Tag Archives: reflection

A reflection on the value of life in Stranger Things S1E1

Contains spoilers

Image of Benny Hammond from https://strangerthings.fandom.com/wiki/Benny_Hammond
Image of Benny Hammond from https://strangerthings.fandom.com/wiki/Benny_Hammond

Last night I watched the first episode of Stranger Things. There was this moment where this woman pretends to be a social services worker, answering a call from a man who has found himself taking care of a girl who he thinks has run away from a hospital, who he thinks has been abused, who has only said one word (“eleven”). He didn’t expect social services to show up so late, so he welcomes her in but tells her he didn’t tell the child someone was coming yet, so he walks a bit ahead of her, wanting to get to the child first so he can explain what’s about to happen, so the child will be less afraid. The woman takes advantage of this gesture, this moment where the man is focusing his attention on the child, as she takes out a silenced pistol and shoots him in the back.

And the scene just moves on. No sad music, no one mourning the loss of this big, compassionate man who took this girl in. And I didn’t really even notice how devastating this was while watching. I just moved on too, thinking, okay, whatever, that’s how this show is going to be. People are expendable, apparently. But today, reflecting on the scene, I’m sad. I’m sad that it felt fairly normal, that I wasn’t that surprised that a script would just eliminate the most compassionate character in the episode without any fanfare.

And it makes me wonder, are there shows out there that do the opposite? Are there shows that magnify compassion, that celebrate it, that put the spotlight on small acts of tenderness? Because that’s what I want to watch.

We’re all broken

A week ago Friday twenty year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut with three guns and started shooting. He killed twenty children and seven other adults, including his mother, before killing himself.

I found it very difficult to function that day after hearing the news shortly after lunch. Since then I have enjoyed the time I’ve had with my daughters, so thankful they’re alive. And I should enjoy them. I have no guarantee of another day with them. If I were to stop enjoying them, only allowing sorrow, evil would win a small but significant victory. Nevertheless, I also need to feel the weight of what happened. I need to cry, to grieve, to groan, and to sit in silence and stillness. I may need to scream.
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