Remember the days when all you had to worry about when you cuddled down to watch a movie with the youngsters was a bit of nudity, a sprinkling of offensive language (nothing they hadn’t heard at home on any given day, truth be told) or a violent scene or two?
Well, things have changed my duckies, and it’s a whole new world. That point became clear once Disney launched Disney+. Movies, from the classic Dumbo to the very sweet Lady and the Tramp, have warnings advising the film is presented in its original form and may contain outdated cultural depictions that no doubt may shock and/or outrage audiences.
Times are changing
I’m turning 50 years-old this week and while uttering such a phrase makes me feel more than ancient, I have no choice; things have certainly changed since my day. Movies that were popular back then wouldn’t fly. Take 101 Dalmatians for instance, released back in 1961. Bachelor Roger Radcliffe’s lifestyle, from his messy almost hording ways to his dirty habit of puffin’ on a pipe – in the house, no less – wouldn’t be a movie scene kids would be exposed to in 2019.
Movies these days have more positive messages, like Pixar’s Inside Out, weaving its storyline around emotions and feelings, or The Emoji Movie or even the Wreck it Ralph films which teach young girls they don’t need to be boxed in just to fit someone else’s ideal.
Girls can get pissed off if they want to, folks. Females can also be saucy, savvy race car drivers, too!
Summer of Love
So, what was the world like 50 years ago? Well, as the Vietnam War raged on in 1969, Herald founder Geoff Stirling invited John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono to ‘come together’ in Montreal where they held one of two week-long Bed-Ins at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
If that was televised now it would require more than a ‘may contain nudity’ warning, let me tell ya. Woodstock also happened 50 years ago. There wouldn’t be enough black bars or Bleep! Bleep! Bleeps! in the world to stick a clip of that on NTV.
Men were different too back in ‘69. This week’s conversation with NTV’s own Eddie Sheerr holds testament to that. Bravely and candidly speaking to his experience with postpartum depression, Sheer shared, “The biggest reason I was able to fight through my early baby blues was my wife Susan. She was a rock star through it all, there for me and the baby when we both needed her most. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how we got through it. But she was, hands down, my hero.”
You didn’t hear much of that kind of talk in the ‘70s, where even a woman suffering after the birth of a baby was told to stay hush, hush. A mother couldn’t be depressed. Though maybe labeled a bad parent, the fact that ‘mom’ had any sort of a mental illness related to motherhood would have been a taboo subject.
Better or worse?
So, is the world better or worse than it was 50 years ago? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both.
The fact that a man in the public eye can feel free to discuss mental illness following the birth of a child is amazing. That young girls now have other role models besides princesses who clean up after seven men working in a dirty mine all day or who live their lives snoozing until their prince comes along is also a grand thing in my book.
Do I sometimes long for the good ol’ days? Sure. I also ponder life in a world where being paid big bucks to be a loud-mouthed, foul-tongued, obnoxiously-opinionated commentator gets you fired for being a loud-mouthed, foul-tongued, obnoxiously-opinionated commentator. Interesting times indeed.
Bring on 2020!
Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]