Words By S.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Teaching Death.

Filed under: Books/Literature,Film,Life,Ramblings,Television — S @ 9:03 am

Watching a very funny episode of The Robinsons* during which George had to teach his six-year-old about what death was, I began to think of how one would actually go about teaching a child what death is. It definitely raised a number of questions, such as:

  • How old should a child be when taught about death?
  • How does one go about bringing up the topic?
  • What is considered appropriate and inappropriate when teaching death?
  • What to do if questions about an “afterlife” should arise (particularly if, like me, you’re atheist)?

Granted, I do not have kids, so I won’t have to concern myself with this issue for quite some time (if ever) – it is a good topic to educate yourself in. Just how do you teach death?

In Little Miss Sunshine, the topic of suicide is brought up around a seven-year-old, in what turned out to be one of the funniest scenes ever in a film, and they were brutally honest. In The Robinsons, it took George days to figure out what to tell his son, and finally he gave a dictionary explanation chock full of synonyms – obviously much too confusing for a developing mind.

There are also a number of books on the subject, such as:

Butterflies: Talking With Children About Death… And Life Eternal by Rev. P William Vanderwyden (naturally, this book assumes that you want to teach your child the Christian philosophy)

My Pet Died (Let’s Make A Book About It) by Rachel Biale

Pet Death (Death, Value, And Meaning) by Sandra Helene Straub

And countless others, either dealing with death according to a particular religion, or dealing with the death of pets. But, is that all there is?

Say your child is raised atheist and without pets, then what? What “handbook” are you supposed to use for teaching your children about death?

Are you to be technical and medical at that point? Are to say, “Well, you simply just cease to exist”? Why are there so few secular books about death that do not deal with the issue of pet loss? Are you expected to just be brazenly honest?

To my readers with children – how do you teach children about death?

* = If you’ve never heard of/seen this show, you really must. It is a hoot!


Wednesday, 10 January 2007


Filed under: Film,Ramblings — S @ 1:24 pm

Perfume movie poster

For those that are not aware of this film, the story is as follows: A man, born without a scent of his own, has been given the gift of a heightened olfactory sense. He can pick apart objects and can track objects down by their scents. (Think: canines)

He has fallen in love with the scent of women and wishes to be able to preserve and re-create scents, thus he becomes a perfumer. His ultimate goal? To be able to preserve the scent of women.

And so you have, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

Sounds interesting enough, yeah? I thought so, too.

I treated myself with a trip to see this film, yesterday, with the best expectations imaginable. The story sounds intriguing, the cast is pretty pleasant enough, can’t go wrong.


Perfume, the novel

The film, based on the novel by Patrick Suskind, has been ridiculed for tackling something that is difficult to translate to film. However, having heard that said about a number of films based on novels – I was more than ready/happy to give it the benefit of the doubt. Having not read the book (mistake number 1), and now knowing what I do (namely the ending), I have no desire to read it.

While the ending is likely increasingly more descriptive in the novel than in the film – it (the film) was descriptive enough for the entire film to have been turned sour, for me. Suffice it to say, the film’s ending cannot have been too far off from the book’s ending.

The ending struck thoughts of, “Wait, what?” “I really hope this is a dream sequence.” and “Um, wtf?” into my head, whilst watching.

Any film that induces the thought, “I hope this is a dream sequence” into anyone is a terrible film, in my opinion. Let alone when it leaves you thinking, “I hope this is a dream sequence” and turns out to not be a dream sequence.

What started out as a film that I would have possibly given a B/B- quickly deteriorated into a D. I’d not recommend seeing it, but should your curiosity be sparked, by all means, do. But, make sure to pay matinee prices.

And don’t say you weren’t warned.

Friday, 5 January 2007

The Murder of a World Leader.

Filed under: News,Politics,Ramblings — S @ 1:49 pm

Whether or not you like the man, agree or disagree with the way he ran his country, agree or disagree with the invasion of his country and his capture, or agree with the death penalty and his execution – the fact remains that the assassination of Saddam Hussein resulted in some of the most hypocritical actions this country has ever been known to be a part of.

If you will recall, there were several instances in which Iraqi terrorist (perhaps, maybe not) groups were responsible for kidnapping American tourists (perhaps) and beheading them, only for it to be shown in video form on several internet channels. You will also recall the uproar it caused in this country – the acts were despicable, how dare they be so disrespectful, they were monsters, they needed to be stopped.

Fast forward to this past weekend, the execution of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi dictator. If you will recall, on the news, aired a number of times, was the preparation for the hanging of this world leader. Next would be the captured video of it being put on YouTube. Not to mention the headlines: “Saddam Hangs.” “Saddam Executed.” “Saddam Put To Death.” “Saddam Swings.” and any other brazen terminology for hanging that you could think of – coupled with photos.

What’s the difference between when an organized group airs the execution of someone and when an entire country does it?

Oh, right. The United States can do no wrong.

We are a country founded on dishonesty, terrorism, and hypocrisy – it’s only fitting that this sort of thing would happen.

But, I ask – who are the real monsters?

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