Occupational Hazards

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota

About twenty years ago I told my supervisor, also a psychologist, about the latest movie husband and I watched. We liked dramatic, offbeat films at the time. I remember feeling somewhat appalled and a little disdainful when my supervisor told me he could no longer watch heavily dramatic and/or suspenseful films any longer. He attributed it to his clinical work and the trauma and heartbreak he dealt with all day. I remember thinking  that nothing like that would ever happen to me.

Well, it has happened. For the past couple of years I have found that I can’t tolerate the least bit of suspense or uncertainty or drama in films. We usually watch films at home  (not having the greatest of movie theatres in town), and once things start getting worrisome or too suspenseful I excuse myself and leave the room until I deem it safe to go back. Then husband has to tell me what happened while I was gone.

I can only describe the sensation as major knots in my stomach accompanied by an overwhelming urge to flee. Guardians of the Galaxy just about did me in, since my clever but annoying son stopped the movie every time I left the room, and wouldn’t start it up again until I came back.. We had to take first two seasons of the recent BBC production of The Three Musketeers back to the library half watched. I particularly dislike plots involving people wrongly accused of crimes, and such plots are far too plentiful in this version of the Musketeers. I take some comfort that my supervisor also suffered with this, and it isn’t just my own neuroses to blame.

One of my friends is a former State inspector of butcher shops, meat markets, and meat-packing plants. Her experiences in this job left her quite sensitive to issues surrounding the handling of raw and processed meat. If she is coming over for supper, I know that I have only a few locations where I can buy the meat for our meal. Her husband says he always knows when they are having chicken for dinner, as he can smell the bleach she douses all the kitchen surfaces with during  meal preparation even before he gets in the house. She wasn’t always like this before she had her inspector job.

I wonder if hotel housekeepers get to the point that they can only sleep at home, knowing what they know about hotel rooms. Do fire fighters lie awake wondering if the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are really  working? Do classical  musicians find that they can only listen to certain works performed by certain ensembles with certain conductors at just the right tempi?

Occupational hazards come in many forms. I hope that after I retire I can return to watching new and suspenseful  films. Until then, I am stuck with comforting reruns.

What are your occupational hazards? 

 

 

118 thoughts on “Occupational Hazards”

  1. A member of my family was a social worker and also a mental health worker. She has a reaction to certain dramas that is similar to your reaction to some dramas, Renee. She can watch many dramas that include suspense and uncertainty. However, she doesn’t like to watch dramas that bring back memories of the bad situations she had to deal with in her job such people who are in bad shape and can’t take care of their children properly.

    I have a tendency to be worried about drinking tap water due to my years of work in agriculture. I know that pesticides are regulated in a way that should prevent any harmful amounts of them getting into tap water. I also know that those regulations are not always as good as they should be and are sometimes ignored. Thus, I am always a little fearful that I might be drinking water contaminated with harmful amounts of pesticides when I drink tap water.

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  2. Construction: A Thousands Ways To Be Injuried
    Moving vehicles
    Trip hazards
    Building collapse
    Falls from height
    Noise
    Nerve damage in hands and arms from repetitive motion
    Back injury moving heavy objects
    Slips on wet floors
    Eye injury from flying debris
    Dust and particulate inhalation
    Lacerations from cutting material
    Evil workmates

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  3. Renee, I became exactly like you for movies over the years. I assume mine comes from depression. No blood, no violence, little suspense, no putting down of other people in any form. I do not watch many movies.

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  4. I’ve had the same sort of experience about movies, Renee – I’d be curious to know if other non-therapist baboons do too. My reaction isn’t as extreme, just a general unease, but I have walked out of the theater for a while during some very violent pictures.

    My occupational hazards have been somewhat more benign than Wes’ – mostly acquisition: from bookselling: bloated bookshelves; and from my organizing gigs I would bring home all manner of items I had promised to “disappear” from the client’s home.

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  5. I wonder how work-related your problem is, Renee. I am someone who puts a high value on being considerate and cheerful in the company of others. I respect people who control their emotions so they aren’t a nuisance to other folks who spend time with them.

    A consequence of this is that I have trouble appreciating much popular entertainment. The people I see on TV or in movies often strike me as being undisciplined, shallow and obnoxious as they throw themselves around emotionally when exposed to life’s difficulties. It obviously does little good to lash out or whine when things get tough, if just because that is unpleasant for anyone else unlucky enough to be nearby.

    If I have an “occupational hazard” it is my hypersensitivity to good and bad writing. As a writer I am highly aware of how things are written. It is something like being highly sensitive to grammar . . . good grammar or lousy grammar. It is a sort of distraction. I can’t respond to movies, TV shows, books or even popular songs without analyzing the writing involved. This can be good, as when I notice and enjoy superb writing (like Julian Fellowes, the writer of Downton Abbey). Or it can be be bad, as when I am appalled by clumsy writing (like Julian Fellowes when he is indulging himself with stupid subplots!).

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    1. It makes me cringe to hear poor grammar, mispronunciation, incorrect word use, or lazy word choices in professional or business settings. I had to bite my tongue a few times in a meeting last week when all of this was flying across the table…

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      1. I should add: I came home and allowed myself a palate cleanser of West Wing. It does have some high drama and suspense – but the dialogue is superb.

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        1. i would like to have a file of the recommended shows music books and trail based stuff. west wing, downton abbey, house of cards, i dont need much but my sons new tv mania has him watching lots of hbo and showtime stuff that is produced for the millennials. i get tired of the special effects as the driver and the same reason he gets bored with my slow moving plots with character development and other unal=ppealing aspects of production for baby boomers i get tired of the mindless noise in an adam sandler mindless story full of farts and sex jokes. i guess its what you get used to. bambi or fart jokes. which generation or maybe if you are garrison keilor it is bambi and fart jokes. i guess you can have both.

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  6. Hi–
    Theater performances are difficult for me to sit through because I’m paying too much attention to the tech stuff. I miss major plot points as my attention shifts.

    Spoke to a guy who used to do artificial insemination of my dairy cows. He gave up the job because his shoulder was popping out of joint so often. Multiple times / week and he’d just pop it back in and go back to work. Now that sounds like an occupational hazard.
    ….and I won’t complain about having trouble with shows anymore…
    (bad knees and sore shoulders from milking cows is another thing).

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    1. With a couple years away from doing any theater, I find it easier to sit back and watch…though I still find myself watching for cool techniques or ideas I could borrow for later…(MN Opera had a piece in the Tosca set where they used crumpled and re-flattened baked potato wrappers to make “gold leaf”…wondering how I could use this without a set to inflict it upon…)

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  7. From my years working in various aspects of advertising, I have a low tolerance for the intrusion of advertising of any kind. Ironically, I also don’t seem to be able to ignore advertising and am sensitive to the quality of the conception and execution, the extent to which the ad is baldly misleading and the extent to which it apparently assumes its audience is moronic.

    I have always been sensitive to movies, so much so that even at my advanced age I have never seen most of the action movies, gangster movies, war movies, post-apocryphal and/or dystopian movies, political thrillers, spy movies, murder mysteries, etc. that have at one time or another been at the top of the box office.

    I’ve reflected on why that is and the best I can come up with is I am uncomfortable being around people who can regard mayhem, homicide, Machiavellian maneuvering and cupidity as entertainment. I am especially disturbed when the individuals around me cheer, laugh at or applaud such incidents.

    I don’t find them entertaining. I recognize that they are only fiction and only a cinematic construction, but they are also an expression of certain cultural values which, by my presence and by my purchase of a ticket, I have implicitly approved.

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    1. One of several reasons why Hans and I have pretty much quit going to the movies is the total disregard a lot of the audience show toward their fellow patrons. Another is that we have no control over – what to us seems – excessive volume of the sound; it’s often downright painful. And then, of course, the fact that most of the movies produced nowadays don’t really appeal to us.

      Like tim, I have a mixed reaction to some of the issues that Bill brought up. I can think of movies that I thought were excellent that had a lot of violence; Platoon, comes to mind, but it was violence justified and appropriate to the story line. A Clockwork Orange, on the other hand, I hated; it seemed to me the violence in it was gratuitous.

      I share the sentiment expressed in Bill’s comment “I am especially disturbed when the individuals around me cheer, laugh at or applaud such incidents.” Unfortunately it’s not limited to movie theaters alone. You see it in sports, too, especially ice hockey arenas.

      I think I know what you mean by “cupidity,” Bill, but would you care to clarify?

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        1. I’ve been to one professional ice hockey game, maybe forty years ago, and the audience cheered wildly when players got into fights or someone got hurt. Never went back. I also never understood the appeal of boxing.

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        2. you dont get to go to a hockey game and be surprised at the violence. its just beginning to be a culture where they question it even a little. it has always been the joke that they went to the boxing match and a hockey game broke out. hockey players are taught like rugby players to be very physical and the ones who are not agile and finesse driven are praised for brute force. its guy stuff.

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        3. If that’s the case, tim, we should eliminate guys. Don’t buy it for one second. And by the way, I don’t appreciate your tone!

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        4. isnt it funny how tone can be interpreted in a written form. i guess i should be careful not to piss off the crowd. it certainly wasnt intended. if you care to point out what aspect of my tone you didnt appreciate i will be more careful what i intonate in the future.
          eliminate guys? that would fix a number of problems. get rid of ladies too and youd have it knocked

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  8. I agree with everything Bill said.

    There are so many ways entertainment can disappoint or annoy me. I suppose some are based in my work background–like weak photography–but some things that spoil popular entertainment are not related to work at all.

    For example, I have strong feelings about such values as social justice, respect for women and ethics in general. A great many things presented as entertainment make me angry because they trample on issues I care about. A movie like Gone With the Wind might be a classic accomplishment, but I could never watch it again without throwing stuff at the screen.

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      1. I don’t know! I typed one thing and then thought of the other. They certainly both apply. Also, seeing spelling and grammar errors everywhere I look, including my own posts on occasion. 🙂

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  9. i have mixed emotion, cool hand luke is a great story of a bad thing snowballing into the punchline. one flew over the cookoo net is the epic death spirial. i enjoy my discomfort in this type of situation although i have steered clear of cool hand luke the last couple of times it was on because i wasnt in the mood for death spirals but the preoccupation with cop shows by my wife and sports idiocy by my son and the transition of the film industry form story based presentations to action and computer generated special effects leave me on turner classic movies ienjoying mediocure movies of the 40’s today is edward everitt horton (a master of cute fluff) where a story could carry you off for 100 minutes to a place of entertainment without doing more than telling a story about an interesting person or event. what a concept. i never liked horror genre, scifi is ok but needs to be more twilight zone than dune for me.and when the sean connery quit james bond because it had become a vehicle for the gizmos to be showcased instead of acting it was a turning point.
    tom hanks acts,…. can you think of another. meryl streep acts… its bad when you have to think that hard… dustin hoffman…. netflix and the oldies on amazon are a great way to watch what you want without getting led to the trough by the networks and movie studios. i like movies in theaters. i tend to multitask at home and miss good stuff. i should turn the lights down and sit with popcorn but i dont.
    i was amazed by the special effects in jrr tolkein trilogy but the story got taken over by the visuals. maybe thats the role of the movies. i am not sure but that may be the best example of my mixed emotions. i loved the visuals but longed for more involvement in the story and characters

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    1. Netflix does not carry movies very many of the older movies I wan to see. The Hobbit sank of its huge over-done, over-blown, over-extended weight.

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  10. I should hate the Brit Mystery series Vera for all the reasons we have named, but it is so well done and the landscape/background arrests me. So every so often I violate my rules. I just watched the three Redford-produced Hillerman mysteries, which change the characters, are inconsistent with each other, and do not seem to me to treat Navaho vulture correctly. Why am I watch mysteries? Usually do not much like them. The Dominic Cumberbatch Sherlock is very good, but I cannot watch it.
    Detest comedy that demeans, which means I quit watching network TV 20 years ago. Sandy loves predictable romantic comedies, so I take her to those, but they are seldom made right now. I can tolerate them.Only just.
    So why do I like Doc Martin?
    Sandy likes the HGTV shows. I point out to her that you cannot put down wood flooring one day and the next day be walking on a stained and varnished dry floor.
    I like on TPT2 channel the In the Americas with David Yetman, playing every noon right now. If you want to know what my father looked like, look at Yetman. Rather eerie to see my father as an open engaging man

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    1. Doc Martin is just so outrageous, you watch to see what he’ll do next. I’ve missed most of the this new season, will have to rent it on DVD…

      I’ll check out In the Americas. (Wouldn’t hurt to remind me, it’s 3 more days till another weekday noon.)

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  11. I definitely understand the desire to avoid excessive stress and drama while watching TV, films or movies and I do avoid horror and gory movies. But I do enjoy watching suspense, drama and science fiction. While it can be uncomfortable, stressful and even disagreeable when bad things happen to good people, there’s a certain catharsis in viewing well-made, finely executed dramas that have top-notch acting, writing and production values. The really good ones can be very provocative, give me insight to other perspectives and bring awareness to certain issues.

    The Netflix series “House of Cards” is an amazing show. Kevin Spacey’s character is a slimy, manipulative, and dangerous person, yet is a very sincere and successful politician. My husband made the comment that he always feels “dirty” after watching an episode, but the character machinations are so fascinating, I can’t help myself. I love the show.

    There was a series called “Dexter” in which a forensic scientist working for the police, is actually a serial killer. But he only kills bad folks who have literally, gotten away with murder. He researches and plans his kills very carefully, and of course, knows how to cover his tracks so he isn’t caught. Because of a horrendous childhood, he has the pathological need to kill, but lives a “normal” life and channels his dark urges toward gaining justice. It’s hard to explain, but you end up actually liking and sort of cheering on the character, but the inside workings of his mind and how he rationalizes what he does is totally fascinating. Anyway, my two cents on why I enjoy some of the darker elements of well-made shows.

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    1. When my grandson first installed free Netflix (on his mom’s account), I fell prey to what’s commonly called “Netflix Bingeing”. I watched every episode of all 4 seasons of House of Cards, and Scandal, and West Wing, and Madman, and Madam Secretary. I was up to probably 8 hours a day, and it took all the willpower I could muster to cease watching because I always wanted to find out what happened next in these ongoing stories. After finishing House of Cards in a record four days, my grandson calculated that that would take about 13 hours a day.

      I’m now in a 12-step group fighting this addiction. Just kidding. I’m now down to only 2-4 hours a day, but that’s because I’ve run through all the good series and the movies aren’t that good. Sigh…….

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  12. Fourteen years in an alternative school had the effect of slowly eroding my belief in human beings. I got out in the nick of time to salvage some perspective.

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      1. In the jargon of the day, Bir, “at-risk youth.” Kids who had been kicked out of other schools, and been in trouble with the law to the extent that our school was the last stop before being locked up. For some, third generation from families entrenched in poverty, drug addiction, violence and petty crime. “Disrespect” was a word tossed around a lot.

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        1. I was working there. What did you think? That I was the local Bubby Spamden? I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but ….

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  13. I mentioned a week ago that I have trouble putting my characters through bad experiences when I write .It means I write stories more that I like, about people coping with ordinary life. I am in the middle of a short story which I like so far, but it is depressing in its way. It is about a very young man who ends up sole parent to his very young son, a son who develops many problems. I want to write about this subject matter, parents who are not able to cope with the needs of a child.
    My stories are set in NE MN over many years. I have an idea for one set in the future, say about 2025 about a group of thugs who cause havoc. They would be called the Trumpeteers. It would be a sort of soft-toned Clockwork Orange image, but it would be hard to write anything on the theme that would NOT be softer than that Clockwork Orange.

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        1. I appreciate your candor and I understand that your perspective has changed, but I have to ask: admittedly, dramatic and suspenseful covers a lot of ground, but how does the ability to tolerate tense or culturally disturbing entertainment qualify as intellectual? For that matter, is insensitivity to those elements really more manly?

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        2. I think it had more to do with the fact that he had an EdD and I have a PhD and I thought rather too much of myself at the time. I don’t think it anything to do with the type of film. I just thought of myself as some how superior and tougher minded. I was sort of a pain, I think.

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  14. After 40+ years as an MPR devotee, 23 of them as an employee and several listening to two stations at the same time, I have stopped listening on a regular basis…especially the news. Now I seldom turn on any radio or tv unless I’m interested in a specific program. And miss the Morning Show more than ever. Or in the car. I trust this will pass…well, maybe not the news….

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    1. I am trying to wean myself from compulsively checking the stream on msn.com., which is just awful, full of the most lurid attention-grabbing crap they can find. I used to have Bing.com as my home page, so all I’d see when I opened internet was some lovely photo, but new computer and now to get Bing I have to sing up for points and rewards and I refuse. But I need to figure out something else…

      And I’m going to get some books on CD for the car.

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  15. Occupational hazards of being a teacher/English teacher (not many):
    Hard to name your children because you associate names with students, especially the problem students
    You lose the taste for reading
    I think most teachers after awhile get oversensitized or desensitized to the sufferings some kids go through and what makes kids act up
    This would not be true anymore, but we used to talk about hating the feel of chalk dust on your hands
    In a small town your kids take some heat for your occupation
    Every fall you start over again from square one
    Terrible faculty room coffee
    Terrible faculty room

    Side light: my Grandson (Mr. Tuxedo) is so proud because he won the prize for Most Creative Leprechaun Trap (5th grade science project on simple machines). I have been regretting for the last few years that our emphasis in raising our kids was on creativity and the arts when it probably should have been money earning.

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  16. I never cared much for violent movies. The ones that bother me most, though, are the ones in which animal characters get hurt or killed. Not sure why, but it seems worse than a person dying.

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        1. I believe it was 101 Dalmatians, with my mother & sister. I would have been 3 or 4 at the time, and don’t remember too much about it. My sister was three years older, and probably a better age to appreciate it. Later we had a picture book and a set of Viewmaster slides from the movie. I remember those more clearly than the movie.

          It’s a movie in which all the animals survive.

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  17. The first movies I saw (this was before television) were generic horse opera films at the Capitol theater in Ames. I’d walk about five blocks from home to the downtown theater on Saturday. A dime got me in the door to watch two films separated by news reels and a serial. The two films would be cowboy movies most of the time (Roy Rogers, Cisco Kid, Gene Autry, etc.) although now and then the theater would run two Tarzan movies, also generic. I’d have a nickel with which to buy one box of candy (Mason Dots or Old Crows).

    The movies were mindless. Most featured violence, but stylized violence. Characters that appeared to be shot dead would often turn out to be alive because “he just winged me” or maybe “it was a superficial scalp wound.” The major difference in the films was that some had a kissing scene at the end and some did not. Kissing scenes caused loud hooting of disgust from the audience of pre-adolescent boys.

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      1. My guess is that the 10-film specials (which I do not remember) were a way of fighting for eyeballs after television came along to offer free cowboy violence to kids.

        I don’t remember any particular movie (how could I when they were all essentially the same?) although there was one that strayed from the stylized violent mode and showed a killer who smashed people’s heads flat with a crushing machine used to mind gold. That one shocked me badly enough that my dad called the manager of the Capitol to complain.

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    1. In my memory, those kissing scenes were usually a man and his horse. But then I was a horse nut and likely to have changed the ending to suit my preference. Our town also had a theater that ran cheap cowboy movies. I especially liked Gene Autry and Champion.

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        1. my first record was big bad john in the 45 collection and lorne green singing ringo on my lp
          i was raised with lps for the 78 and early 33 era with rusty in orchestraville manners can be fun and other great kids albums along with west side story oklahoma my fair lady while bouncing on the couch in the basement to get my energy used up. i would spend hours and hours bouncing and singing bouncng and singing. i remember my mom coming down and suggesting i get out to enjoy the beautiful day and i told her just let me listen to a couple more albums and then i will. i loved musicals.the 60’s was the time for musicals with all the great ones form the late 50’s and the couple of good early 60’s ones before we hippies took over and made the musicals seem stupid. what were we thinking. hair was ok jesus christ superstar was good but other than that… i guess stephen sondheim and marvin hamlish had some winners and i realized i loved the old ones so i started recycling the ones i liked form the golden era.
          then the lps. wow, i loved the headphones. i suspect thats why my hearing leaves a little to be desired. had the old vw van fitted with a headphone jack because the engine made so mch noise it drowned out the giant speakers i had in the back. im not sure i was techie enough to have the concept of amplifiers for the speakers ever dawn on me but that would have been the answer.

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    1. We once went to a drive-in when Joel was maybe 8, double feature with something benign followed by Full Metal Jacket, figuring he’d fall asleep well before the violent one came on. Nope, he got an eyeful. We may not have stayed to the end…

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  18. First one I remember was Snow White at age 4, with my Grandma in Sioux City – I stayed with her the week my sister was born, only reason I know the age. It was pretty scary, but I think we went partly to distract me from a bee sting I’d gotten that day. It did the job.

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    1. When you think about it, a lot of the Disney movies for kids were scary. My first movie was also Snow White, but later ones like, Cinderella, Bambi, Pinocchio, 101 Dalmations (I was an adult when I saw that one in Basel), all had elements that might really frighten a small child. I recall my sister being so scared of the whale in Pinocchio that she ran screaming from her seat in the front of the theater trying to find mom in her seat farther back. And I remember being heart broken over poor Bambi losing his mother in the forest fire.

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      1. bambi, pinoccio and snow white all scared my lots and i remember my mom having to tell me it was ok because you just didnt get that kind of thing back then on any other levels. walt disney kind of got to shape the world. there wasnt a lot of other family based stuff at the time. he had it to himself for a whole generation as the movie and tv industries came to be.

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        1. The death of Bambi’s mother (doesn’t she have a name? Cannot remember.) is clearly a hallmark moment for some people. There are groups who want the book and movie taken from libraries for that reason.
          I’m not disagreeing here, just wondering: was it bad for her to see that, and other children?
          Isn’t there an age at which children should see death and tragedy? Isn’t that part of maturation? what age should that be? How old should kids be to see Old Yeller?
          YA lit right now (for junior high age so to speak) is so dark. Is that bad? What does that reflect about kids and current culture?
          If you want to read a book that will challenge your thinking about lit for grades say, 8-12, read Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, a very good book, which I never thought of as for teenagers, but it has been assigned in some schools. If the book had been around back then, I would not have taught it, but I would have suggested it to me own children and suggested it to a fe students just to read.

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        2. I don’t agree with parents who want to ban books and videos from the library because they don’t want their kids to have access to them.

          I wasn’t suggesting that the violence or tragedy in Disney movies (or other media, including books) is necessarily a bad thing. Children don’t all mature at the same rate. I think it’s the parents’ responsibility to monitor what their children are exposed to.

          I was only two when I saw Snow White, not really old enough to understand much of what was going on, but I do recall being wary of the evil queen with the poisoned apple. I also recall loving the seven dwarfs.

          I also vividly recall talking silently, but urgently, to Pinocchio on the screen, pleading with him to not give into temptation, all to no avail, of course. But since he didn’t listen to my good advice, he suffered some dire consequences and learned some lessons.

          When is the appropriate time to introduce the concept of death to a child? If a child has a beloved pet, friend or relative that dies, you may not get to choose the timing. How you explain it, and in how much detail, will depend on your own attitude toward death and the age and maturity of your child.

          Speaking for myself, although I can remember things in films that upset or frightened me when I was a child, in the long, however, I don’t think they have done any psychological damage.

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        3. I remember several difficult books I read as a child. Bambi was one of them. Also Lassie Come Home, in which a dog dies (not Lassie). Jack the brindle bulldog died in the Little House series. Beth, in Little Women. Old Yeller was devastating, of course. But it isn’t possible to be sheltered forever. It is probably best if those early encounters with death are fictional ones, rather than real life.

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    2. Snow White is the first movie I clearly recall – I may have been about six, and it was playing at the second run movie theater. I remember my mother having to take me out when it got to the scene where the stepmother/witch is up on the cliff about to fall off in the storm. I think the storm scared me as much as the stepmother. The next movies I remember were a little more benign: Herbie the Love Bug and What’s Up Doc…

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  19. Beyond a doubt with my parents, brother, and sister at the Harbor theater, with those art deco-ish paintings of ore boats on the side. We went fairly often. I am surprised my parents spent money that way. I can remember some movies but I do not know what was the first one. I might guess Distant Drums (about the Seminole Wars), which came out in 51, so I guess we saw it in 51 or 52, meaning I was about six. Quite the movie for a six-year-old. It had all the elements most of us say above we do not like in movies. People died in quick sand. My siblings and I pretended about quick sand after that. I remembered it as starring in Charelton Heston, until I looked it up two weeks ago. (I just finished a short story/closet drama about a man remembering going to Wizard of Oz and Distant Drums and being afraid of Wizard but not Drums). It stars Gary Cooper. Distant Drums is in theory the first movie in which the Wilhelm Scream first appeared. I remember going to some film noir at a young age, not sure which.
    Ivanhoe (1952) made a big impression on us three kids and the neighbor kids. We made shields and swords out of scrap wood and played Ivanhoe for a few weeks. We made lances too. My mother gave us an old blanket, which we hung on a clothesline and charged on our pretend horses. Can you imagine any child being allowed to play that way today?
    Every so often I see some unmemorable old movie on TCM or am watching one and I realize I saw it in those years.
    Later my sister and I would walk the three miles into town and back for Saturday matinees. I do not remember what they were. Were they for kids? I do not remember. Then or at night we did go to many westerns, like high Noon. On the walk home from the matinees we would stop at the A & W and for a nickle buy a root beer.

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    1. First movie my sister remembers is Father of the Bride, which predates Distant Drums. I will go with that as the first.

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      1. i watched father of the bride the other day and was transported back in time by the little tiny coke bottles and the coffee maker that was two glass balls stacked on top of each other. the costs were funny too. 150 people at 6 dollars each for food and drink made spencer tracy crazy to be spending 900 dollars on a wedding dinner …if i remember correctly.

        i saw an andy of mayberry episode the other day form the 60’s and a 10 lb bag of potatoes was 39 cents

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        1. Went to see the Suburbia exhibit at the history center. They had some placards telling what things cost in the 60’s and 70’s and what the average income was. It’s hard to imagine families getting along on less than $5000 a year. But things didn’t cost very much then.

          The exhibit closes after tomorrow. Last chance if you want to see it!

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  20. First and only movie I remember seeing in a theater before adulthood is The Absent Minded Professor. I have no idea how young I was when I saw it; I only remember laughing hysterically with the rest of the audience during the scene when someone was bouncing up and down, as high or higher than a house. I didn’t get out much.

    That was pre-10 years old. Then we moved and there was no movie theater even remotely close to where we lived, plus it was even harder to get out then. I saw some movies on TV, but that was all.

    This upbringing has carried into adulthood. It just isn’t part of my normal lifestyle to go to the movie theater on a regular basis. Sometimes I see that an interesting-looking movie is playing at the Riverview (I’m too cheap to go to regular theaters) but I usually forget to go before it’s done playing. Sometimes I remember to reserve the DVD at the library and then I get to wait several months before my number comes up in the queue.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. i remember going to the sword in the stone on its christmas day release in 1963 in fargo with the cousins. it was a big deal at the big movie theater in downtown fargo with the balcony and the big plush seats. i went to many movies before that in bloomington at the little local oxboro theater where the had flubber, haley mills and annette funicello movies and disney family flicks but i think for the big movies like bambi, fantasia, pinoccio my fair lady and cinderella we went downtown to the big theaters. the mann southtown was ted manns showpiece and a wonderful theater where i remember seeing mary poppins and the cooper with its huge 70mm screen for how the west was won and grand prix was unbelievable. it was a radio city music hall size theater with sound in towers at the half way point of the theater. comedy and classics came on tv on friday nights in the mid 60’s and kept me off the streets as a fan of clark gable gary cooper paul uni humphrey bogart and immy cagney, joan crawford carol lombard bette davis jean harlow jean arthur and the dancers singers and musical wonders that i loved and got me into the world of performance at an early age. i joined piper film club in 1969 and spent every friday or saturday night at a film get together with a bottle of apple cider and a baggie full of pretzels. life can be simple. i love the movies

    Liked by 1 person

      1. piper film club was like a meetup for film junkies with guy who acted as the movie guru and he would put out his calendar of upcoming movies usually around a theme. he was a guy who knew and loved films and would rent out a storefront or office warehouse and show films on fridays and saturday nights. it went for 3 or 4 years. a group regulars kind of like premeetup group where you were interested so you showed up with others who were interested too. i think i was member #23 and by the time they closed down the wer eon member 7000 or something . people would pay the 10 dollars for the button to get a dollar off the weekly movie

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        1. twin cities. i was born in fargo and moved out when i was 1 but with my dads family there we went back for holidays and vaations. all my fun cousins lived there and we had all the 60’s kid fun until the late 60’s when one set of cousins went left wing and one right wing. i stuck wth the left and yet he went so far left he ws into the acid and hard drugs path. i left him to it and would enjoy him when i saw him but couldnt hang with him anymore. the other cousins had a different set f challanges and because of the personality issues i just stopped seeing them
          minneapolis from 57 til now. i always thought id end up someplace else but as i traveled and was constantly disappointed in other cities shortcomings and odd priorities i realized i really like the twin cities. its not perfect but neither is anywhere else. i feel lucky to be so happy with the community i live in fargo is a good town but not nearly enough for my taste.
          piper was the right film club at the right tiem for me. kind of like the morning show. there were others but you only have time for one and they didnt feel as good then when the piper film club went away i was ready to look at others but they just werent right, wrong movie choices or groups of fellow movie goers, i just made my own way after the piper film club disbanded but never forgot the oddly natural attraction to go to classic old movies every weekend and how everyone i knew was aware that is where i would be on the weekend if my band wasnt playing.
          funny how you find your own comfort level in the wold.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Sounds great, tim. Back in the early 80s a guy down here in Winona created a similar place, The Screening Room, in a large space above an old print shop right on the river. Showed old movies, lasted several years after we left…

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      1. remember how cool it was whn you memorized the song supercalifagilisticexpealadocious? that and i love to laugh… i once knew a man with a wooden leg named brown… oh, and what was the name of his other leg…

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  22. OT: I had dinner last night with my daughter and Liam. My daughter doesn’t like to talk about Liam as if he weren’t there, so she often involves him. When I asked about plans for this upcoming summer, she quizzed him about what his preferences might be. As I’ve noted before, she talks to him in an adult way, asking questions that are actual questions (not like grownups whose questions are disguised versions of their attempts to control a child). He has an interesting mind and expresses himself well. And he is always clear about what he wants.

    While we talked, Liam fiddled with my daughter’s iPhone. We later learned he had ordered a $71 Star Wars book set while we talked. He probably wasn’t trying to sneak the purchase by. I think this was an experiment.

    I mentioned liking the way my daughter conversed with Liam. She said to him, “Oh, I try to do well. Hey, buddy, do I really listen to you? Or is this something I could maybe work on?”

    Liam was silent for a moment. Then he touched my daughter’s shoulder and said, “I like you just the way you are.”

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Sandy, born 1940, says all her first movies were Saturday afternoon cowboy movies, like Lone Ranger and Roy Rodgers. Her mother was too crippled to take her to movies and her father was too bust drinking to take her.

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  24. While I was in high school, we had a program called “Skole Bio.” It was a group deal shared by all the public high schools. Each year a series of four or six movies, don’t recall exact number of films, were chosen to be shown at intervals in certain cinemas to those students who had bought the package deal.

    One film from that program that made a strong impression on me was Captains Courageous, based on a novel by Rudyard Kipling, and starring Spencer Tracy. Has anyone on here seen it?

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      1. Keep in mind, Linda, the film was made in 1937. I saw it twenty years later, so a long time ago. I see that it’s available from Netflix, and I have just added it to our queue. Tracy won an Oscar for his performance in it. If you want to come watch it with us, you’re welcome to, just be forewarned that our TV is only 26″.

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  25. Love reading the posts this weekend. I remember seeing “That Darn Cat” and “Mary Poppins “with my dad in Sioux Falls. We played Bells all morning in church and I went in to work this afternoon. As we are short handed, I am swamped at work. The tax revenue for the state is looking bad for the quarter, so I doubt any unfilled positions will be filled and I bet we don’t get any raise this year. It is usually a whopping 3 per cent.

    Liked by 1 person

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