Saturday, September 22, 2012

The end of civilization

After I got done with my run and had cooled off, I went in the rec room where Graham was sitting amongst the bootie from his birthday party. I saw that he had been crying.  "What's wrong?" I asked.  "I don't like that 39 Clues book at all, I read the first five sentences and they were horrible."  So I read it and it didn't seem too bad, it seemed like we were getting set up for a pretty good mystery.

"What's the problem?" I asked again.  He said he didn't like it that, when the old lady who's dying changes her will, the book says that it "threatens civilization as we know it." That idea freaked him out. I assured him that it was a dramatic overstatement, that civilization wasn't going to end, and that it was just make believe anyway. But he wasn't consoled.

I remember when I was his age or so there was some movie made by the CTW in which Kermit and the Sesame Street gang get somehow involved in a tragic love story. I must have had to stay up very late to watch it, because the ending was very foggy for me even way back then. But I know it was tragic, and that the impression of overwhelming melancholy stuck with me for a while, though I couldn't remember exactly why.  Hell, I obviously still remember it.

But back to Graham, we must bear in mind that this is a kid who watches all manner of WWII shit on the Military and History Channels, and that I've walked into the room to see scenes of bulldozers pushing emaciated Holocaust victim corpses into pits, and he sits there unphased (though that's admittedly not his favorite part of the war). Yes, I know, we're bad parents for letting him watch it at all.

Later, Mary and I watched Stephen Soderbergh's Contagion, in which civilization does nearly end.  We won't tell Graham about that one.

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