Saturday, November 08, 2014

Saintly Writing

I am still moving more slowly than usual. But, finally, I can say that I'm also moving more strongly. I was really hammered by this bout - the cough for a while even ruled my life and determined the course of my days. It's still there but is being beaten to submission by rest and by tea, and perhaps the antibiotics the doctor prescribed for me.

Yesterday afternoon we went out to see the movie "St. Vincent" starring Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray. I wanted to go to a movie that simply told a story and from the trailers, this looked to be the one that fit the bill. That and it was playing across the street from me.

I worried, as I wheeled myself into place, as I do always when I see comedies, if there would be an abundance of disability negative language. The 'R word' is still apparently very funny to writers and to audiences.

As it happened, I was right to worry. About midway through the film (no spoilers on plot but the uses of the word and reactions to the word will follow) a character uses the word, twice. Maggie, the woman played by McCarthy, looks uncomfortable at its usage but says nothing. I imagine this is a fairly accurate portrayal of what happens in real life. I was annoyed, really annoyed, but as I had prepared myself for it and, of course, realizing that my little burst of internal anger would have no effect on the world, I let it go.

However, later on in the movie, the word is used again, by the same character. This time, two children tell her to stop. One saying that people shouldn't use the 'r word' the other saying it's 'politically incorrect.' When the character asks why Maggie says something like, 'it's like midget,' and indicates that this is a word no longer says. Again the character asks why and though she doesn't get an answer, because the scene moves on, the audience gets a message.


I wasn't prepared for the second scene. I wasn't prepared to hear a protest about the use of disability negative language and to hear it so clearly stated.

That the writers had the protest against the use of the 'r word' come from children is heartening. I think that's how change will come.

We enjoyed ourselves very much, it was a welcome distraction from being sick all week. We headed straight home, I was tired, but I was also hopeful.

Just maybe.


We're getting the message through.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this movie. My husband wants to take me to see it, and I am not much for movies unless they are especially interesting in their message, tell a good story etc. I might just like this one, use of the words you mention aside. I do hope we are getting to a place where people are aware of how hurtful such terms are to others, how offensive they are to many. I think you are correct in that the young people of our time are the ones who will make the changes. I hope so! samm in welland

Utter Randomness said...

It really bugs me when people use the term politically correct. I prefer the term respectful, because that's what we're talking about here, treating people with respect.

Sharon said...

I agree with Utter Randomness. It isn't about being politically correct. It isn't about being told what you can or can't say. It is all about respect for the people you share the earth with.

I haven't seen the movie, however it is #1 on the list. Maybe this next week.

Glad you are feeling better Dave.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I agree that I don't like the 'it's not politically correct' ... I'd change it to 'it's not kind' but, even so, the fact that they mentioned it was wrong - for any reason - was reason enough for hopeful notice. I can't remember the last time I saw someone challenged for using THAT word in a movie or TV show.