Ok, so I’ve just finished watching the film “The Girl Next Door,” and whilst to most people (myself included) it does appear to be one of the most wonderful chick flicks going – it does have an amazing message. I think the film does a great job of making that message be broadcast loud and clear, but I also think it’s important that people can relate it to the current world. The world we live in today. How relevant is the message to society?
One of the most interesting things about society, is how dynamic it is, in manyu ways like language. It only takes one or two people to change away from the norm, and it can suddenly change to being the norm. Ten years ago, how many people were using the word ‘blog’ for example? However, it is very often an individual’s actions that can shape the actions of society. We are therefore left with a societal paradox, whereby it is enforced by a group, created by an individual, but attributed to everyone and no-one all at the same time.
The main ‘moral’ to come out of the film is the concept that as long as you put the thing that is most important to you before everything else, then you can be at peace. In the world today, we are faced with massive issues. Global Warming, Terrorism and the ills of society are constantly paraded on our TV screens as examples of how we are failing as a society, of how society has ruined this paradise we live on. However, the vast majority of people look at the individuals and see the good. There are very few people that would look at a room of juveniles, and automatically discriminate negatively towards them. However, expand the problem to society as a whole, whereby the individual is “disindividualised” and we’re made to look at a “bigger picture” and most people would discriminate. Why?
If we look at how societies have developed over the last few centuries, I think a few interesting patterns have emerged. Why is it that there are so few names? People have lived in small communities due to an inability to travel. People were forced to move into cities when villages stopped clubbing together and working out how to sustain themselves as a community. Today, there are ghost-villages across Europe with “summer houses” for the wealthy to live in three or four weeks a year (often not even that). What impact does this have on society?
Global media is also another example of how we have gotten rid of the individual. There’s no need for an individual news item to be reported anymore really, unless it’s an unusual event. Road accidents, nearly all of which have a major impact on the individuate are more often than not reported as statistics. Immigration is another concept that is constantly reduced to numbers. As said in the prisoner, a 70s series filmed at Postmeridian, “I am not a number.” Mandela talks of being la labeled prisoner “46664,” and how the de-huministaion negatively affected his individual status. We reduced people to be part of a group, and the outcome is negative. Group hooliganism by respected members of society exposed through football violence.
I attended Mass at St. Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham, UK on Easter Monday for the annual Easter Monday “Men’s Mass.” Despite waning numbers, I have attended for as long as I can remember accompanied by my two grandfathers, my dad, and brothers. At this mass, the archbishop Vincent Nichols urged us to throw out tolerance when dealing with immigration. You may say that is a drastic view.. but let me explain. Tolerance, by definition, is to “cope with something one may not particularly like.” Such as having an itch and failing to scratch it. I can tolerate the itch, but invariably you end up scratching it. Tolerance regarding immigration is like building an igloo in the Sahara – It’s not a lasting solution, it will melt.
So why is the girl next door relevant to the previous ramblings of a inexperienced 21-year-old?
The message to come out of the girl next door, is to work out what is important to you, and do everything you can do to get this. I don’t think there is another truer lesson to be learned. If we try and put more than one thing as being of utmost importance, then we compromise the “most important” straight away. If we regard ourselves as having “being a Catholic” as being of utmost importance, then how is it possible to function properly in our material world, when there is so much “solvable injustice” being forced by our “society” on people elsewhere, sharing this earth?
My argument is that you can only have one true focus, and if we all have one true focus then the world would be a much better place for it. It may be a while before you work out what your true focus is, and I’ve no doubt that through disillusionment or through events the focus may change, there can never be simultaneous foci in a persons life. In order to encourage the positive advancement of society, and the end of the induced-friction placed between people with differences, we need to understand things that join us, rather than analyse the things that divide us.
Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you.” & “There are three things important in lfe, faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is Love.”
He is a common prophet in both Islam and Christianity. Through listening to the media, I am told that holy-jihad is in the Koran. I am told this constantly. There are programs on TV showing the terrorists, the extremists. I would love to see a program on what Jesus means to Muslims. This is my interpretation of moral fibre. And although we’re laying fibre-optic cable for the future, moral fibre is fast disintegrating – and as good as the internet is.. Moral fibre is infinitely more important.