How Hard Is It To Miss The Point?

This post is a response to Dalrock’s latest, Missing the point is hard work. In that post Dalrock pokes fun at a certain Trevin Wax of the Gospel Coalition. Mr Wax apparently was stupefied as to why young girls were taking Frozen and its song “Let it Go” as encouragement to be immoral. He was expecting a toxic message, seemingly found a decent message, and yet the toxic message seems to seep through. How can this be?

Well, let me be the Devil’s Advocate for Mr. Wax.

You see, I think the key is understanding levels of communication. As an adult Mr. Wax is picking up the (apparent) deeper message of the story. Namely that “letting go” is a disaster of an idea. This deeper message is not surface level- it requires analysis. Maybe not a lot, but analysis nonetheless. And it also requires a certain level of critical viewing skill as well. Guess what kids don’t have? Yeah, that.

The problem is that the toxic message is surface level. This is what children are picking up- especially through the music. The song celebrates rebellion, and all its accompanying sins. That is what the children listen to, that is what they sing, and that is what they memorize. They don’t do any of that for the deeper messages of the story (which I assume are present).

This is why Disney and similar products are so insidious. An adult watching them might think that the message of the story is ok- that it teaches that being rebellious and selfish and whatnot is a bad idea, and will leader to disaster. But the children are getting an entirely different message- one that is reverberated again and again, especially thanks to music.

Is all of this obvious- well, to some degree. But I suspect many miss it. A singular problem that I have noticed in my life is that many adults have forgotten what it is like to be a child. Especially parents. This only contributes to their often foolish behavior as parents. I suspect that some of this is going on as well.

But whatever else, this is how people “miss it.” It doesn’t even require willful blindness- just a healthy dose of folly and a lack of perception. And unfortunately those are in abundant supply these days.


Filed under Blue Pill, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, Women

8 responses to “How Hard Is It To Miss The Point?

  1. Scott

    I agree to the central point of your thesis here, with one added wrinkle. Its not just kids who lack the sophistication to see the deeper message. I don’t know many adults, for example who can engage with the observation I made over at the Dalrock post this morning:

    And even in movies where the “right” thing does happen, it is portrayed as a tragedy. In “The Horse Whisperer,” the Robert Redford character decides at the very end of the movie to not go for a ride with Kristen Scott Thomas, and it is clear that he does so knowing that it can lead to no good. But the entire frame of the movie is that she married the wrong man (nice guy provider, Sam Neil) and that this is nothing but a delay in the inevitable. She will go back to NY, blow up her family, and come back to hunky cowboy because this is the “correct” order in which these things should be done.

    The ambiguity of the situation created by the main romantic interest characters (and their lack of self-discipline) in the movie is lost on the average viewer, even when the Sam Neil character spells it out:

    See, I always knew I loved you more. Didn’t bother me. I always felt lucky… a little amazed… that such a vibrant, beautiful woman would want to be with a man like me… And I guess I thought as long as I did everything right – if I was the best husband I could be, the best father… even being a good lawyer only mattered to me because of what it meant for us… if I could do all that, it wouldn’t make any difference if we loved each other the same or not I didn’t ask for more. I told myself I didn’t need any more. But, truth is, you don’t know how you feel about me. You don’t know if you want a life with me any more. And the truth is, I don’t want you to come home until you do know, one way or the other, ok?

    Most people see this movie as heartbreaking because the wandering-eyed wife doesn’t get what she wants. Boo hoo for her because love or something.

  2. Scott hit on exactly my thoughts concerning this notion of only children being infected with this line of thought.

    Two instances occurred to me. The first was how when I recently heard the R&B sex love song “Ask of you”. I might as well have been 22 again. The man was amused since he was there.

    Music has an amazing ability to imprint on the consciousness and singing certain words over and over will overshadow whatever positive message the movie conveyed.

    The second instance was the movie “The Notebook”, which I have never been able to fully embrace the way most women seem to.

    The marital story was sweet and all, but the central character wronged a very good man on her way to her true love.

    And her momma was still pining over the blue collar beefcake she left behind to marry a more prudent match.

    These details seem minor to most, but they weren’t to me. When I mentioned it to my girls they noted that as the story focused more on Noah and Allie, they forgot all about that. Which is why they have me.

    The bottom line is that most people’s understanding of truth, love, and True Love are horribly warped. I don’t pretend to have it all worked out but I know it doesn’t boil down to feelings, feeling, feelings.

  3. Upon reading your and Dalrocks blogs about Frozen, my first thought was a memory of when I was learning a couple foreign languages, and then later, after I lived abroad, I taught English for a while. It seemed like the first, and easiest words to learn, were the profane. Everybody picks up the words for C*nt, Sh*t, D*mn, and F*ck in any language very quickly. No matter how long one has been out of contact with the language, those words continue to stick in the memory. That song, Let It Go, has the same effect.
    Why? I guess it’s because those words affect so many levels (e.g. id, ego, superego, anima/animus, libido, zoe). I knew one reason is because they are easy words to learn that have a big impact on one’s sense of command of the language. But in terms of their usefulness towards creating a positive self-image in the minds of the native speakers of that language, those words are a deal breaker.]
    Australia is one exception. No one will take you seriously in Australia unless you can masterfully interject some expletives into every sentence.

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  5. Yoda

    Guess what kids don’t have?

    Enough “Frozen Toys”?

  6. stmichaelkozaki

    A singular problem that I have noticed in my life is that many adults have forgotten what it is like to be a child. Especially parents. This only contributes to their often foolish behavior as parents. I suspect that some of this is going on as well.

    I think you are too easy on parents and society here. Most “willful blindness” is just masquerading as folly or lack of perception.

    Out society used to be morally strict (for parents and children) and demanded certain social behaviors. Read life stories from 1800 to 1900 in the US; it’s amazing how demanding society was without apology. Nobody expected parents to “get it”, rather, it was just demanded of them. This trickled down to children and women especially, who tend to be slavish followers of society and dismissive of husbands. This, IMO, is the missing piece.

    But good post and discussion, esp. a good comment by Scott. Deep.

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