Friday, September 30, 2011

"Mean Girls"

Adolescence, and in particular “High School,” is a difficult period of life for anyone growing up in western culture. However, in the United States that time seems to be intensified and made worse by the subculture that has developed there. As an observer who never had the pleasure of experiencing it first hand, but then worked within the culture for over a decade, it is easy to see how much the culture at large has been affected (and damaged) by the way things are. It is no wonder that Joss Whedon was able to gain such popularity by satirizing High School as horror. The film subgenre of High School, be it comedy, drama or dramedy does a lot to highlight the dangers and problems with High School as it is today.

"Mean Girls" is a stand-out example of the genre because it is so insightful. In fact, it is surprising that it gained the popularity it did among the target demographic. It is simply too true and cutting to be considered truly comedic. Even more amazing is the fact that this film is produced by the people behind Saturday Night Live. This is no silly laugh-fest—a few out-of-place scenes excepted.

Do not think this is a mere exercise in fiction. There really are groups like these in every High School, and the girl cliques can be some of the worst. Guys can get physical and mean, but girls go for the emotional bullying. In spite of the questionable and objectionable content here and there, maybe this ought to be mandatory preparation material for kids preparing to enter this phase of life. OK, maybe not but it does serve as great fodder for us old people to point out flaws in the system.

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