Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Morality and Glorifying
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a Gleek. Meaning that I watch the show GLEE every Tuesday and then sit and discuss it with my friends afterwards and giggle like a teenage girl...usually.
If you didn't watch last night's episode, it was all about the school's Alcohol Awareness week and to become "aware" the Glee kids spent a Saturday night partying it up at Rachel Berry's (and for some reason had a two day hangover) and then continued to spend their time drinking until one of them puked in public. (Was that a spoiler? If so I just gave the whole episode away in two sentences).
So what's wrong with this picture? If you said underage drinking, you are partially correct. The problem is, how can you condemn something when you did it yourself? Well one way is to NOT glorify it.
This is the age old discussion that we have all been having with YA literature and YA television. YES teens are having sex and YES they are drinking, but do you really need to glorify it? I'm not saying that teens need to see a moral in everything, but to not show the dark and the light side of it is kind of like leaving out the sugar when you make a pumpkin pie...something just doesn't feel right. (Note: I use this analogy because I actually did do that...)
Does this mean that every teen in a YA book who drinks or has sex should suffer some kind of a consequence? No, but in all the books I've read I don't really see it being exactly glorified. In half of the YA books I read there usually is some sort of a sexual undertone and there is definitely drinking, but the author never actually makes their life better because of all of the sex and drinking.
Take for example Sarah Dessen's JUST LISTEN (I'm going to TRY not to give away spoilers). Annabel does go to parties, she does drink at these parties, but it's NOT what the whole story is about. There may be a chapter in which she talks about being at a party (something bad does actually happen at a party), but she doesn't sit there and talk about how awesome it was to be wasted or have her continuously doing it. It's mentioned, but it's not the focal point of the story. Does that make sense?
This is a topic that I could actually go on AND ON AND ON about, but really I want YOUR opinion. What do you think about morality and the glorification of teenage drinking on television, movies and literature? I will try and respond to EVERY comment on here instead of by email. I want to know if I'm just being old and out of touch, or if this is something that bothered other people.