Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023|
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‘Barbie’ the movie
For those whose children want to see the new movie, “Barbie,” my suggestion, from a tutu — pass on it for any child under 12.
First of all, they will probably be disappointed. There are plenty of pleasing visuals — Barbieland is entertaining — but they won’t be interested in what is really going on.
This is a movie for thoughtful adults. There is a wonderful message of empowering women and the very real gender inequities in our current society.
The director, Greta Gerwig, offers opportunities to reflect on the cultural ideas of beauty, male and female identities, as well as reflections on love, attachment and romance.
I found these reflections powerful and moving.
My guess is young children will be bored. But take your 12-and-overs, watch it, too, and have a good conversations about current gender roles and expectations.
In Barbieland, the president is a woman, the Supreme Court is all women — no Kens. Have a serious talk about that.
Thank you, Greta Gerwig, for your bravery.
“Thank you for your service.”
How often does a veteran or active duty soldier hear the above by employees of various venues?
Known as being admirably civil, a good percentage have to squelch a nausea reaction and politely complete their transaction.
A good number of us feel uneasy about this ubiquitous, canned response (unless spoken with a true tone of sincerity), which almost makes one a disciple of conspiracy theories, and we wonder if there was a discreet political or corporate edict for commerce to mollify military personnel.
Particularly for we in the “Vietnam generation,” the phrase hints at an attempt by certain civilians and jurisdictions to assuage some of their guilt of nonservice.
It is thunderously clear that policy blunders and media distortions left a generation of young men and women — who pledged their lives in faithful service — in a quagmire of misunderstanding by mainstream America. Instead of blaming aspects of the “war,” the warrior became the scapegoated target.
A recommended salutation to a soldier with meaning could be: “Thank you for your commitment to fight for freedom.”
Or, among those personally acquainted with a veteran: “I honor your service, and I invite you to share any life-changing experience so that we may both grow.”
Society bears a responsibility to promote healing and the mutual benefit and wisdom that may spring from courageous caring. From veteran friends’ post-war adjustment stories, it appears the island’s enclosing “aloha spirit” has been more welcoming to its veterans than other spheres.
James N. Barker
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