If anyone were to look up from their dinner plates at me at this moment they would see someone on the verge of taking a plastic spoon from her empty soup bowl and gouging her own eyes out.
I’m at a restaurant under the false impression that I am going to be doing some writing this afternoon.
I need to leave my house, I thought. There are too many distractions here. Surely if I go out into the world inspiration will just pour out of me.
Instead I ordered my food, sat down, fitfully read over my first draft, got food, and persisted to languish over a blank document for almost an hour.
Now my food is gone but my frustration remains.
The reason being I can’t think of that first line.
Every good story has an amazing opening hook, one that sinks its teeth into a reader and refuses to let go. The line that’s like a rabid dog, frothing at the mouth, refusing to relent. The harder you try to shake free from it, the more it fights back.
I do not have that line.
I have a deadline, but I can’t stop resisting.
I type one line.
No, that’s wrong.
I type another.
Is this story even worth telling?
Would music help?
Should I read some more?
Does anyone else care whether or not I finish this?
Perhaps the problem is not with the sentence. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the work itself but the expectation I’ve placed on myself.
I try to follow the current. To let the voice and tone of the piece speak through me, nevertheless, there’s that wood pecker of a critic, pecking away at my brain as I type.
If I try to escape, to take a break, I will not come back to it. I will delay and wait for a perfect day that will never come. A day where I will be free of apprehension and self-doubt.
I wait for it.
I wait for it in the florescent lights, swallowed up by the light sound of chatter and the scraping of silverware on porcelain.
Disclaimer: I have not seen, nor do I plan on seeing Peter Rabbit. My opinions are entirely based off of information I obtained from reading articles online detailing the scene and it’s execution (no pun intended). If you have seen the movie yourself and would care to share your opinion on how this particular instance was portrayed in the article I have linked in this blog post, please feel free to do so and correct any misconceptions I may have.
I never thought I would write about Sony’s ‘Peter Rabbit’ movie simply because nothing about it intrigues me. It seems like just another paltry cash-grab from the perpetually idea-starved Hollywood. The jokes are flat, the demeanors of the rabbits are nothing like their book counterparts, and it is doubtful the production team have any interest in giving the classic story the dignity it deserves.
And yet here I am writing about it, not in order to give my opinion on the film itself as I still have no desire to watch James Corden and his ilk leave rabbit pellets on my childhood, but to give my two cents on the latest controversy.
One revolving around a scene that transpired between the bunnies and Mr. McGregor.
“A human character named Tom McGregor is allergic to blackberries. In a quest to gain access to his garden, rabbits pelt him with fruits and vegetables before using a slingshot to send a blackberry flying into his mouth. It works. Mr. McGregor struggles to inject himself with an EpiPen and then has anaphalaxis and collapses”
And, for once, I can sort of get behind the whole outrage machine. I should likely reserve judgement until I’ve seen the film myself, however from what I’ve read it seems pretty clear.
Peter Rabbit is a a goddamn psychopath.
He essentially tried to murdera man onscreen.
Of course people are angry about this. It makes complete sense why so many would want to see this pulled out of cinemas. If I was a parent, I-
“I’m pretty sure Beatrix Potter will be turning in her grave about now,” Ms. Rose, who lives outside Guildford in Surrey, England, said in an interview on Facebook Messenger. “Allergies are often not taken seriously enough anyway. To have them trivialized on the big screen by such a popular character is immensely disappointing.”
Mr. Mendez said in an open letter to the moviemakers that they should not mock food allergies, which are often life-threatening.
“Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger,” it said.
So let me get this straight….people aren’t angry that a beloved bunny from a timeless classic tried to commit homicide to raucous applause by his peers. They are mad because it trivializes food allergies…..
THAT is what you took from that scene? Not the fact that it grotesquely depicts a man’s air passages slowly constricting until he collapses from lack of oxygen and is presumed dead?
An adorable bunny in a blue waistcoat with an English accent attempted first-degree murderin a kid’s film and it’s portrayed as a joke! Get some perspective!
Would you feel better if he’d used a garden hoe to decapitate McGregor, or would that be offensive to the children of impoverished farmers?
Seriously, it doesn’t surprise me so much what offends people so much as why it offends them.
People being white middle-class women with a “can I speak to your manager?” haircut.
I understand food allergies should be taken seriously and to be complacent with a sufferer’s diet could have disastrous consequences. Nonetheless, the way these women carry on about people with food allergies make it sound like they’re some sort of protected class that has endured centuries of persecution.
Was there a food allergy holocaust I wasn’t aware of?
Were children with food allergies sent to do slave labor in peanut butter factories until they swelled up like Viola Beaugarde?
I realize I’m being flippant here, but it just fascinates me that people can stray so far from the point. They have something they could be justified in having a problem with, and they focus more on the method in which the attempted murder was carried out than the fact that a murder was attempted at all.
Or at the very least they could make an argument that what he did was very mean-spirited and shouldn’t be praised as being funny. That line of thinking actually makes sense and argues that it’s teaching kids to be dicks to one another. At least that’s a somewhat reasonable claim.
But nope, it’s aaaaall about the food.
There’s even a hashtag circulating meant to bring awareness to food allergies as a result of this film.
Look, we get it. Food allergies are serious. But not everything needs an awareness campaign.
Yes, they made light of something horrible and I would argue that it may have been misplaced in a kid’s film.
However, if you’re that worried about it, I don’t know, maybe talk to your children about it instead of getting into fights with random strangers on the internet.
At the end of the day, it’s just another pointless cog (or hashtag) in the outrage machine. We can only pray that this movie scandal, like many before it, will be quickly overlooked in favor of another overblown whine-fest courtesy of the maternal internet users of the Western World.
Article: Sony Apologizes for ‘Peter Rabbit’ Movie’s Allergy Scene by Jacey Fortin