Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Traumatized in Detroit

A horrible, horrible thing happened in Detroit recently, that horribly traumatized an innocent little 12 year old girl. What was it? Did someone blow off her foot with a bomb with the markings "U.S.A." on it? Or maybe U.S. soldiers shot and killed her parents in front of her wide eyes? Or maybe a car bomb blew up outside her school and there was blood and dead bodies all over the place?

No no, it was none of those. It was something far, far more horrible, something so horrible that a lawsuit had to filed, had to, I say, because this girl was horribly traumatized for life by: Yes, gay cowboys. Oh the horror!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Note: Serious post coming tonight. Enjoy the snark.


Posted by: BadTux / 5/14/2007 11:57:00 AM  


The link -- to the Australian Daily Telegraph -- indicates the parents are suing the Chicago school board, which would indicate a Chicago tyke.

Either way, of course, its another mouth-breather trying to : (a) make some money the easy way, and (b) cram his beliefs down our throat.

To lift a graph from the story, "This was the last straw," he said. "I feel the lawsuit was necessary because of the warning I had already given them on the literature they were giving out to children to read."

So this guy has the God-given right to decide all by himself what is right for everybody in Chicago. Who the hell does he think he is, the Decider?!?
# posted by andrew618 : 14/5/07 2:37 PM  

While I think 12 year olds may not necessarily be ready for movies like this (from school), but rather in the home where the parent knows their child best...what really was there to see that was so terrible? Thing is...12 year olds now...and compared to when I was a very innocent 12 year old is a different time. I probably would not have understood so well what was be portrayed in the movie...but I wouldn't have been traumatized. I was traumatized by the death of Bambi's mother and the death of old yeller...and Jody having to shoot his deer in "The Yearling"...I hate hunters to this day...and both sets of parents for forcing those boys to shoot their beloved pets. Oh...and I cannot watch "Turner and Hootch"...ever...because I expected that they would save the dog's life...when he actually died...well let's just say I had to leave the room...and I haven't gotten over it. I know that's weird...but animal stuff effects me far more. I knew I'd not be able to watch "March of the Penquins" because...well you know why. I love penquins.
# posted by sumo : 14/5/07 3:16 PM  

Hello, Mr Penguin.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet one of the two men, Episcopalian pastors both, that brought suit in New Jersey to compel the State to recognize their right to marry.
Personally, I like the guy, and I wish we would have had more time to talk.
But this thing about gays claiming an open place in society has been on my mind a bit.

I'm thinking that there's really no telling how many people have already been declared saints by Rome that were secretly gay. "Gave great bj's" is hardly the sort of thing to be found on an application for sainthood.

And similarly with cowboys (the historical type, and not the stylized Hollywood form).

But I do, indeed, detect a source of trauma for this youngster; namely that no one has come up to say, "Movies are a dramatization-- they aren't real!"

And seeing how that is the case, I believe that, properly, this sort of thing should provoke discussion as to the rightful role of drama (and art) in the place of society, rather than lawsuit.

Further, I am puzzled by the attention given to "sexual preference" while ignoring the issue of "sexual opportunism."
# posted by Progressive Traditionalist : 14/5/07 5:19 PM  

Cram their beliefs down your throat? Are you kidding?

What would you call forcing a 12 year old to watch a R-rated movie (rated for profanity, sex, nudity, and language) even though she was obviously offended? I would consider that to be forcing the sub teacher's opinion down an innocent little girl's throat.

Will she be traumatized for life? Maybe, maybe not. But that isn't the point.

The point is its alright to make fun of the girl in this story, and ignore the fact that 12 year olds are forced to watch R-rated movies IN SCHOOL.

This isn't so much about the gay push of the movie. It's about the morals of the school and what 12 year olds are subjected to today.

The fact that you guys are willing to tease and taunt this young lady instead of going after the REAL culprits is astounding.
# posted by Jonathan : 14/5/07 7:56 PM  

Uhm, Jonathan? If you're using the power of government to levy damages against somebody to be enforced at gunpoint by armed police officers, "traumatized" is *indeed* the point. A lawsuit is only allowed when there are damages (a "tort") to be compensated. No damages = no lawsuit.

Thus the ludicrous claim that the 12 year old child was "traumatized". Did she have her foot blown off? Did she see her parents horribly killed in front of her? Did a car bomb go off in front of her school and leave dead bodies and blood strewn all around? No? Let's get real. She saw a freakin *MOVIE*. Which millions of kids do every day. There's no damages here. No damages = no tort = no basis for a lawsuit. In short, this is a frivolous lawsuit and hopefully the judge will throw it out of court and assess damages against the grandparents for wasting his time with such nonsense (rather, assess court fees and the school districts' attorney's fees).

As for the notion that someone "forced" this girl to watch the movie, get real. I *seriously* doubt that the teacher handcuffed her to the chair and forced her to watch the film. Two big armed goons did not strap her into a dentist's chair and strap her eyelids open and force her to watch the film. She could have gotten up and left the room if she found the film offensive, just as Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man when she decided that segregation was morally offensive. There would have been consequences (just as there was for Rosa Parks), and those consequences could have resulted in damages (such as lost grades or whatever), but the point is that if there was a moral objection, she had an avenue to use to raise that moral objection which did not include watching the film.

Furthermore, life does not include the right to eliminate everything that offends you. The lady who lives below me who runs an illegal home daycare out of her 1 bedroom apartment and who doesn't supervise the kids, who have torn up the landscaping and left trash strewn around, offends me. I wish she didn't live down there. But that does not give me the right to go to the government and file a lawsuit against her to be enforced at gunpoint by armed men with badges and uniforms. Similarly, Starbuck's Coffee offends me. I can't go anywhere without seeing that Satanic round emblem denoting the corruption of everything holy about God's perfect creation, the coffee bean. I can't get away from it. I once walked out of the lobby of a Sears store that had a Starbucks Coffee outlet in its lobby, to look across the street and see... another Starbucks Coffee on the other side of the street. AGH!

But you know what? I live with Starbucks. Because that's what civilization is all about -- tolerating things you don't like, as long as they don't harm you or anybody you love. We have *way* too much evidence that when cultures become intolerate, like Muslim cultures today, they become inflexible, rigid, harmful to minorities within their borders, and eventually unable to compete, subject to being conquered at any time by cultures that remained flexible and tolerant and innovative.

So while I think this teacher made an aweful choice of films to show (I certainly would have never shown such a film to my *own* 7th grade students, not that you show films during math class but you get the point), this lawsuit just doesn't pass the giggle test. So the grandparents were offended. Big whoop. If being offended meant you could file a lawsuit, I'd be filing a lawsuit every time I saw that Starbucks sign. If there was a lawsuit filed for every time someone got offended by something, the courts would be so clogged that it'd take years and thousands of dollars to ever get any lawsuit resolved. . Hmm, now that you mention it...

- Badtux the Tort Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 14/5/07 8:55 PM  

People are completely nuts!

When I heard this story, I thought it was so stupid. Wonderful parents trying to make a buck out of their obviously distraught child. She probably had a few bats in her belfry before seeing this movie, common.

"Gave great bj's" is hardly the sort of thing to be found on an application for sainthood.

Why the hell not?
# posted by Nancy : 14/5/07 10:04 PM  

I would think showing a film like that to a 12 year old is a bit over the mark, whether or not the child has been exposed to the internets, MySpace, or anything else.

I haven't read anything about this story to indicate why the class was shown this film. Does anyone know the answer to that? Was it for a class assignment? As Johnathan notes, there are better things to do in school. Shouldn't teachers be - you know - teaching? I know that's a radical idea.

Nancy, I thought your answer was eminently sensible. But then I looked, and saw you come from a saner society.

BT: as always good observations, although you know all we evil liberals have perverted Murka to the point that a lawyer is the answer to everything.
# posted by Lurch : 15/5/07 8:10 AM  

Indeed, teachers should be teaching. I don't think anybody is arguing that the grandparents should not be raising hell at the School Board, and otherwise. I would not have any trouble showing a 12 year old of my own this film, there's nothing offensive anywhere in the film, it's a love story for cryin' out loud and what's offensive about love? But I certainly wouldn't show it to a gaggle of 12 year olds in a public school classroom. Aside from the waste of time, it is simply impossible to have the kind of personal relationship with 30 different kids in a raucous 7th grade classroom that would make it a meaningful experience for them. Hard questions about homosexuality and so forth would get lost in the din as all the boys acted out to make sure they didn't get confused with teh gay and all the girls giggled and gossipped at the notion of one of their popcorn "Sweet Valley High" romance novels with a hairy dude popped into the place of the pretty cheerleader heroine.

It's the whole notion of suing the school board because a teacher showed a film that offends you that doesn't pass the giggle test. No damages = frivolous lawsuit. The notion that the girl was "traumatized" and "scarred for life" is so ludicrous that if the judge doesn't glare at these nit-wits and demand, "Why are you wasting my time with this nonsense?", I will be greatly surprised. (Of course, if the grandparents demand a jury trial rather than a trial by judge, anything goes, sigh).
# posted by BadTux : 15/5/07 8:27 AM  

Just so you know, I am a teacher and I wouldn't show this movie to my 12-year-old students because I don't necessarily bring up homosexuality with this age group.

On the other hand, I would have absolutely NO PROBLEM WHAT SO EVER, showing it to my older students because I feel this is a topic I could talk about with them and feel that it's very important.

I don't see the big deal with this movie even for 12-year-olds. Maybe because I'm from a French culture we don't see sexuality as being such a big deal. Furthermore, in this movie, there is no nudity and nor violence. So could somebody please tell me where are the grounds for a lawsuit?

Personally after seeing this movie I cried so much and I was outraged at how people could be so cruel. Again, another important aspect to talk about with teens.

I guess some people just don't get it!

Canadians saner... hummm interesting perceptive.. but I'm from Qu├ębec, the rest of Canada wouldn't think so! LOL
# posted by Nancy : 15/5/07 8:42 AM  



Quebec is the exception.

But I'd also point out that deaths, intentional and suicide, are much lower per 100,000 population in Canada, as per the US. Also your health care system seems to work better than ours. (I acknowledge that elective surgery is slower in Canada. At least some of that is "vanity surgery.")

Your personal and property crime rates are much lower than ours.

And your children seem to be able to read, and write logical sentences far better than ours, although I admit we're working hard to destroy your educational system with all the conservatives that we've exported to your country.
# posted by Lurch : 15/5/07 4:27 PM  

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