I HAVE just watched a truly dreadful little movie: There’s Something About Mary.
I know most people thought it was very funny and I feel sorry for them.
But actually the movie was not the thing that stuck in my mind (well, only in the way diced carrot gets stuck in the throat).
It was the bit at the beginning where the board of censors says this movie has “medium-level coarse language” and “sexual references” and that those aged 14 and younger can only see it with their mum and dad.
These are, of course, instructions for a different planet.
On this one the reverse would be true: if you’re 14 then your parents are the last people in the world with whom you’d watch this movie. You’d burn in hell first.
If you haven’t seen There’s Something About Mary, it’s littered with the f-word. I don’t know about you, but where I grew up that was about as bad as words got. There was one that was considered worse, but only just.
Now the f-word is “medium-level coarse language” and I want to know what the censors consider to be high-level coarse language.
“Parents” perhaps, or “censors”.
Do they really think the f-word — more common in school yards throughout the land than “education” or “teacher” — is going to do any harm because it appears in a movie as bad as There’s Something About Mary?
The appalling plot is more dangerous than that. If the censors really wanted to help they should be banning access because of the pathetic story line and the tired old jokes.
But instead they worry about “sexual references”. This film contained, besides the f-word, allusions to homosexuality, oral sex, love (or a glass-fibre film version of it about as believable as a Barbie doll) and masturbation.
Pardon me if I’m missing something here, but do censors really think 14-year-olds are going to view this stuff with their parents?
The embarrassment would kill them – the 14-year-olds and the parents!
What kind of upbringing did censors have? One must assume it was very weird. Did they, at age 14, knock on their parents’ door and ask them to explain how babies are made, or what oral sex is?
I think I’m pretty average and I know I was asking where babies came from when I was five; and for years I thought oral sex was telling someone you loved them.
But I made it through the maelstrom of sexual confusion that is adolescence, and not irrevocably damaged either. Nothing my wife couldn’t deal with, with lots of patience and a good textbook.
The ones I feel sorry for are the ones who had to watch these movies with their parents. It must have scarred them for life.