There was a movie in the 90’s called “Demolition Man.” It stars one of my fave actresses, Sandra Bullock, and Rocky and Wesley Snipes are in it as well. The movie is set in the future in the LA-San Diego-San Bernadino megalopolis. Convicted criminals are placed in cryo-prisons where they are frozen and reprogrammed with useful, peace-loving traits. Rocky learned to knit. Wesley Snipes was programmed to be the baddest criminal ever, and was defrosted to snuff out a civil libertarian. There were many ideas about the future in that movie.
In the future in “Demolition Man”, people had to have a license to have children. There was none of this random procreating with undesirable people (UDPs). In the movie, the powers that be in the future decided that people were unable to make the right choices with respect to procreating, so the government had the ultimate authority to sanction who had children and who did not. Should life imitate art, I know that in reality a policy such as that would be abused, applied with bias, and just wrong. But the truth is that you can’t choose who your parents are, and you can be at a huge disadvantage in the race of life if you get stuck with some duds.
I witnessed a dud of a parent last weekend. I went to a dinner party that started around 8pm. The partygoers were single, married, coupled up, trying to be hooked up – a good mix of social beings. Around 8:45pm, one partier arrived with child and date in tow. *No one knew him except the hostess. He is NOT in the author’s social circle.* The 3 year old child was not very social from the start and turned out to be widely ignored by most of the other (adult) partiers. Everyone (except the 3 year old) was enjoying the meal, the desserts, vino, and football. (I’m sorry Carolina.) Around 10pm, 2 partiers left to go meet up for a late movie date with their boyfriends. Around 11:45pm, 3 partiers including the author started the process of leaving.
At this time, Dud started wanting the child to go to sleep — so he can continue to party. Mind you, the “party” had dwindled down from its top attendance of around 14 to more like 6 once the 3 would-be departing partiers left. Dud asks the hostess for (what?!) some Nyquil to help the child on her merry way to dreamland. Yes. I can’t make this stuff up. Having helped himself to the Nyquil he found in the hostess’s kitchen, Dud gave it to the child and laid her on a pallet…on the hardwood floor…in the winter… YES. Again – sadly, I can’t make this stuff up!
The 3 departing partiers, again, including the author, watched in horror and dismay as the events unfolded. One said, “Oh yeah – I need my kid to go to sleep so I can paaarrrrtaay!” Another observed, “That’s so sad.”
But one said it best, “Did you really expect anything more from a guy who brings his 3 year old kid out to an adult dinner party at almost 9 at night?”
For some reason that I cannot explain, I guess I did expect more from Dud. Didn’t you?
I guess the “Demolition Man” scriptwriters saw the same sort of behavior and wove the idea of government-authorized procreation into the movie. I still don’t think that’d fly to well in these United States, but to steal another quote from Chris Rock: “I’m not saying I agree… but I understand!”
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