Monday, May 26, 2008

Hear This, Horton

So the movie adaptation of Horton Hears a Who finally hit the cheap seats, which is what we call our local $1 theatre, and we had a rainy afternoon to kill so we took the kids over to see it. In all honesty, I had just done a triathlon that morning, and I figured from the reviews that the movie would be a yawner (it was, though I am a big Dr. Seuss fan, it in no way did the book justice) so I was secretly hoping I might get a little shut-eye in without the kids noticing. No such luck, I forgot to bring my earplugs and movie theatres these days are way too loud to sleep through. But that's not what pissed me off most about this movie.

It also wasn't the terrible dialogue, the ridiculous instead of endearing portrayal of Horton, the meaningless supporting characters (including that really strange floating guinea-pig-like thing that even creeped my kids out, and hey my kids watch Pokemon so take that as you will), or the fact that the only one of the Mayor's children who he wanted to succeed him as mayor was his sole son - apparently none of his ninety-six daughters was worthwhile enough for the job (okay, that did piss me off, more than a little). No, what initially got me was the fact that they set up the kangaroo as the villain of the movie by showing her as an overbearing, underimaginative mom who "pouch-schools" her browbeaten joey because the other kids (shown having loads of fun) are learning to use their imaginations. She repeatedly tells her joey to "go to your room" while she shoves him down in her pouch. And repeatedly berates Horton for leading the other kids astray.

{Sigh}, once again as the media's imagination can't come up with anything truly funny, they reach again for tired stereotypes that they can make fun of. Yes, the secret is out. I homeschool my kids so I can keep them from using their imaginations! That's right, instead of them sitting for 6 hours a day being terribly imaginative studying standardized curriculum that teaches to the fill-in-the-bubble mandatory tests, they're home making sunflower houses in the garden, building boats out of milk crates, dreaming up new robotics designs, dancing to their own music compositions and other unimaginative things like that. Yep, that's why I homeschool them, to crush that imaginative spark.

I guess, as my husband points out, that this is a bit of reverse flattery. If homeschoolers weren't winning all those spelling and geography bees, being courted by Ivy League Schools, and without spending a fraction of the time studying, tromping all over the public school's standardized testing stats, then there wouldn't be any reaction at all to it. When homeschooling was done on the QT by a few brave families trying to squeak quietly by the big wheels of government then nobody cared enough to lampoon it.

Well, I better wrap this post up, I can hear my kids getting creative again in the background and I better go put the kibosh on that, pronto.

1 comment:

thebookbaglady said...

I found your blog through the blog tag. I have the Sunflower Houses books AND we have been preparing to plant one this summer as well. We've been working at our little 'third of an acre' lot to grow our own food whenever possible. Love your blog! Gretchen