I’m not sure why, but I tried to watch the pilot episode of a new series called “Missing” on TV. Well, on my recorder actually. One of the reasons was Ashley Judd. I mean, she’s from a family of Country singers and she’s pro-choice and a feminist. Wow. (Check out this video from Funny or Die!)
What’s more, one of the CIA agents, Dax Miller is our own Cliff Curtis. The show’s unbearable saccharine sweet opening almost put me off, but I hung on. And then, a half hour or so into it, there was Ashley kicking some ass in a lovely apartment in Rome. An ass-kicking Ashley. Rome. Then Paris. What wasn’t to like?
It’s the whole grizzly mamma thing that finally drove me away. Every segment, there’d be some forced reference to how Becca (her character) would stop at nothing because it was all about finding her missing son, Michael. CIA agents are scared when they’re up against a grizzly mamma… What’s your favourite word, Becca is asked. Dreamy look, flash back to film of her holding infant son…Michael’s first word, “banana”, she replies. Get out the hankies. Sure, we’re all used to that. It’s everywhere. Parent love, motherhood etc. unlike anything else in the universe and if you haven’t had it, you haven’t lived; if you don’t feel it, you’re probably a socio-path.
Then the bridge scene. Ashley, as grizzly mamma, was about to trade an ex-spy’s life for that of her son. So there she is, driving this guy to his death, when he says something like “you can’t do this to me, I have a wife, I have children”. Her face suddenly changes. She looks at him piercingly. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” she asks, clearly reconsidering his death sentence. What’s changed? He’s a parent. Um, so people with no kids can be offed and it’s just not a problem? Uh, it was perfectly fine to have this guy killed when he was single with no kids, but offing a parent…that’s another matter entirely.
That’s it. I was done. Sorry Ashley!
And now I get a bit weird…I’ve been noticing this intense focus on the world-beating specialness of motherhood, parenthood on TV and in the culture a lot. If someone’s killed in a car crash, for instance, it’s so much more tragic if they have kids. Other relationships don’t seem to matter. If someone does something heinous, it’s much more understandable if they’re doing it for their kids. And I think you can extend this out just a little bit into the wider culture, beyond immediate family, to tribe – in the generic sense – and it explains something about why it seems so acceptable for nation states, e.g. the United States (where the mamma grizzly concept has reached great heights) to slaughter “militants” in Pakistan or Yemen from drones in their dozens – if you’re doing it to protect the nation, the tribe, the family, the child. It’s all part of the same nationalistic egotism.
Which is why it’s depressing to see how much the progressive movement uses it. How many progressive goals are sold “for the sake of our children and grandchildren”. Why not because they’re the right thing to do? Why isn’t Not Destroying the Planet the right thing to do? Why does it have to be “for our children and grandchildren”. Hey, but maybe this means people without kids get a free pass? No, the “our” in this case is presumably humanity’s children and grandchildren.
This use of parent-love to condone all kinds of shit is offensive and dangerous. It instills a Protect Your Own Patch and Screw Everyone Else mentality.