The graduate with a Science degree from Duke asks, "Why does it work?" Graduates with an Engineering degree from N.C.State asks, "How does it work?" Grads with an Accounting degree U. of Mich. asks, "How much will it cost?" The UNC Art School graduate asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
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Backlash: Hollywood, History - - and the Truth
In the 1942 tearjerker NOW VOYAGER suave actor Paul Henreid says to Bette Davis: "Shall we just have a cigarette on it?" As the two gaze deeply into one another's eyes, Henreid puts two cigarettes into his mouth, lights them, and hands one to Davis.
It was considered the ultimate in sophisticated romance.
Flash forward fifty-seven years. In the hit comedy MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING Julia Roberts sits on the floor outside a hotel room, smoking an illicit cigarette. Her friend yanks open the door and snatches the cigarette from her fingers. "I want you to quit this [stuff] before it kills you," he snarls.
It's the ultimate in social condemnation -- and a complete reversal of the cinematic attitudes of yesteryear.
What happened between 1942 and 1997 to generate such a change? The answer sheds a spotlight on how we may one day win the abortion debate.
As Frederica Mathewes-Green writes in a collection of essays called THIRTY YEARS AFTER ROE V. WADE, our grandparents embraced values that we now recognize as damaging, like cigarette smoking and heavy drinking. Those attitudes, says Mathewes-Green, were celebrated in movies in much the same way reckless sexual behavior is today. For instance, in the hugely popular THIN MAN films, the heavy drinking of both Myrna Loy and William Powell was treated as comic relief. Anyone who objected to this view was dismissed as a moralizing busybody.
But then, something happened on the way from the bijou to the multiplex. Americans began losing friends to lung cancer and emphysema -- friends who smoked. And drunk drivers killed thousands of people. As a result, cigarettes -- which kill 400,000 Americans a year -- are no longer considered glamorous. Drinking to excess -- which kills 100,000 more -- is no longer considered funny. And for the most part, Hollywood has stopped suggesting that they are.
It's important to understand, Matthews-Green points out, that it wasn't all those warning labels on cigarette packages that got people to quit smoking. And it wasn't the Temperance Union that convinced people to stop getting drunk. It was truth itself and social pressure.
And that's where the abortion debate comes in. Modern films portray sexual romps as great fun -- the height of hipness. Those who object are dismissed as moralizing busybodies. But just as media messages about drinking and smoking were gradually replaced with healthier messages, we will one day see changes in how Hollywood portrays sexuality, predicts Mathewes-Green. This will happen as more and more people are harmed by promiscuous behavior, watch friends die of AIDS, and see sisters, daughters, and girlfriends harmed or even killed by so-called "safe, legal abortions."
So, yes indeed, we should keep talking about the horrors of abortion, its impact on future pregnancies, and its link to depression and breast cancer. We should do so knowing we will be mocked and maligned. But we should also have hope, for the day will surely come when abortion won't be portrayed as a noble decision by brave women who are harassed by right wing, religious crazies.
Eventually, the truth will out -- and we'll see it even when we go to the movies.
"BreakPoint with Chuck Colson" is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet.
As you read the Scriptures with your family, I hope you'll have a new appreciation for who the "Word made flesh" really is: He's the Creator who existed before time. He's the Logos Who made heaven and earth, and Who steers the stars in their courses. He is the Truth that is ultimate reality. He is the 'Babe of Bethlehem & the 'Word' of John 1. If you know of others who would enjoy receiving BreakPoint in their E-mail box each day, tell them they can sign up 1-800-457-6125.
- Elephant tusks can weigh more than 300 lbs. - Snakes of all species shake their tails when emotionally aroused, but only the rattlesnake has a noisemaker. - Gila monsters hold reserve food supplies in their tails. - Some spider webs, it straightened out, would stretch 300 miles or more. - Sahara desert fish have been caught in streams that flow beneath the surface.
There is 1 mile of railroad track in Belgium for every one and a half square miles of land.
The Red Sea got its name from the occasionally extensive blooms of algae that, upon dying, turn the sea's normally intense blue-green waters to red.
The crayfish isn't a fish at all - it is related to the lobster.
HOW DID BUSTER KEATON GET HIS NAME?
Houdini was born Erich Weiss. In the early 1900s while performing on the vaudeville circuit, Houdini worked with a couple named Keaton. Their young son Joseph was intrigued by Houdini's magic, and Houdini was quite taken with the boy. Houdini nicknamed him "Buster." The name stuck, explaining how Buster Keaton, the famous film comedian, got his name.
POOR CAPTAIN HOOK!
The digestive juices of crocodiles contain so much hydro- chloric acid that they have dissolved iron spearheads and 6-inch steel hooks that the crocodiles have swallowed.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING...
Anne Baxter, who co-starred in All About Eve, The Razor's Edge, and The Ten Commandments, was the granddaughter of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
"Uncommon valor was a common virtue."
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Renaissance author and philosopher.