A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Childhood`s End

Mike at The Return of Scipio discusses the on-screen rape of prepubescent Dakota Fanning, and what it means from a cultural standpoint. He is, as always, spot on.

There once was an institution, a very decent, noble concept known as childhood. Childhood was not merely a stage of life, but was a cultural construct, the purpose being to shield children from the harshness of this world until they were ready to bear the burden. Helping children to retain innocence, protecting them from knowledge they really didn`t need was a great mercy, and liberated them from the weight of the world. The young could rest in safety and peace, knowing that their parents protected them and that they were free to play and live their lives without worry or fear.

This was the goal of civilization itself; protecting the children from harm. Harm is not physical alone, but spiritual and psychological, and so steps were taken to shield children from unnecessary worries and concerns. Sexual knowledge, for example, puts enormous pressure on children who are not ready to face the viccitudes of adult relationships. What value is there in a 9 year old being sexually knowledgeable? There is such a thing as too much information.

Not that the concept wasn`t misapplied; My (then 60 year old) great aunt asked went to my mother after my older brother was born to inquire as to how babies were born! Nobody ever told her, and she was too ladylike to bring up the subject of sex. Something like that should never have happened; her mother, or at least her sisters, should have explained it to her.

But shouldn`t we shield children from some things, at least? Do children really need to know the details of how the sex act is performed? Do they need to know about homosexuality, or necrophilia, or beastiality? Do they need to see a rape of someone who is chronologically their peer on the silver screen?

I remember a visit I made with my wife to Amish country; we passed a homestead where several teenaged girls were outside skipping rope! I found that to be so refreshing-these girls were innocent, and they may have found life on the farm dull, but they lived a wholesome, peaceful existence. They did not have the look of those teens we see today. The tension, the posturing, the confused, worried look that teenagers among us `English` was absent from them. I`m not saying that we should all go live without electricity or flush toilets, but I am saying that childhood had been kind to these girls. They carried the look of peace with them. Most modern children do not.

We have systematically dismantled that noble concept of childhood, and are surprised when our children fall apart. Drug abuse, sexual license, pregnancy, violence, depression, suicide-all fruits of that dismantling. Kids aren`t allowed to be kids anymore, but must start behaving as adults at an early age because nothing is withheld from them. Most of them aren`t emotionally mature enough to deal with the realities, and become ensnared in one unwholesome behavior or another.

Boundaries are a necessary part of becoming a mature person. If a child is not given boundaries he will push until he finds one, although often he finds a precipice instead. Childhood, by restricting the information (and expectations) children received, set those boundaries, and gradually expanded the child`s scope as he became better able to handle things. Modern thought teaches that no knowledge should be restricted, that boundaries should not be given. We have everything backwards.

So much of this stems from Sigmund Freud and his crackpot sexual theories. Fear of ``repression`` lead to full sexual disclosure and a life without limitations. But how can one live without limitations? We must be thankful for limitations; could we survive if our bodies had no cohesion? If our lungs were unbounded? If gravity didn`t give us a predictable condition? Imagine if gravity weren`t constant, but changed from moment to moment! Children in the modern era must feel like that. Everything changes all the time, and they have no way of judging which way it will go. There are no fixed constants for children these days, no watermarks which they can count on to remain standard. They desperately need guidance and are instead given forced to figure things out on their own in a world where the ground shakes under their feet.

That was the purpose of childhood, and children have been robbed of it. As a boy, I roamed the city freely, secure in the knowledge that I was perfectly safe. Children can`t do that today, because some pervert like Michael Devlin will snatch them for his sick pleasures. Those perverts got that way because they weren`t shielded, weren`t emotionally protected at a critical juncture in their lives. They have since had their desires stoked by the furnace of modern sexual obsession, and they have no grounding in right and wrong to make them stop. As a result, our civilization is in the unpleasant position of having to enforce the most basic human rights with the sword-and liberals, ever eager to implement another one of their crackpot theories, resist even that, believing that kind words will melt the heart of the twisted souls they themselves have manufactured. Of course, since these twisted souls have no one to stop them, they are free to prey upon children who will grow up to become twisted souls who prey upon children...

Adam and Eve did not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil, but the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They, like children of old, were innocent until they pried into things they didn`t need to know. Ditto Pandora in Greek mythology. You would think that liberals would at least listen to the Greeks, even if they don`t want to hear it from the Christians, but that have paid no attention. They have insisted that children be forced to gaze on reality in all it`s fascination and horror. They have demanded that children think about things they shouldn`t-sex education in schools to teach 10 year olds how to put condoms on bananas, moral reasoning classes where grammar school children are forced to consider dilemmas such as abortion long before they are ready, counseling sessions with doctors so 8 year olds can be informed about the human papilloma virus, etc.

And so these neurotic, jaded children enter puberty at age 11 because the stresses have pressured their bodies to respond prematurely, and they become unbalanced, exhausted, disturbed adults. Prozac becomes their daily communion, or whatever drugs they need to treat their bipolar or schizophrenia. Since they don`t know any better, they teach their own children in the same way, and their own children suffer the bitterness they themselves suffered. It is so unnecessary, yet there it is.

The rape scene with Dakota Fanning is just one more example of how out-of-kilter, how cruel our civilization has become. The moviemakers, of course, want to make money and so abuse this girl to shock audiences (and titillate some of the more twisted individuals). Shock sells, sex sells, and these filmmakers would be angry if you accused them of causing the rape of 12 year old girls by over stimulating the perverts in our midst-yet John Hinkley, the man who shot Ronald Reagan, did so because of a dark lust for Jodie Foster and sought to emulate her movie `Taxi Driver`. Advertising works on this very principle, and corporations would not spend millions of dollars promoting their products if it didn`t. Furthermore, the state of the art has improved so dramatically (what with the internet, graphic sexuality in the movies, pornography) that it has become increasingly hard for someone not grounded in reality (as, indeed, liberals claim we should not be since there is no concrete reality) to distinguish their world from the synthetic Hollywood creation. I fully expect more child rapes after this movie airs.

It`s time we took a good, hard look at the way with abuse our children these days. We need a return to Childhood



Anonymous Mike Austin said...

Superb. What is worse: That there are those who create such abysmal filth or that there are those who defend it? Alas, we have put in place an entire library of law to protect those who would make money by filming the rape of a 12 year old girl. They have rights too!

In a more decent and subtle age such men as the makers of Hounddog would have been hung by the community from the nearest tree.

We fail to educate or children, we fail to protect them from the loss of innocence you eloquently wrote about, we reward those who make movies showing them raped and sodomized.

Some Carpenter said we will become all of one thing or all of another. America has chosen, and the whirlwind awaits.

2:23 AM  

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