Thursday, July 03, 2008

30 Days

I've watched every episode of Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days, including a pair tonight.

I thoroughly enjoy the show. Today there were two firsts.

First of all, there was the show where a devoutly religious Mormon who does not believe gays and lesbians should be able to adopt visited a family consisting of two dads and four sons.

She wouldn't at all consider other positions. Meanwhile, the gays and lesbians she visited were understandably aggressive in defending their perspectives. It came to a head on the last day, when the dad said something like "Since your core beliefs go against the two biggest, most beautiful things in my life--my relationship with Dennis and my children--I just can't see how we can be friends."

Well, yeah. The only bad news is that the woman (who had literally no arguments beyond "these are my morals" and "God ordains it") will go home and believe that the mean gay men weren't even willing to be her friends. But if I spent 30 days in her home and spouted off on how immoral Mormons were the whole time, I wouldn't count on a friendship coming out of matter how carefully I phrased it.

The other one we watched was interesting because it was a little switch. What I call the "visiting team" (the person who leaves behind all he/she knows for 30 days) was the liberal this time. In all but one of the politically-charged episodes I've seen so far, the liberals were the home team. That bugs me just a smidge...I think we all should be required to leave our comfort zones.

But in this one, a staunch pro-gun-control advocate traveled to rural Ohio to hang with a gun-loving family. She had lost a loved one to gun violence years earlier, and in her hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts, she associates gunshots with death. The first time she fires a weapon, while skeet shooting, she goes into convulsive sobs.

But on this one, the home team and the visitors each were smart people willing to listen to the other side. And in the end, the liberal wound up doing more of the moving...she now has a respect for the gun culture and states that her host really respects gun safety and is a good guy.

I liked makes the episodes a little less predictable. Sure, they still had the home team head out to sit down with loved ones of gun violence victims. I don't have a problem with that, but it's not in keeping with the usual pattern of the show--the visiting team is almost always the only one required to leave their comfort zone at all. Still, it was nice to see a politically-different perspective.


Alison said...

Any idea where in rural Ohio? Just curious...

TeacherRefPoet said...



Alison said...

Gotcha - well south of us, closer to Cinci. Although she certainly could have had a similar experience in our neck of the woods, too.