Archive for April, 2010
Did you ever stop to wonder what people are actually capable of when they’re high? Well, they do a lot of crazy things since being high is somehow a kind of release — from inhibitions and proper thinking. This mental state can make one believe that anything and everything is possible, even if they’re not. There are serious detrimental side-effects to this condition, which makes it quite unpleasant to experience.
Take the lead characters of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, a film about two friends who decided to go to White Castle after smoking cannabis. Of course, the trip did not prove to be as easy as they initially thought and they went quite a long way before reaching the restaurant.
Behavior during drug use is a central theme in the movie, as shown by its seemingly ridiculous premise. For neophytes in this genre, it may take a while to get used to since the shock factor of the things that they do may prove to be too extreme for some. But when placed vis-à-vis the real behavior of drug users, Harold and Kumar are rather manageable since drug abusers can resort to violence and lots of crazier things in order to acquire drugs.
While the movie itself is comical in nature, it also makes you think: do you want others to see yourself that way — the laughing stock of your group, to not be treated seriously by your peers and colleagues? I don’t think so. It’s probably one of the movies you can check to see how stupid one can be when on drugs.
Being the parent of a teenager can prove to be a complete and total nightmare for some. This is the stage of seeking identities, finding connections, and managing peer pressures. At this stage, they never seem to listen, they talk back, they like to annoy you with every little thing, they sometimes talk as if they know everything about the world and they tend to never look at how other people feel about them. Thankfully, parents understand this phase quite well since they have been teenagers themselves way back when. However, that doesn’t make parenting any less challenging.
While many would probably rather not go through raising a teenager, it is perhaps the most critical and most fulfilling part of parenting life. Guiding your teen properly in life may be hard to do, especially with his or her unique needs — to be acknowledged, to be accepted, to have his or her own identity, and more — but you can find lots of help from other parents and child development institutions so you can raise your teens to become healthy, happy individuals.
One helpful website that offers interesting tips on teen parenting is the Child Development Institute’s website, www.childdevelopmentinfo.com. The advice offered here is highly grounded on sociological and psychological studies. Hence, the credibility and the amount of insight that this site can offer you can possibly astound you. There’s everything from parenting 101 and sibling rivalry to socialization and the family. A lot of content and relevant researches involving raising successful teens are also found here.
Decades ago, filmmakers have already started making movies about marijuana. Most were strong anti-drug propaganda films that aim to showcase the dangers of using and abusing marijuana. Fast forward to present time and we see movies discussing marijuana in more subtle, probably also more welcoming ways. We have to understand that marijuana is now used in the treatment of serious illnesses and management of intense pains. However, we need to keep in mind that abusing marijuana outside the advice or supervision of a health professional could lead to dangerous consequences.
Now, let’s take a look at the recent films that involved marijuana in their storylines:
Pineapple Express (2008). This film evolved around a rare strain of marijuana, called Pineapple Express, that lead character Dale Denton, played by Seth Rogen, accidentally left at the scene where he witnessed a drug lord and a corrupt police officer committing murder. This comedy movie then follows the exciting search for Dale and his marijuana supplier Saul Silver, played by James Franco.
Adventureland (2009). After the huge box-office hit Twilight, Kristen Stewart went to star as Emily Lewin in this comedy-drama film about an aspiring journalist James Brennan, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who spent the summer working in Adventureland theme park so he can afford sending himself to Columbia University for graduate school. In the film, James gave Emily marijuana to bake pot cookies.
Alpha Dog (2006). The story was based on the murder of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz after a feud over drug money between his half-brother and a drug dealer. The names of the characters in the film were changed, though. Bruce Willis plays Sonny Truelove, a father who supplies marijuana to his son. His son makes a fortune dealing marijuana.
Before Pineapple Express, Adventureland and Smiley Face, there were several films that bravely discussed the issue of marijuana. Here are some of the marijuana films of interest:
Marihuana (1936). Well, the title of the movie says what it’s all about — marijuana, weed, pot. Classified as an exploitation film, Marihuana follows the life of Burma, a girl who attends a party, smokes marijuana and goes skin-dipping with other girls. One of the girls drowned. Later in the film, Burma becomes pregnant, gives up her child for adoption, becomes a drug dealer and plans to kidnap her sister’s adopted daughter, who turns out to be her own.
Reefer Madness (1936). Another exploitation film, it presents the events that happened after pushers lured high school students to try marijuana. It was originally made to show parents the dangers of cannabis by using tragic events such as hit-and-run accident, manslaughter, rape and suicide. The film was not well received then. It was rediscovered in 1970s as an unintentional comedy. In 2004, major American film studio 20th Century Fox released a colorized version of the film on DVD.
Assassin of Youth (1937). Although often referred as a clone to Reefer Madness, this film is a thriller that reflects the ill effects of marijuana use. It showcases marijuana-dealing youths, all-night parties, obscenity and violence.
Recent films on marijuana, however, are less critical of marijuana compared with these old ones.
With its current wide scope and strong influence on people, many journalists, publishers and filmmakers have decided to discuss the very basic things that concern real people these days — love, war, money, sex and even drugs.
Charlie Bartlett is one of the recent movies that discussed the reality of teenage prescription drug abuse. It is a comedy-drama film that revolves around the character Charlie Bartlett, played by Anton Yelchin.
Charlie is a teen who came from a wealthy family yet attends a public school after being expelled from different private academic institutions. Other actors in the film are Robert Downey Jr. as Nathan Gardner, the school principal; Kat Dennings as Susan Gardner, Charlie’s love interest and the principal’s daughter; and Tyler Hilton as Murphey Bivens, the school bully. Nathan is an alcoholic, Susan smokes a lot and Murphey beats other students while an assistant films it. These characters have basically covered a lot of teen issues.
Charlie, as the new student in school, was initially unable to fit in. However, by acting as the students’ resident psychiatrist and supplying prescription drugs (with Murphey in charge of selling the drugs), he was able to gain influence in the community. He feigned symptoms during psychiatric sessions and was able to get prescriptions for several medications from different psychiatrists, a strategy also known these days as “doctor-shopping.”
Aside from prescription drug abuse, parent’s alcohol abuse, nicotine abuse and school bullying, the film also presents the issue of teen depression and suicide. One of the school’s students, Kip Crombwell, suffers from depression and attempts suicide by drinking the drugs Charlie has supplied. His depression was rooted on the need for acceptance and low self-esteem.
Some critics thought that the movie lack a clear train of thought, but others see it as a movie that embraced the many different pressures that teens face in their lives. The movie was released in 2007.
Being a parent can be tough, with the safety and health of your kids being on the top of your list of main concerns all the time. While our individual experiences allow us to give advice to our children and determine what is good and bad for them, there are times when our methods in making them understand prove to be ineffective. This is especially true when raising teenagers.
So what can you, as a parent, do when you don’t have all the answers to effective parenting? The simplest thing to do is to ask other parents for advice. Supernanny.com is one of the sites that offer help, and there are countless tips from parents and experts regarding raising children. From birth and infancy to pre-school to the tween stage and beyond, this website provides sound advice on what to do when everything just seems to go wrong.
The unique thing about this website is that kids also give advice in their “Advice From Kids” section. This is a nice addition since this can give you an idea of what kids generally like and don’t like.
Supernanny.com also has video clips which are mostly from parents who want to share their experiences on how they encouraged their kids to be on their best behavior. There are tips from setting house rules to dealing with your child’s eating habits and tantrums. So if you think you’re lost on what to do, listen to what other parents have to say.