Dangerous Lunch Post

12.17.10

My parents claim I wasn’t allowed toy guns when I was a child, but that’s revisionist history. I’m sure they meant to forbid them, but somehow forgot…or, more likely, were overwhelmed by my stubbornness and aggressive, only-child brattiness. I loved weaponry and crushed their feeble attempts to raise me as a pacifist. Not that I was violent, but I was a Star Wars kid, my personal mythologies populated by the imagination of George Lucas…and Ray Harryhausen, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard….

My son is the same. He’s not a mean kid, or a violent one. In fact, his pre-school teachers noted his empathy and “defining sense of justice,” (which to me meant “Jedi”). But he loves high-testosterone adventure stories, action movies and books. When he plays with his best friends, they create endless scenarios of warfare against ogres, dragons, evil robots, and, of course, girls. Ben churns out posters for movies that play only in his imagination, of alien armies and magical combat in amazing variations. He has an arsenal in his room of Nerf rifles, plastic swords, battle axes, home-made spears and maces. And the tiny plastic guns from the Star Wars toys of my childhood, which I never lost and which he now plays with, keeping them, no doubt, for his son.

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