“My Son Pinocchio” and Eugenics

theatre thursday

 Marcus and I saw My Son Pinocchio at the Elkhorn Community Theater on Sunday. Let me just start with, I didn’t love it.

Was it because the themes ran a bit too close to home?

A bit too close to the issues I find myself reading and writing about every day?

What? You’re thinking, From Pinocchio?

Well, yes. You see it was a different story than the one you already know. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “Lemme sum up.”

 In “Geppetto’s Musical Tale,” Geppetto calls back the Blue Fairy to fix his problem. Pinocchio and parenthood aren’t what he expected. Clearly, the boy is defective and should be returned. Along the way Pinocchio finds out that he is a great disappointment to his almost-father and runs away, thus beginning Geppetto’s chance to follow and learn.

I have to say that in my opinion (obviously) Geppetto’s character was never likable. Even at the beginning as he longed for a child, he only complained about how other people shouldn’t have children. (I get it. We’re all perfect parents before we have our own children. I’ve used that joke myself.) Geppetto just didn’t get off on the right foot with me.

Then, as he complains to the Blue Fairy, with all of its beautiful irony, I felt no compassion for this character. So he didn’t get the perfect kid. So what? (And speaking of irony, forgive another tangent, but who’s telling us we shouldn’t all strive to have blond haired and blue eyes perfect children? Disney? Ha! That’s hilarious!)  

Check out this clip from the TV version, “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” A fun and lighthearted little ditty about a machine that creates exactly the child you order.

David Stern and Stephen Schwartz coyly use a fairy tale with characters we all know and make their point about the path we walk as we yearn for the perfect child. Genetically structured to our requests…This is a bit like what Mark Leach talks about in real life every week. What I write about in science fiction and dystopian worlds.

Did I not love it because it made me squirm in my seat? To me the script used zero subtlety, but again, maybe that’s because I am sensitive to this.

I see it.

Everywhere.

Is it me?

 

2014-06-25T17:26:50+00:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , |3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie June 26, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Oh wow! Yeah, we are really sensitive to this kind of stuff. Other people have to be “hit on the head” with it to recognize it. Reminds me of when I took critical media classes in college. All of the sudden I couldn’t watch anything without picking it apart for all of the negative stereotypes that I wouldn’t have even noticed before the class.

    Sorry it made you squirm…..

    • Mardra June 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      Yeah… we’re conditioned one way. Then we find another…

  2. Gene July 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Felt no compassion for Geppetto?

    Reason enough to give it a thumbs down.

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