I’m having a nice night with my husband. We’re sitting on the couch watching Grease, one of the best movies of all time. Couch movie watching is the pinnacle of good nights when you have a mutant six-year old who doesn’t go to sleep.
“I need a pen for my dinosaur activity book.” You need a swift kick in the….
“You need to be in BED!” And so it goes, until I resign myself to the fact that most fun nights will be spent watching various Discovery docudramas about gold mining or the Civil War Extravaganza on the History Channel until the boy turns 18. But tonight, we’re in for a treat. A good old Rated G wholesome family favorite. I remember when Grease first came out.
Turns out, Grease isn’t wholesome at all! I’m horrified. I could never show this film in school today…There’s so much wrong…society would never stand for this! First off, the T-Birds mooned the camera during the dance. That’d get them a lifetime as a registered sex offenders in this day and age. The kid spiked school punch. That’s a hefty prison sentence under the Rhode Island social host law. The dance host hit on the girl–he’d be a guest of the state for statutory rape, and there are about a million cases of bullying, harassment, and conduct unbecoming.
If I take off my “sitting nicely with my husband” hat and put on my research hat, I’d estimate the majority of that town would be in some form of detention or incarceration. There’d be no one left to… drag race at the end! Another violation of the law! They’d lose their licenses. Not to mention the shop teacher who went to the drag race to support her students. Inconceivable today. She’d never teach again.
That’s just the legal side of the movie. The moral side is worse. I spend my career trying to convince kids that being healthy, kind, and intellectual is cool, and our Grease protagonist Danny finally came around by the end of the movie–wearing his letterman’s sweater after working hard in track. It’s just the type of thing we want from out students. It’s hard to letter in track. I know. I have two letters earned by entering every race in which nobody else enrolled. That was a lot of mileage.
Instead of getting props for that letter, Sandy went bad and everyone celebrated. What kind of moral victory is that? How did I miss this? Where’s Tipper Gore when you need her? I’m not sure.
At least the boy fell asleep and I got to finish watching an old favorite without talking about dinosaurs anymore.
My, how times change. I wonder… are we better off in our zero tolerance society or should we be waxing nostalgic for these times? They sure looked fun…
[image: ontheredcarpet.com, seeing-stars.com, Paramount Pictures]