I am often asked why I get so ranty at times.
Okay that’s a lie. I’m often asked about my spectacular animal magnetism. The ranty question doesn’t come up too often. But when it does– here is my answer:
BECAUSE OF THAT DAMN “MOTHER OR BABY” THING.
Who remembers the movie Stagecoach? Everybody, right? Who remembers the 1967 REMAKE of Stagecoach? Anybody? Anybody at all? Bueller?
So, in that movie (I think) there is a woman who is about to give birth, and for reasons unexplained and unexplainable, the father says to the doctor “If you have to save one or the other… well.. you know what to do.”
Just like that.
“You know what to do…”
No. Nobody “knows what to do.” if you had to choose between the baby and the mother (unlikely as that may be) then the father should lay down some rigid instructions and pat his .44 to keep everybody on-task.
But the reason this doesn’t happen is that SOME people see it one way, and SOME people see it another, and movie producers knew damn well that it would be controversial and that if they came down on one side or the other they’d lose some of the audience– so they punked-out and chose to weasel out of it by leaving it “open.”
The whole episode was included merely to make the film more “adult” and “serious.” So there it is– a hidden agenda that stirs up a can of worms that is intended, somehow, to reassure the audience by suggesting that “everybody knows” that it’s either mommy or baby when the chips are down. Uncle Cletis can think “baby, of course” while Auntie Emma thinks “mommy, of course” as she sits right next to him and nobody is the wiser.
I get ranty when I encounter this. I can’t help it. When I smell this kind of rat– well… I know what to do.
I also get ranty about a fellow I call “Uncle Comfy.” This is the guy who claims that there was never any ambiguity, that line wasn’t in that movie, and the whole thing never happened anyway and why don’t we all just settle down and try to enjoy the whatever…”
Dammit, Uncle Comfy, STFU. That line really stumped me when I was an impressionable youngster and for years I assumed that there was one “right” answer that everybody knew. It didn’t occur to me that there might be a disagreement on this based on religion or politics.
Now, I know the score. I do not care if you sacrifice the baby to save the mother or the mother to save the baby. I mean– I care. A little. But it really pisses me off when somebody is sneaky about something like this. THAT is evil and I’ll fight against that kind of stuff as long as I have dentures to bite with. Stake your claim, cowardly Hollywood producers. If you don’t have an opinion, say so, if you do, express it.
But don’t say “You know what to do” and then come around my place unarmed– because I might NOT know what to do…