions.

It's moments like these that make me poignantly aware of how I choose to spend my time. In a world where I often struggle to find the 30 minutes a day to read my scriptures, I certainly can't afford to be spending 45 minutes watching this garbage. You get a real sense of what is important and how we should spend our time.

Dave said...

Sandra Day gets the idea of standing up for the spirit and the letter of the law:

“As a lawyer you are not just an advocate for your client. You are a representative of the law. It is your duty not only to act according to the highest ethical standards but to make sure that you speak up when others intend to do otherwise. Your highest fidelity is to the law; you serve your clients best by making sure that they understand the duties imposed on them both under the letter and under the spirit of the law”

Sandra Day O’Conner, “On Being Ethical Lawyers,” Life in the Law: Service & Integrity, 31, 2009

Douglas said...

I don't know why the Google "Buzz" doesn't actually post on here...I digress.

I have been annoyed by this principle for a long time. I don't know if it is the rationalization talking but movie ratings are the same way. I have a friend from UCLA that works in the movie industry and he has told me for a long time that ratings are a marketing tool, no more, no less. An "R" rating and a "PG-13" rating have more to do with the target audience than the actual content. We have all seen ads for movies flip flop between ratings. Apparently, this is also why "Unrated" versions are released on DVD, to market to a larger audience. This just happened to the Oscar Winner

You can see many different takes on the re rating of the film - liberal to conservative but my point is that it happens and there is inequality. I agree with you Chris. Any time that we let someone else judge if we will watch a movie, we are kind of giving up our own choice (or the responsibility for it)

I contend that the MPAA should not be responsible for our decisions. I have seen many PG-13s that should have been Rs and vice versa. You should be responsible for the quality of show - the rating should not.

(steps down off soapbox) I am not sure if this is my own rationalization but at least I feel like I am taking responsibility for what I watch. Its no one else's fault if I decide to see something bad, it's just mine. For the record too, I am glad you peeps have finally come around, I hate Glee.

Silvs said...

I appreciate your comment, Doug, but I feel like you're kind of hijacking the post. I'm not really concerned about whether movie ratings accurately represent the "adult" content in movies or not. I think pretty much across the board, upwards of 95-99% of the time, if you use movie ratings - particularly R-ratings - as your guidepost, then you're pretty safe. In the end, we all probably need to be even more restrictive than that, as in cases of shows like Glee.

Salt H2O said...

Advertizers pay millions for product placement, knowing that if a popular star uses their product, people will buy it.

Why would morality be any different?

Glee has to be one of the most dangerous shows on television. Take immorality and put it in JCrew and give it a peppy beat.

MikeReid said...

Wow, I really like what has been said here. I agree, Glee is garbage. I can't sit through another episode. I hope it gets cancelled. They can keep making music if they want. I'm cool with that. But enough with the consistent episodes of underlining messages it's trying to convey to the public. (Especially the drinking episode as of recent--i totally agree, Silva)

(I also agree that the majority of movie filth can be avoided by following the rating system.)

Ryan and Kiley said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I didn't watch season one, so I watched an episode of season 2 and was appalled at what it was all about-- it makes me sad that its sucked so many people into it because of the music and trendy-ness of it all, when it is teaching such awful things to us & our youth.

Marietta said...

Yay! I am so happy to hear this. I have tried watching that show twice. Each time it was with a group of people, a social gathering if you will. Everyone loved it so I figured I should too. After watching it once I just thought it was dumb. After the second time I was done. The messages they send are horrible and offensive.

Lisa said...

Chris and I watched one last season and then one this season and could hardly sit through it... it's awful.