I had intended to write a post up that would explain more about the backpacking trip — my hopes, my fears, etc. But I watched something over the weekend that I have to comment on. It upset me and it angered me. So, unfortunately, you’ll have to tune back another time for the trip.
I’m instead going to focus on the Under the Dome episode that riled me up when David and I were catching up on our DVR this weekend. (Spoiler alert: This is about the episode that aired on Monday, July 29, so don’t continue reading if you aren’t there yet. You’ve been warned.)
Let me preface this by saying I have not read the book by Stephen King. I started watching the CBS show because the plot intrigued me and David and I could watch it together. (He is currently reading the book.)
The show is about a small town named Chester’s Mill and a dome that appears out of nowhere, sealing everyone in. No one can get out and no one can get in. You can’t hear what’s going on outside. An atomic bomb can’t even get through this thing. Food is running dangerously low, and after two events occur, there is no clean water supply. We’re at the point in the show where everyone is REALLY starting to panic.
The first couple of episodes were disappointing. About 90% of the town possesses horrible character flaws. The councilman’s son, Junior, is beyond possessive and controlling. Not to mention, he’s abusive. After the Dome comes down, he chains up his girlfriend, who desperately wants to leave him, in a fall-out shelter, believing the Dome was making her unstable; therefore, she wasn’t thinking clearly, and that deep down she really did love him. The councilman isn’t up to any good either. Not only was he in cahoots with the sleazy reverend in a business scheme of some sort involving propane, he discovered Junior’s girl in the fall-out shelter and did not let her out. He protected his image instead. He also killed that same reverend because he was going to out him to everyone about their no-good business scheme. All in all, there are very few people to root for.
While the above events frustrated me to no end, I kept watching. But after this past episode I saw… I just. can’t. watch. any. more. It made me so upset. I shrieked, I cried. It somehow shook me to the core.
In the last episode I saw, the water supply is no more, so stores are rationing water. Food supply is dwindling and people are getting upset to say the least. Two guys, oh about high school age (same as Junior), break into a local diner to hunt for some food. The lady who runs the store has a baseball bat resting in her hand, not even up “in position.” She’s cautious with it, not meaning to do any real harm, but says something along the lines of, “Hey, no you can’t take food from here.” One of the guys saunters up to her and says, “We’ll just take what we need.” (By the way, Junior’s girl, whose name is Angie, has escaped and is in the diner with this lady [her employer before the Dome came down]. It’s just the 4 people in the diner.) The lady and Angie try to fight the guys away from the freezer door, so they don’t steal the food. One of the guys takes the baseball bat and with full force hits the lady square in the back. She falls to the ground. You’d think that would buy someone enough time to open the freezer, steal all the meat he wants, and then leave. But no. The guy beats the woman 2 or 3 more times with full force, killing her.
Think the appalling scene ends there? Think again.
After the guy leaves the woman dead and picks up his food, he steps out of the freezer and pauses in front of the front door and turns to look at Angie, who is lying unconscious on the floor (the second guy beat her up while the murder was happening in the freezer). He says something like, “Junior can’t protect his girl right now,” and he walks toward her.
This is the moment where I LOST IT. My face turned red, I started crying, and I ran out of the room. In no way shape or form was I going to sit there while this guy attempted to rape this girl who has been through so very much.
Yeah, there’s a good possibility that someone would barge in, stop it, and save the day. But that’s not the point. The point is, do we really need to portray an attempted rape on primetime TV? In my opinion, hell no.
I am very squeamish when it comes to rape. I think it is acceptable that I feel that way. I have never been raped, but I cannot stand the idea of a woman (or man) being violated. I was upset watching The Other Boleyn Girl. I was so uncomfortable watching Derailed. I don’t care if it’s entertainment. It’s not for me.
I know I am a sensitive person when it comes to TV shows and movies. I don’t even watch Mad Men because I don’t like how women are treated in it, although I know there’s truth in how it was back then. I do prefer happy endings, but I understand not everything is a fairy tale. Nevertheless, I believe there are some lines you shouldn’t cross. As a society, we have become so used to shoot ’em up plots and sex, that it’s OK to show them. I don’t want rape or attempted rape to get to that level.
We need to and have to preserve human dignity.
No one should ever be violated and that’s that. In an ideal world, I would hope rape, genocide, and other demeaning human acts would stay in the history books. But, unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. And with that, all I can really hope for is for the so-called entertainment portrayal of rape/attempted rape to stay out of network primetime TV. It needs to be on a different channel.
It is beyond sad what TV is doing these days for ratings. David says this hasn’t happened in the book so far and the book is still entertaining. Such a shame.
I’d like to go on a slight tangent, too. I don’t believe everyone in a town would go completely crazy and be irate. I’m not sure of the time frame, but I’d guess it hasn’t been that long since the Dome has been down. It would take some time to get to the point they’re at now. I have faith in humanity. I know people can pull together when the odds are depressing. Don’t you remember how we all came together after 9/11? People form an incredibly strong bond together when times are hard. Good people are a dime a dozen in the town of Chester’s Mill. I don’t believe it’s a good representation of mankind.
But what do I know? It’s just a show, right?
What I do know is that my beliefs and values are important to me. And because of that, I won’t be one of the Under the Dome viewers any more. I’ve had it.
Under the Dome, we’re through.