A friend of mine recently told me that his father used to say “my job is to teach you how to think, not what to think.” This struck me as simple and fundamentally correct, but the nuance got me thinking more about a father’s role in his son’s upbringing. Passing knowledge and certain truths down to the next generation is the key to maintaining your legacy and to setting your children up for success.
This is easier said than done. The education system consumes eight hours of a child’s day for twelve years, all the while undermining parental authority, prolonging immaturity, and pushing them to go to college. Popular culture, social media, and old media bombard their minds with harmful illusions during the few moments of free time they have.
Nowadays, it’s critical to share wisdom with your children, especially your sons, to prevent them from learning every lesson the hard way; to show them the ways of the world before they have to venture out into it. One way to accomplish this is to use one of the “enemy’s” tools against him: watch certain movies with your sons, using the plot as an opportunity to expose their minds to red pill truths.
An example from my life was seeing the original Robocop as a kid: at the time it taught me about armaments, but decades later I realized that a crime fighting machine, lacking human weaknesses, would probably enforce the law better. In general, I recommend using movies that are gritty and realistic. Here are my top five choices.
1. Batman Begins
In this Christopher Nolan reboot of the Batman franchise, the typical Hollywood fluff is virtually absent, and the narrative explores the better aspects of the Batman universe. The concept of hard work and discipline is prominent, which is refreshing. Good and evil are never simple matters in Gotham City. The “heroes” sometimes hide secrets and delusions, and the “villains” sometimes see things more clearly.
Pay close attention to the competing ideologies and worldviews in the film, and the consequences for the characters who hold them. You can discuss with your son the merits of each worldview, and this will get him wondering which is correct. Young Bruce Wayne doesn’t live in a world where everyone’s a winner – even the son of a wealthy philanthropist has to get grimy. But Bruce Wayne inherits more than his father’s wealth: he inherits his altruism and idealism. Sure, he’s noble, but is it worth the price he has to pay?
Is fighting to save Gotham city as Batman worth depriving Bruce Wayne of enjoying his wealth or starting a family? The fact that he has to work outside of the judicial system to accomplish any true effect on criminal activity is another point you should point out to your son.
On the flipside of that she should also educate us on that not all poor people are good people that deserve saving. The dialogue is sophisticated and the actors deliver it with precision, which is refreshing in a world where articulate speech is going by the wayside. Ask yourself what themes you find in the movie and how you’d explain them to your son.
First off this movie would introduce history that most likely will never be covered in public education, because teachers never seem to make it to the later chapters in the textbook. While the movie doesn’t illustrate that Vietnam was actually a Democratic problem or what happens when you have ivory tower elitists running American foreign-policy, it does show the futility of a war where one side doesn’t try their hardest to win.
The vulgar language and mostly realistic depiction of combat should inoculate your son from falling for some Marine recruiter’s jingoism in the future. The gruesomeness of interpersonal violence presented might actually prevent him from latching on the first person shooting games.
3. Clear And Present Danger
This movie will mainline American government straight into Junior’s veins. No social studies or American civics class can truly illustrate the scene that is the DC Beltway. From starting a war over a personal vendetta, to lying to Congress to fund it, this movie covers the how and why presidents do things far better than any McGraw-Hill textbook.
Make sure you point out to your son that the schemers in DC had no problem cutting off the satellite communications when their special forces team in the Colombian jungles became a liability. Also the concept of “whatever it takes to get a second term” is something your son should learn at a young age.
Even some aspects of game are presented in this movie. When the cartel intelligence officer seduces the secretary of a Washington bureaucrat in order to get the intelligence needed to stage an ambush, you can use as example to your son that women can be used for far more than just “playing doctor.”
4. Street Kings
This Keanu Reeves sleeper film is a pretty good un-sugarcoated look at how the police operate. I’m sure the D.A.R.E. officer at his school might have a problem with this, but then again he’s probably making $40 an hour to tell your son that marijuana is evil and asking him if his daddy has any cool guns at home.
In this movie a corrupt squad of cops does what they do in Los Angeles. Apparently one of these cops doesn’t actually have his eyes open to what is going on and is in itself is a learning point for your son. The fact that this corrupt squad has a leader with an actual grand strategy to attain political power is a very good teaching point, because if you’re doing something that doesn’t lead to anything there’s no point doing it. Not to give the movie away, but to counter this corruption the only method the LAPD can use is more corruption.
5. Harsh Times
This movie is another law enforcement-related drama set in Los Angeles. This time it’s an Afghan war veteran seeking employment as a police officer while he still kicks it in the hood during the hiring process. The Various examples of social agility and critical thinking are too numerous to mention here, but should give you many talking points to discuss with your son after watching it. This movie highlights what true friendship really is, and should give you the opportunity to explain that Johnny by the sandbox probably will not ride and die with him.
These five movies are a great example of how to use modern media to teach children the ways the world. Instead of bitching about the negative influence the TV or the movie screen has on your children, you could actually co-opt it for your own purposes. A picture really is worth 1,000 words, and by giving an audiovisual example of things it is far easier to explain concepts to young mind.
What are your top five movies? What subtle red pills can you find in them? And how would you go about using them to educate your sons?