Is Love Despite All Differences Moral, As Moral of Story?

17 11 2008

Love despite differences is a quote from a new family movie for the holidays, along with “love transcends boundaries.” Free to love despite our differences and boundaries — what a concept.

Unschooling transcends boundaries too, like school schedules for instance. We love being different as a family, which in this case means we’re free to love new movies together as a family whenever we want, even if other families can’t and would vote to prevent us from doing it if they had the power to impose their story script on us. This time we went Thursday noon of opening week.

I’m sure Favorite Daughter, Young Son and I would’ve enjoyed Madagascar 2, without the poignant love story despite differences, marriage transcending boundaries.

We enjoyed it WITH that power of story, even more.
We cheered for the dear giraffe and the sassy hippo; such a marriage could never happen in real life but in an animated family movie, why not?

Even as caricature, the “moral of the story” comes through:  when two characters love each other that way, in any movie with a happy ending, they’re free to marry and find happiness together as family, with or without children.

Hey, Shrek’s donkey-dragon love story wasn’t controversial, was it? — nor was their marriage barren btw (do people still use that biblical word, casting a female as passive soil made to receive some male’s seed and nurture it to fruition, else be abandoned as useless to anyone for anything?
(Talk about immoral ideas to teach kids. . .)

The donkey and dragon “love-despite-difference” marriage surprised us in the next movie with a whole family full of adorably deviant “dronkey” babies. Did any conservative evangelical group boycott the Shrek franchise for this?

Yet in love-barren real life, my state just opened a new feature in our constitutional story’s shooting script, voting decisively to ban marriage that transcends same-sex boundaries — the lovers are too similar, not different enough from each other, thus too different from the rest of us! — and take a few legal sideswipes at different-sex couples who dare to love without marriage, just to punctuate public power over private story. Two-thirds of the voting citizens in my state believe the moral of this story is moral: put marriage in a cage, cultivate a controlled habitat bounded by one view on all sides to “protect it” and tell ourselves that’s love and free will and a happy ending.

Maybe next election, or the next, we will vote to ban all movies that deviate from our moral script, not just the families they seem to cultivate.

And not just Hairspray — putting the “moral” back in moral outrage imo — and Juno — see teen pregnancy redefine love, marriage, freedom and family in so many ways — as Snook has pointed out before. I’m talking real kids’ movies too! But then we couldn’t stop with Madagascar 2 and Shrek. This subversive message that the marriage of love and freedom is what defines the true “marriage made in heaven”, is embedded even in classic, wholesome family movies we don’t think of as deviant liberal Hollywood culture destroying family values. Even animal movies about Africa.

Never mind Madagascar 2, take Born Free, beautifully based on an exotic true nature story considered both educational and entertaining at the time. It won Academy Awards. I remember seeing Born Free as a child with my family, at a drive-in movie in my pajamas.

Maybe my own ideas of family as freedom to choose with love despite difference (ripening as an adult to see love without marriage as morally transcending marriage without love) can be traced back to the influence of Born Free? — unrecognized at the time, I’m sure, but I can see now how subversive its message was and how wholeheartedly I received it. Movies like that probably ruined me for cultivation as a cultural warrior, left me barren to its stubborn single-crop seedings, despite my otherwise promising conservative family background and church upbringing.

(Barack Obama famously fell victim to Born Free when even younger and more impressionable than I, and now we both see love and marriage freedoms the same way — aha!)


Tell us about a subversive kids’ movie your family enjoyed, that could be undercutting good old American family values, like oh, conformity and compliance, rules and order,  blessings and the wrath of god deciding your fate. Something you think the cultural warriors should probably ban if they finally figure out what it’s really teaching?


AMUSING UPDATE: The Christian Parent Police didn’t get the moral of the story! 😉

Or else they’re subversives too. Hmmm . . .

From some alternate universe called “Christian Answers dot net, Christian Spotlight on Entertainment”:

For a movie aimed at children, I thought there were fewer potentially offensive moments than in the original, or in just about any other “kid-friendly” film—see the “Shrek” trilogy, but I will mention the things I did notice, and parents can decide for themselves whether or not it is right for their children. . .

“Madagascar 2” focuses heavily on the importance of friendship, and not always putting yourself first. It emphasizes how everyone is unique in their own way, even though they may resemble others in some shape or form. It teaches children that looks and attraction don’t add up to love, and that truly caring about a person means knowing what they love, and putting their needs in front of your own desires.
All in all, they seemed like pretty decent lessons to be dispensing to children.



5 responses

17 11 2008

And here’s the power of story with which theocrats would no doubt legally replace our love in freedom movies, once they consolidate their power to do so:

French ‘virgin’ ruling reversed

A French court of appeal has overruled the decision to annul the marriage of two Muslims because the bride had lied about being a virgin.

They are now effectively married again – even though both partners said they accepted the original judgement.

That verdict had caused emotional debate and outrage among some feminists, who said it amounted to a “fatwa” against women’s liberty.

But the husband’s lawyers said the case had nothing to do with religion.

They argued that the wife had breached the wedding contract, and tricked her husband into marriage.

Under the French civil code, a marriage can be annulled if a spouse has lied about an “essential quality” of the relationship.


According to media reports, the husband, an engineer in his thirties, married the trainee nurse in the summer of 2006, having been assured by her that she had never previously had a boyfriend.

The woman admitted having lied about being a virgin, and later accepted the court annulment.

Her lawyer said she did not want to contest the judgement, and simply wanted to get on with her life.

But Justice Minister Rachida Dati ordered a review of the verdict, which was referred to in some quarters as “a real fatwa against the emancipation of women” and “a ruling handed down in Kandahar”.

Feminists argued the decision was unfair because a woman would not be able to cancel her marriage if she thought her husband was not a virgin.

Critics have also asked if the judge would have ruled the same way if the marriage was not between two Muslims, and claimed the decision was incompatible with France’s secular principles.

Published: 2008/11/17 15:37:46 GMT

17 11 2008

Lynn at Bore Me To Tears gives us a peek behind the scenes, at who’s bankrolling the shooting scripts for one-script-to-rule-them-all as American family fare.

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