Indifference to Bad Media

Alright, so I had a little convo w/ a co-worker the other day about bad movies. My husband and I are taking some friends out this weekend to dinner and a movie and it’s 3-to-1 to see “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” I am vehemently opposed to this kind of material in movies and on t.v. and anybody who’s been around me for 5 minutes knows this - including my husband and our friends. (needless to say, I’m not very graceful in speaking about these things).

So this co-worker is marginally Catholic - she doesn’t attend mass regularly b/c her husband is not Catholic, etc. I told her that I wish we could see something else at the movies and her stance is that as long as you don’t base your life on these characters and their portrayed lifestyles and as long as you’re basically a good person, it’s all okay to watch this stuff.

I basically said that after living w/ an excellent Catholic who is both a good AND faithful person, I decided that even a little bit of garbage is too much. And as my co-worker doesn’t have children, she can’t really grasp that if the material isn’t appropriate for my child, that it’s some indication that maybe it isn’t right for me to watch either. I think adults underestimate that often times we are just as impressionable to the garbage in the media as our children.

Anyway, I basically said that once I got a really good look at our ‘Confession - examination of conscience’ pamphlet, I decided that if I was going to have to go to confession just over some dumb movie, that it just wasn’t worth it. I also know that any priest worth his salt, while his words might be more graceful and encouraging, would tell you that it isn’t enough just to be a good person.

Has anyone heard of the “What’s in the Brownies?” story? I can post it here later, but I think that story tells it all.

I know ultimately I have to accept that others are not in the same place in their walk w/ the Lord as I am, and I have a ways to go myself. I know I should just offer them up in prayer that the Lord remove the scales from their eyes, but does anyone have any words of wisdom that I can share w/ others in this situation?

Thank You.

Great post-- what a difficult issue this is, and something I find myself butting up against often.

I was thinking today about horror movies. I used to be quite happy to watch any of these movies as a kid, but lately I pretty much avoid them like the plague. I just can’t see why anyone would take pleasure from watching something deliberatly or gratuitously violent! It also seems “un-catholic” to take pleasure in such things…Still, I feel my hypocrite warning system going haywire because I was once, not so long ago, happy to watch something like that.

Why? Is it just that I’m older? Is it a maturity issue? An experience issue? You learn how to live the kind of life you like as you get older, make mistakes, learn from your experiences?

One of the best witnesses you can give to people is your example. A little backbone in one person can give other’s the courage to do the same. Simply mention that you prefer to watch movies that can edify you, that can make you a better person. Maybe that you watch those you would feel comfortable discussing with God/your children/a close friends/etc.

Desensitization is dangerous and the media is great about going for the “shock” value. Eventually the taboo becomes the mundane. Incremental steps to evil is just as dangerous, perhaps more so, than sudden professions.

By the way, I’m with you on this point! If enough of us take a stand, maybe I’d start seeing a movie I enjoy more often :). “The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” (slightly paraphrased)

Sounds like you won’t win the battle watching that movie on that moral battleground with that particular person. You can always find an online review, one of the many that panned that movie as stupid and degrading to all involved, and say you don’t want to waste the money on the ticket.

Absolutely. If they don’t understand the “morally repugnant” argument, just offer the “absurdly bad movie” excuse. You won’t have any problems finding reviews that completely pan this dopey piece of trash.

And if they still insist on watching it, you and your hubby can tell them that you can’t stop them from watching it, but that you’re not wasting your time or money on it, end of story.

Amen! That is one of my favorite quotes about good men doing nothing.

Well, I don’t really get into the whole ‘speaking in tongues’ and ‘slain in the spirit’ sort of thing. It is a little out of my league at this point although I believe these things are real. What I’m getting at is that my convictions about, like you said, horror movies, came after watching ‘The Grudge’ in the theater w/ my mom. We got up and left it was so scary, went to the bathroom, decided we were too enticed and had to see how it ended, went back in . . .did this little dance a few times. Then I watched ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose.’ Excellent by the way, not fraught w/ horrifying computer graphics. But I am easily swayed by persuasion and whether or not it’s true about 3 a.m. being the devil’s ‘answer’ to the hour of divine mercy at 3 p.m., for a long time, I woke in terror at this time in the middle of the night and furiously prayed Hail Marys.

But after this, precisely after a wrong-doing on my part, I had a very real spiritual attack while I was sleeping. My husband who would normally sleep thru this actually woke me up and asked if I was okay. After this, I immediately went to confession for the wrongdoing and trashed all scary movies in my home. I basically went thru everything w/ a fine-tooth comb w/ the criteria that if I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching it w/ my priest, it was getting trashed. I was even tempted at one point to trade them in to Hastings for credit toward something good, but I realized I would just be recirculating to plague someone else.

Shortly after this, my girlfriend got me convicted about not letting our friends ‘burn’ copies of our DVDs b/c this truly is stealing no matter what. (although I must confess that to this day, I have burned copies of Christian music from FUS no less that a Catholic friend willingly offered me - hypocritical I know, one day I’ll get convicted and replace my ‘copies’ for the real thing)

She gave me great words that I will use in the future if the occasion presents itself - basically, if you are convicted that doing ‘xyz’ is wrong, and disobedient to God, than it is a sin (albeit it personal sin) for you to do that thing.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this dumb movie won’t be playing or that we’ll be late or they’ll decide on another movie. My husband does not share my convictions and he would be too embarrassed to retract our plans w/ this couple to see this movie - if it was one of his buddies, he’d just tell them how crazy I am and we’d pick another flick (I don’t mind being crazy), but the couple is his brother and sister-in-law, so I don’t think he feels as comfortable. Not to mention, his sister-in-law is (marginally) Catholic as well, his brother does not declare a faith.

We’ll see how this pans out - even if it doesn’t get me anywhere, I will certainly share my feelings about this w/ my husband and all I can do is ask that in the future he respects them and asks that others do the same.

Here ya go! Its really rotten!:smiley:

When I go to watch any movie here is what I am looking for

  1. Does the movie flow well?

  2. How well does the lighting, music,use of color (or no color) help add to the movie or take away from it

  3. Does the dialogue help the movie or are there added words that don’t need to be part of the script?

  4. Is it shot beautifully? Are the angles original or just a boring hack job of someone else?

  5. How does this movie make me feel while I am watching it, does it ellicit the emotion it should?

There is one director who picks his music and then writes his films around it. This is a sign of a great director.

Thank you for this post. It is a relief to hear that someone else is taking up these issues with friends. Sometimes it seems fruitless to argue about these types of things but knowing that others are doing it too, well, then maybe there’s hope.


I don’t know why, but lately I’ve wondered if the horror movie genre is a good one or not to be watching. The frightening part is, I’m a huge horror movie buff. And some of the films, like Romero’s masterpiece “Dawn of the Dead”, that I greatly enjoy are rather gory. I don’t know if it’s gratitious or not, it IS a horror movie, after all. But I have not seen “Hostel” yet, because I have no intrest in seeing people be brutally tortured to death.

I’ve found myself watching my “X-Files” DVDs lately, which has probably done more to fuel this subject in my mind. XF could be scary as heck, but it was never graphically violent in the least. They used other effects to make the scenes frightenening without showing anything. I rather like scary movies like that…it’s almost scarier not seeing.

I do know that I won’t be seeing “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” when it comes out on DVD. I think it’s repulsive and in bad taste. Sadly, most comedies now a days are, which would probably be why I’m into horror/sci-fi/suspense.

Oh, and one person mentioned this:

<<<I was thinking today about horror movies. I used to be quite happy to watch any of these movies as a kid, but lately I pretty much avoid them like the plague. I just can’t see why anyone would take pleasure from watching something deliberatly or gratuitously violent! It also seems “un-catholic” to take pleasure in such things…Still, I feel my hypocrite warning system going haywire because I was once, not so long ago, happy to watch something like that.>>>

I don’t watch horror movies for the violence. In fact, too much of it can ruin a movie for me. I think the reason I like horror movies so much is it’s a kind of escape from the wrecked world we live in today. I know that sounds odd, but in most horror movies the lines of good and evil are pretty squarely drawn and it’s a battle between those two forces, more likely then not with the good winning. And I admit, I find the paranormal very interesting and a fun genre to watch and write because of the imaginitive possibilites.


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