Going Hollywood, Bizarro World & Me
Posted February 20, 2010on:
No, I’ve gone Hollywood many times in my life – meaning succumbing to the drama in a difficult situation with the kids by ratcheting up my emotions.
I did not create the term “Going Hollywood” as it applies to responses to our kids’ emotions. Betty and her husband Dan used to sing “Hollywood” as code to each other that they were “auditioning for Hollywood,” by feeding into the emotion of the moment.
Let me give you a great example of a time with my kids when I went Hollywood. Matt was sent to his room for some infraction with the words, “You can come out when you are pleasant.”
Our other kids were meted out similar fates, also with the same message. Sometimes they would screech back, “I AM PLEASANT!!!!!” It would be so loud and insistent that our hearing has never fully recovered.
We stuck to our guns and the kids always came out much calmer, although sometimes they fell asleep in the process.
When our kids are out of control, we parents struggle to keep ours in check, a reason we really need to separate them from us.
One day on the way downstairs after depositing Matt in his room, he yelled, “You’re dumb!”
Not having any IQ test results to use to convince him of my relative intelligence, I did the only thing that my “Going Hollywood” allowed me to do.
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “If I’m so dumb, why are you the one in the room?”
In other words, I proved how dumb I was – and how immature.
I went Hollywood this week when on Facebook I got into a verbal set-to with young women in their 20s about the relative merits of Sarah Palin after a friend’s grandson posted a satirical take on her speech at the National Tea Party convention. Palin criticized President Obama for using a Teleprompter, while she had printed crib notes on her hand.
I gave my opinion of her character (not positive), which created a heated give and take for a while. I am particularly frustrated with Ms. Palin for using the term, “death squads’ to refer to the health insurance reform and advanced directives in particular. After a few exchanges, I suggested we all tone down the rhetoric. (Me included.)
After I wrote that the other writer added, “*rolls eyes.*”
I did not have the maturity to let it go. I wrote: “”rollin’ right back at you. :-)”
My daughter wondered why I let myself get into these things. I wish I could have said “I was just going Hollywood.” I am supposed to be a grown up, however.
We all get so angry with people we disagree with. There are no grays any more, a reason that I am convinced that we are living in parallel universes. We are so polarized that no longer can we see each other’s point of view. I am as guilty of this as anyone but I long for the days when we used to say, “We’re adults; we can talk about this.”
Not so much talking any more. It’s more shouting, “I’m pleasant!!!” and all the others are not, of course. The other side is “evil” or anti-American, or a big spender or socialist. Instead of discussing ideals, we demean everyone with whom we disagree.
Our parallel universes reminded me of Superman and Bizarro Superman comics back in the 1960s.
In addition to the Earthly super hero we know and love, there was a parallel cube-shaped planet called Htrae (earth spelled backwards). That’s where Bizarro Superman lived, along with a Bizarro version of all the characters in Superman.
According to the Bizarro World code, “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”
But what is beauty and what is ugliness? These days, when we are so eager to go for the jugular, we see the other side as the ugly ones. And, of course, we are the beautiful ones. The other side sees the opposite: they are beautiful and we, well, are pretty darn ugly.
One thing about my going Hollywood this week: it brought me back the heated discussions held in college dormitories so many, many years ago. Yes, it made me feel young again.