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View Full Version : Movies and emotional education


cucio
05-26-2010, 12:46 AM
I have this impression, for things I read in the internet or hear from people around me, that young people in first world societies are getting a good chunk of their emotional education by taking literally the situations and behaviours depicted in obviously (for the educated mind) fictional movies, which then they try to imitate.

It is relatively easy to explain to a child that superheroes are fictional, since they don't see flying guys with capes anywhere outside a TV screen or a comic book.

Eventually they may be ready to accept that war is nothing like Rambo movies, and one single guy can not dodge thousands of bullets and take down a well-trained small army.

But does anyone explain them that there are no such things as love at first sight or Prince Charming, or that real sex is to movies like "Basic Instinct" like a real fight is to a Jackie Chan flick?

The common place to many fictional works is serendipity: you don't have to work for things, they just happen. At the very best you have the "long years of harsh training at the hands of a mythical master" plot device, which are quickly glossed over so the hero can reap in a few days the returns of the hard work in which he wasted at least half of his living years to date.

We all see how serendipity is attractive and has great entertaining value for what it has of evasion of reality: big reward from a low investment. Like lottery. But someone should explain to the kids that this doesn't happen with the astounding frequency you see in the movies. Statistics and probability calculus should play a larger part in schools math curriculum, methinks.

SystemicAnomaly
05-28-2010, 10:42 PM
Interesting perspective. (Really just wanted to bump this thread back up to the top).

Sentinel
05-28-2010, 10:46 PM
And here I thought sensible threads were not cool in this forum. Nice post, cucio.

West Coast Ace
05-29-2010, 11:15 AM
OP, well worded - but I don't think I agree. I believe at least here in the US, it's another 'cause' of the 'Nanny State' leftists/socialists who want to protect kids from everything - no more valedictorians in High School (competition means losers), et al.

Kids are sharper than we give them credit for. Having said that, the tats are so stupid! :)

Kobble
05-29-2010, 01:06 PM
Nice post.

I think some people learn as early as 6th grade that sex isn't like the movies. However, I think they later realize that was the low end of the scale.

What I really liked about your post was the portrayel of how people make huge changes in short time. The Van Damme movies were popular for that. Going from sparring partner to champ in like 3 months or less in Kickboxer. Most people would be lucky to go from couch potato to sparring partner in 6 months. Skill tasks and limited knowledge can be learned relatively fast. Mastery of something usually takes 6+ years. Nobody really sends this wakeup call early enough. Take that 6-8 year time frame, and you better be into serious training for the long haul by 10-12. Outside, after 14, you need more luck. Since, you will be in college by 20, and that is the last chance for many to get some outside aid. With something like two years left to make a splash at the collegiate level, you better nail it. Otherwise, you could face an uphill battle. Even proven people like Mohini Bardwaj and Raj Bhavsar had to fight and make sacrifices in their 20's by living with parents or getting outside financial assistance.

I do feel like the idea of "some people just have it" is a freakin' poison for society. Much of it shows up with peoples bodies. Some people feel it is an unfair battle that some people eat crap and have six pack abs, while other people eat average and have to work hard as hell to get near that. The good thing about The Biggest Loser is it puts much of that into perspective, that it isn't impossible. Basically, that work can be more influential than genetics.

r2473
05-29-2010, 01:22 PM
Wait a second. Are you saying real life is not like the movies?

El Diablo
05-29-2010, 01:22 PM
An interesting notion but I see no evidence of it. In the 1940s and 50s, movies commonly featured people breaking into song and dance at times of sadness or excitement. I don't see signs in my parents' generation that this impacted the way anyone viewed reality. "Emotional education" mostly occurs well before the age most children are even able to pay attention to an entire movie. Most psychologists agree that personality traits are mostly in place already by the time you are 5 or 6 years old. If people today expect things to happen for them with a minimum of effort, the consensus among behavior experts is that this has nothing to do with film, or any other entertainment, and everything to do with the universally read work of Dr. Benjamin Spock, beginning half a century ago. He revolutionized the way children were raised, espousing the revolutionary idea that the amount of frustration children are exposed to should be minimized. This led to feelings of entitlement that encouraged people to "have it all now," and one could even postulate that our inimaginably huge national debt, the result of wanting what we reallly couldn't afford, resulted from Spock's dictum of raising children without frustration.