Awwwwwww Mom!

Today is the last day that the kids will be over to shoot a zombie movie (trust me, lots of zombies have been shot).  After enjoying their interactions this past weekend, I must say they are the nicest, most polite group of zombies / zombie slayers that I have ever met. They have been unloading my groceries when it is time to restock, cleaning the kitchen after lunch breaks, including the younger kids here and there, and going on a bit about how surprised appreciative they are that I agreed to the whole zombie theme. But today is the day that they will be put to the Classically Catholic test. Can you hear my kids now?
Awwwww Mommmmmmm!

While it is true that I would prefer the crew tackle another Shakespeare Under the Oaks project, 

I realize they are teenagers (boys mostly) who would rather include an arsenal of air soft weapons in every scene. Exams are over, school is out of session, and there is tension to be unleashed. I am reminded of a spiritual director who encouraged me to be understanding with my husband when he occasionally needs to sit next to the one he loves after a rough week at work, to watch Bruce Willis blow up stuff for a little while. So I get the whole need for adventure, excitement, and explosions. Guys need to be a little Wild At Heart now and then.
However; just because I have been open minded about the content of this film, it doesn't mean it is OK to be indiscriminate. There must be some underlying virtue or theme that redeems the hackneyed plot. So far, I haven't seen it. Certainly it is educational to learn the technology used by Freddie W to create special effects and realistic action sequences, but there is more to creativity than technique. It is time for an executive board meeting to discuss the difference between Creativity and Skillfulness.  "Creativity makes use of good technique and guiding rules, but it goes beyond these in creating something original and uniquely beautiful (The One-Minute Philosopher, p.26-27)." I know the guys will balk at the "beautiful" part, but in the end every piece of art, especially cinematic art, either contributes to the Culture of Life, or the Culture of Death. As Dale Ahlquist points out in Common Sense 101: Lessons From Chesterton,
" is important that we put each movie- like any work of art- to the test: Does it give honor and glory to God? Does it teach us anything eternal? Does it make us thankful? Does it help us love God better? Does it help us love our neighbor more? Does it make us want to help our neighbor?  If it doesn't do any of these things, it has wasted our time. And that's what hell is: wasted time."
While I do not expect a masterpiece about a society confronting its deepest fears or a hero combating his inner demons, personified by soulless zombies, I do expect a life lesson to come from this first weekend of  summer fun. And that is where Eutrapelia comes in:

  • the virtue of mirth
  • practiced especially during times of recreation
  • providing relaxation to the individual and enjoyment to the community
  • not needing expensive or elaborate amusements
  • but making do with simple things

Otherwise the whole project becomes as mindless as a weekend marathon of video games. That is so not happening on my watch.


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