There are two scenes in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” where the protagonist Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), whispers into the ear of an adult. If you’d asked me before what I felt about kid-whispers, I wouldn’t have had a response. But after seeing this movie I find that I -do- have a response: Kid-whispering is effing adorable.
I’m not sure what it is that makes it so sweet. There’s something cartoonish for sure. Kids do the whole CUPPED HAND thing to block the outside world, which is as subtle as a supernova. They also use a whispering voice which is twenty decibles louder than their speaking voice. But it’s not just their inability that makes it sorta sweet, as sweet as incompetence can be.
It’s kinda like, when kids discover what secrets are, it’s the coolest thing in the world to them. A way to signal “You’re my best friend, so I’m telling you this fact to add to our friendiverse.” When kids share secrets it’s like… they’re giving a gift. I mean I don’t know this to be the case, but I kinda feel like my childhood secrets were like about my favorite toys, or being scared of the dark, or whatever.
The problem (one of the problems) with adulthood is that, like everything else, we take the concept of secrecy and turn it into something horrible. Adult secrets are defensive, or gossipy, or the violation of someone else’s trust. I kinda feel like if most people carried an “Erase all my Secrets” button, we’d all look like jeopardy contestants.
It could be a glorification of childhood, but I don’t think I would’ve erased my secrets when I was ten years old. I don’t remember having any secrets like that anyway (maybe my mind hit its own erase button). If you could’ve read my mind up through about my third year of college it just would’ve saved me a ton of trouble trying to communicate.
Oh and then there are the secrets that adults try to keep from kids. Santa, Dead Pets, divorce, disease, all of the horrible things that they’re going to have to deal with. I have to imagine part of the burden of being a parent is watching all of those secrets get exposed slowly but surely, and watching your kid get peeled back to the adult that was there the whole time. That must be awful.
This is unfairly negative.
There are good adult secrets. Better ones anyway. Unrequited love, dormant dreams, lifelong insecurities, although I suspect these secrets should be aired out too.
So, Beasts of the Southern Wild huh? 2 thumbs up.
Oh, point of clarification.
A friendiverse isn’t about having diverse friends. It’s the universe that you share with your friend. Each planet is a historical moment, maybe an inside joke, or a nickname. It’d be easy to say that the asteroid belts are the rocky times, but maybe they’re just comets waiting to happen? The best part is that the two of you get to decide what the constellations are, and the stories behind them.
You haven’t done this yet?
Maybe you should start.