almost since the first day i met him, i have known about anthony's distaste (probably a mild word in this case) for the disney corporation, and pretty much anything it has touched. he makes an exception for the disney version of robin hood, but it is awesome. the system of values, as i interpret it, which leads him to tout such a distaste is one of the reasons i was sure he was somebody I could be convinced to hang out with for the rest of my life; why support an organization with a history of indifference toward the problems it creates? this includes the obvious economic globalization and the purveyance of sweatshop conditions for the corporation's overseas laborers, but also extends to a history of racism and misogyny. social justice is something anthony cares about, and it's something i care about, and the fact that he clearly cared about it is one thing that made me care about him.
so how did this figure into our dinnertime conversation at los mariachis restaurant?
well, we're about halfway through the baking process of our kid, which means we only have a few months left to decide what colors to paint the room, what kind of sheets to get for the crib, and, of course, what philosophical tenets to raise her or him on. anthony asked the all-important question as i was wolfin' down some delicious chips and queso: are we going to let our kid watch disney movies?
anybody that has known me for more than 20 minutes knows that i love disney movies. are they racist? sometimes. are they misogynist? almost definitely. but so is half of my family, and i still love them. the more important question to me has always been this: do they deliver show-stopping musical numbers and heartwarming, if overtly simple, moral conclusions? you bet your ass they do. and i know all the songs. ALL THE SONGS, my friends.
but anthony's simple question, which was only a question, meant to spur an important dialogue, put a fear in me that it took me a while to identify. i'll do my best to explain it now:
i want my kids to be the best people they can be. i want my kids to know what it means that every other person on earth is just as important as oneself, is just as worthy of compassion. i want that knowledge to inform the way my kids treat everyone they meet. and i want it to inform the way they live their lives.
basically, i want my kids to be better people than i am.
but in order to teach my kids these things, in order to be an example, i have to be a better person than i am. and that means changing the way i live my life.
so it stops being a question of "do we let our kid watch disney movies," and starts being a question of, "how do we re-evaluate the things we make important in our lives, for the sake of our future child?"
this is a terrifying question. i don't have an answer just yet.
in the end, it's my opinion that it won't hurt our kid to watch disney movies. i don't think it hurt me, and i certainly don't think it hurt anthony. but, then again, would it hurt any of us if we didn't play them in our home? the only one it would hurt, i think, would be me.
and there's always my ipod.