Monday, January 2, 2012

Kids Know Better--Brief Reflection on A Christmas Story

For the benefit of my younger and/or international readers, A Christmas Story is this funny and heartwarming Christmas movie that almost everyone saw every year in the 80s and is constantly on cable and TV from October through mid-January. The most memorable parts (for me, anyway) being the Red Ryder bee-bee gun and "You'll shoot your eye out!" and Flick getting his tongue frozen to a pole because he wants to prove his friends wrong.

That movie gets funnier every year because so much of what they say is so true. I particularly like the scene after Flick gets his tongue pried off the pole with the help of the local fire department and comes into the classroom with the teacher behind him. His tongue is bandaged and he looks totally pathetic as he slinks off to his seat. The teacher admonishes the class by saying that whatever guilt those responsible may feel is worse than any punishment they might receive. The narrator (Ralphie as an adult) says that kids knew better: it's always best not to get caught. Wow, do I see the products of folks who take that to heart every day.

Free will is a wonderful thing and I don't want to get preachy on anyone, but I'll leave it at this: if I do something, I am more comfortable saying I did it because I wanted to and not because "they" told me to. Who are "they" anyway? Is that like an alien thing?