Saturday, February 11, 2006

In Small Town, 'Grease' Ignites a Culture War

In Small Town, 'Grease' Ignites a Culture War - New York Times

I read this story with great sadness. I was sure I lived in the very last "head-in-the-sand" community in America. I was wrong.

Wake-up, Fulton! Banning this play or that stage production is NOT going to prevent teenagers from experimenting with drugs (including your basic legal ones, cigarettes and alcohol) and it isn't going to stop them from what we used to call "fooling around", our generation's outdated term for having sex. It's going to happen, unless you cloister every teen until they reach the age of majority. (Resourceful ones, though, would still find a way...)

So, here's what I suggest. Encourage this teacher to continue to produce high-quality productions. Then, in the privacy of your homes and churches discuss why certain behaviors depicted in movies, plays, and on television should be avoided. But don't fall into the trap of trying to prevent undesirable activities by limiting what can be presented through creative outlets. Because, guess what? Those activities are going to happen ANYWAY. And, trying to ban the activity by banning the productions that portray it is evidence of what a truly small-minded community you really are. (Not unlike the rural Louisiana town where I live. I would expect that from parent groups and religious organizations in my area.)

Get over it. And get your collective heads out of the sand!

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