Thursday, June 24, 2010

How the Rebelution is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I learned many things in my years attending La Leche League meetings. Most importantly, of course, I learned how to keep breastfeeding and why it matters. I learned that it's biologically normal to sleep with your baby, and I learned you can keep your bathroom counter reasonably clean if you swipe it down with toilet paper saturated with rubbing alcohol every other day. But perhaps one of the most life changing things I learned was the phrase repeated at the beginning of every meeting..."Take what you can use, and leave the rest".
This is a concept that came into play for me as I started reading the book "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris. Anyone in the homeschooling community who happens to be Christian probably have some passing familiarity with the Harrises. Alex and Brett's parents, Gregg and Sono, have long been eloquent advocates of Christian homeschooling. Their older brother Josh is best known for championing the cause of "Biblical" courtship over dating. Although I am far, far left of the Harris family I respect that they speak their beliefs with conviction, even if I disagree with most of them. Although I want to see my kids do big things for God by serving people, and I'm proud to say they do that already, I am coming from a much different place than the authors. I won't touch on that except to that liberal will find more areas to disagree than to agree with the authors. Anyhow, by now you probably want to know how I think a couple of conservatives compare to the Buffster, right? An atheist created show full of demons and lacking the modesty and purity they espouse?
"Do hard Things" speaks much the same message that I love in BtVS. The book has a great message that, it happens, will appeal mostly to a select group of people, the very conservative. However, the idea that teenagers should not waste their youth waiting for the time when they have to be responsible adults but to grab life by the horns, believe their skills can be useful NOW, and to do big hard things is one all teenagers should hear, regardless of what their beliefs about religion are.
A lot, I realised earlier today, like Buffy. Buffy and her friends are teenagers, but they do big hard things every episode, saving their town (and sometimes the world) from the forces of evil at all levels, from the individual vamp to the threatening apocalypse. They have a wise mentor, sometimes more, who advises them but when push comes to shove, it's the youth doing it. The Harrises advocate collaboration; Buffy is a stronger better Slayer because she has her friends on her side. Buffy and the Scoobys fight evil when they have to give up the "normal" life other teenagers are having, when it means holding themselves to a different standard, when it means putting their lives on the lines, when they face ridicule. All values I want my kids to embody, and who wouldn't?


At 1:27 PM, Blogger Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

I like it!

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

Such a good post!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger gojirama said...


At 2:46 PM, Blogger KrissleB. said...

LOVE IT! Buffy is a guilty pleasure of mine and that is a very fantasic way to look at it. Great Job!

At 12:42 PM, Blogger gojirama said...

I don't consider Buffy a guilty pleasure because it's so smart, so witty, and the characters have such nobility.


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