However, I have a story to tell. It’s a cautionary tale, as a matter of fact, and it goes like this…
I picked out some movies at the library for Youngest Son to watch on the five-hour car ride to and from Chicago. (These movies were, of course, different from the other kids’ movies – you can’t make everyone happy with the same thing in my family. No, that not the cautionary tale – I’m getting there). Luckily, the library had lots from which to choose including a childhood favorite, The Bad News Bears.
No, not The Bad News Bears from 2005 – the one with Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal made in 1976. I can still remember watching it with my older brother, Ron. We happily sat and ate the popcorn that our mom hid in her purse and drank pop while the Bad News Bears attempted to learn how to play baseball and yell at each other. Good times.
So, with Youngest Son’s movie choices made, I enjoyed my ride to Chicago. I put my ear buds in and didn’t pay much attention to what was going on in the backseat. After all, this was a movie from my youth and I already knew all about it, right?
I started paying attention to The Bad Language Bears when Youngest Son told me he was going to watch it again, stating that it was hilarious. I was feeling pretty good about myself – I sure can pick ’em! Then I started listening. Wait a minute… did that kid just say “bullshit?” Did Mr. Buttermaker just tell a bunch of elementary school kids to “Shut the hell up”? Did Tatem O’Neal say that her friend was on the pill? WERE THOSE JUST RACIAL SLURS?????? OH MY GOSH – who picked out this movie?
Suddenly, I was back at that movie theater with my older brother. Hang on – was my mom there? Did she just drop us off? Who did they make this movie for anyhow?
“Let me see that movie case”, I said. Youngest Son rolled his eyes. “You aren’t going to make me turn this off, are you?” Too late for that – this was a double feature. I verified that the movie was rated PG for “profanity and use of alcohol”. Use of alcohol? Are you kidding me? There’s a scene at the end where the entire team, consisting of 10 and 11-year-olds, is drinking beer and another where Mr. Buttermaker is completely trashed. Profanity? The only word they left out was the F-bomb.
I think what amazed me most about this movie is that I don’t remember it being offensive at all. In fact, I thought it was hilarious too.
Was it that the 70’s were a wild and crazy time? Or, is it that we are wayyyyy too P.C. now? What’s going on here? One thing is for certain – The Bad News Bears would never make it to theaters today. There would be parent groups protesting all over the place. It’s a wonder I’m still here to blog about it today.
Speaking of bad influences, I once read an article that said that the first two seasons of Sesame Street carry a “warning label”, stating that these episodes are for “grown-ups” only. Oscar the Grouch was really nasty, Cookie Monster was out of control with his improper nutrition and, horror of all horrors, there were nude Muppets. I loved Sesame Street.
Oh, and by the by, this blog post was brought to you by the letters ‘W’, ‘T’, and ‘F’ and the numbers ‘666’.
Sorry, I can’t help myself. I had bad influences as a child. Don’t ask me to recommend a movie to your children.