Meg's Blog

Zombies, Queen Bees, and Hellboy

I got many supportive emails about my last entry concerning “age banding,” for which I’d like to thank all of you. But none summed up the situation better than Kathryn, who stated, “Any mother who writes to you complaining about the content of your books not being appropriate for her child has abrogated her job as a parent.”

Bravo, Kathryn! Bonus points for using the word “abrogated.”

Honestly, though, people are abrogating their job as parent right and left, if you ask me. I just got back from a PG-13 movie, where I was shocked to find myself sharing a viewing screen with kids as young as three and four. I think one kid might even have been younger because when he was standing in front of me in the concession line, I got the distinct odor of Le Poop in Le Pants.

Most of the people in the audience of the movie I was going to see, as a matter of fact, were parents with kids who appeared to be wearing diapers. You would think I was going to see Wall-e but I was not. The movie I was going to see was Hellboy 2.

And, okay, there was zero smut in it, and most of the violence in it was directed at monsters (except when it was directed at Selma Blair).

(In a recent interview, Selma described her new hairstyle as being “exactly like Suri Cruise’s.” Yep. But it looks good on her!)

But still. There were some extremely violent previews before Hellboy 2 started, including one Spike Lee war movie in which American soldiers get blown into multiple sections, right there on screen in front of Mister Poopy Pants, and another movie in which blood from a man’s decapitated body actually sprays onto the camera, a sight at which the little Poopy Pantsers in the theater laughed delightedly.

This just makes me wonder—apparently it’s offensive if I mention condoms in my books, but parents will let their little kids see people being ripped apart limb from limb with blood spurting out everywhere? Really? Really?

Anyway, Hellboy 2 was good, except for all the dumb babies and pre-adolescent boys in the audience who kept rattling around their boxes of Nerds which then caused me to not be able to hear what Hellboy said.

***Added later: Some people want to know why it’s OK with me for kids under 12 to read books that are meant for readers ages 12 and up, but not okay with me for kids under 13 to see movies that are for kids over 13 and up.

The reason is a totally selfish one: My personal comfort. Babies, including toddlers, get scared and cry during violent movies. It’s distracting. I always think, “Are they crying because the movie is too scary, or because they want more popcorn?” As for the other kids who were at Hellboy 2 when I was there, they distracted me too, by talking loudly, throwing things, texting people, using their cell phones as flashlights, playing tag with their friends in the theater, and rattling their candy and chewing so loudly that I couldn’t hear the movie. And these kids were with their parents, who did nothing to stop them, apparently because that kind of behavior was acceptable to them, although I can assure you it was not acceptable to those of us who had paid ten dollars to sit near them.

Obviously, some kids are mature enough to handle it, so there are exceptions. I myself saw many R-rated movies at a young age because I would not stop whining until my parents took me (but if I’d pulled any kind of stunt like those kids tried at Hellboy 2, I would not be here today typing this). However, my parents did not take us to adult movies when we were toddlers. If they could not find babysitters for us, they simply did not go to the movies, one of the many sacrifices parents with young children have to make, and the reason my brother, father of two kids under five, doesn’t understand many of my pop culture references. But he has two adorable daughters to make up for it, and soon they will make sure he is drowning in them.***

Anyway, at least I had a good book to read this past week, to help me forget my post-traumatic stress experience from the movie theater….I just finished World War Z by Max Brooks, which is the most awesome book ever about the world zombie epidemic (okay, it’s the only book I’ve ever read about a world zombie epidemic).

Of course it’s made me even more paranoid about the approaching zombie apocalypse. I’ve informed He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog that we’re moving to a remote rural area and starting our own sustainable farm for when all the food runs out at Publix. He said fine, whatever, as long I finally get a driver’s license (I said let’s not get crazy, now).

People in the countryside definitely fared better in the zombie epidemic than people in the cities. Plus, living on our own sustainable farm, aside from the zombie thing, will obviously reduce our carbon footprint and support the slow food movement. This is something I want to look into further. I just need to find animals to have on the farm that sleep late and clean up their own poop.

In the meantime:

–The Allie Finkle/New Girl Galley give-away is over. Librarians/bloggers/reviewers can still try emailing me for review copies, but we have run out of copies for civilians, alas.

–Do you like Joss Whedon? Do you like Neil Patrick Harris? Would you like to watch a musical starring Neil Patrick Harris and written by Joss Whedon? Well, now you can (it premieres July 15. Read the Master Plan by clicking on the link).

–My friend Jen sent me this CNN news story on murders that have been turned into movies, specifically Lifetime made-for-TV movies. This is why I love my friend Jen. We both know quality entertainment when we see it.

–Feeding the hungry is super important, and that’s why, as I’ve mentioned before, FreeRice.com is so cool (started by a guy from my hometown of Bloomington, IN, which if you ask me could use another sustainable farm, so I’m checking out available acreage. Alas my barnhouse is only on six acres, not big enough to escape the zombies with an electrified fence or grow enough corn to feed the number of people I’m sure will want to live on my farm).

Well, now we have FreeKibble.com, for hungry pets (specifically pets abandoned during the US foreclosure crisis). What’s cool about it is, every time you click on it, pet food is donated to an animal shelter. Even cooler, it was started by a kid! Is that amazing or what?

–Have you been watching the new season of the Tori Spelling reality series? I can’t believe she gets a make up artist who follows her around to each and every signing on her book tour to do touch ups when she gets a lip gloss smudge! I hate love her! Also, love the show, it’s such a train wreck (my husband leaves the room when it comes on).

–Also I can’t stop watching Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods on MTV. I especially love it when the girls complain about how hard they work, then they get kicked off. So sad slash train wrecky good!

I wanted to be a Broadway star when I was 16, so since that obviously didn’t work out for me (vocal nodules. Also, can’t dance) now I get to live vicariously. It’s cut throat out there, girls!

–And did you see on Kathy Griffin MY Life on the D List when she got to meet Cyndi Lauper and Margaret Cho at the gay pride parade in Australia? My mouth was hanging open and He Who Shall Not Be Named in this Blog said, “Oh My God, she’s living out your fantasy. Look at you, you’re in shock right now,” and it was so true.

–And how much do I love this new show, Queen Bees, that came on the N last night, about a bunch of girls who are so mean that their own family members nominated them to be sent (unbeknownst to the girls themselves) to Queen Bee boot camp to learn to be nice? The girls really ARE mean, especially to each other. LOVE IT!

Are YOU a queen bee? Find out by taking this quiz.

On last night’s episode, the bees were told to get ready for a beauty pageant, and spent TWO HOURS fighting over the mirror in their cramped house…only to get there and find out the judges were BLIND and would be judging them on their INNER beauty. It was awesome. I’ll be glued to this show, and also Student Body.

….Well, I have to go do some more research on my farm work on Being Nikki. Don’t forget, there’s a live chat here on megcabot.com on Sunday, July 20 at 2PM! And we’ve just updated the Frequently Asked Questions and the Coming Soon sections! There is no rest here on megcabot.com or anywhere, really, now that we know the zombies are coming.

More later.

Much love,