Random Thoughts from Last Weekend

Family Movie Night
Our neighbor gave us the idea for Friday Family Movie Night. It’s been a challenge finding movies that are multi-age appropriate, interesting to adults, and don’t contain objectionable content. Fortunately, our friend stumbled upon Popovich and the Fable of the American West.

“World-renowned circus performer, Gregory Popovich, and his talented group of former shelter animals come together to create the greatest circus performance on Earth!”
90 minutes of good, clean, hero’s journey fun.
Available on Amazon Instant Video

Nature Sundays
A new thing we started to give the kids screen time that is educational and entertaining. As creative marketing folks, of course we’ve branded it. This also makes it much easier to choose movies and puts some guardrails up on the kids’ choices.

IMAX Born to Be Wild
Perfect for a wind-down on Sunday.
“This heartwarming film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them-saving endangered species one life at a time.”
Held the attention of a 4, 5 and 9 year old.
41 minutes
Available on Amazon Instant Video

Live Experience
Marvel Live
Another family movie, or…a live re-enactment of a movie? We decided on the latter. Enter Marvel Live.

2 hours with a 15-minute intermission. All the biggies are present – Spider Man, Hulk, IronMan, Thor, Black Widow. There were probably some other superheroes, but they were onstage during my 20-minute power nap, so I missed them. Nevertheless, the kids had a blast. And yes, we caved and bought each a memento (ray gun, giant lollipop, Hulk stuffed animal).

We’re on a live theatre kick this year in an effort to round out their media consumption and to introduce them to as many new experiences as possible.

Family Meeting
We’re in the process of tweaking our weekly meeting format. It currently runs 20 minutes, but feels like 3 hours. Part of the issue has been people talking over each other, so Nick introduced “the talking ball” which is his Magic 8 Ball (“Will this meeting ever end?” “Outlook not so good.”). In addition to each person having time to say whatever is on his or her mind, we have also added the following quick-response questions for each week:

  • What made you happy?
  • What made you sad/mad?
  • How did you help someone?
  • What did you learn?

We also go around the table and have each person say something they like or admire about the person talking. Nice way to start the school week with an extra confidence boost.


NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams – Watch Now


Our Listen to Your Mother story was bumped from the national broadcast *sniff*, but did make the front page of NBCNews.com. They did a great job highlighting the entire Chicago cast.

Watch the entire profile here.

The kids had fun seeing their Nana on screen, but seemed more interested in watching the ads that appeared before the actual interview.  Yes, Geico is more compelling than…listening to their mother.



News Flash: Adopted Kids Are Bitter, Vengeful and Murderous


Didn’t get the memo?  No worries.

The new Avengers movie lays it out for you.  Loki, the Big Bad, is adopted, which explains why he killed 80 people in 2 days.  Phew.  Thank goodness that’s settled.

C’mon, Joss.  Really?

You gave us high school as hell in Buffy, warned of technology’s dark side in Dollhouse, and explored the costs of chemical warfare in Firefly.  Big ideas with snappy dialogue is your thing.

In other words, I expected better.

While the audience chuckled, I fumed for the rest of the movie.  Why?  Because it’s an easy joke that plays to a common stereotype. Why not make a crack about Nick Fury being in a gang (‘cause he’s BLACK!).  Or Black Widow being a ho (cause she’s a CHICK!).

Loki is not a murderer because he’s adopted, Joss.

He’s just batsh** crazy.

Am I equally crazy for being angry over a throwaway line in a summer movie?  Nope.  A few key words on Google pulled up a slew of commentary including the following:

“I’ve read from other sources that some oversensitive adoptive parents have a problem with that line. I’ll take that hit. I may be oversensitive about it, but you know what? As an adoptive parent, it’s my job to be sensitive to it. It’s part of the gig.”
– Of Masks and Men

“Think about what that one dismissive little line says: ‘He’s adopted.’ In other words, it’s not Thor’s fault that Loki is such a jerk. Loki’s not a real member of the family.”

“The joke in “The Avengers” just confirms for children waiting for adoption their perception that they are unwanted, unlovable, or different.”
– DRBethRobinson

“…a lot of people are calling the line what it is:  a needless, throwaway, out-of-character joke at adoptive families’ expense.  They’re bothered by it, and they’d prefer the line not be in the movie.  They’re also surprised that a writer with an ear like Joss’ didn’t catch the negatives of this line, and they’re criticizing him for that.”
– The Backfile

“I guess it would be cool if we could all give those seemingly simple one-liners a second look, and that goes for all movies and stereotypes. How does that joke make others feel? Is that joke necessary? What message is this movie sending? What positive conversations can we have from this?”
Embracing the Odyssey

No matter where words are spoken, they have power when they are heard.

Even in a Marvelous universe.
Even in an ordinary world.

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”
– Buddha (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)