Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Rockula is the poignant tale of a young vampire who once failed to save the love of his life and was thereafter cursed to see her reincarnated over and over, only to be murdered every single time… by a pirate with a rhinestone covered peg leg wielding a large hambone. Okay, so it’s not really that poignant, but it is insanely loopy. Besides, who needs mopey serious vampires when you can watch this movie instead and see such sights as the legendary Bo Diddley jumping around on a stage during a rap number dressed like Goldmember or synth wizard Thomas Dolby portraying the world’s most narcissistic coffin salesman?

The prize for most bizarre appearance by a pop star in the movie, however, probably has to go to Toni Basil, that nice lady who’s been entertaining us B-movie fans ever since she first danced The Pony in Bert I. Gordon’s immortal classic Village of the Giants. For Rockula, she really lets the weird hang all out, as in this scene where her son the vampire has reluctantly brought home the latest version of his girlfriend to meet his mother.

You know, I wonder if this is how my kids see me? Um, not that I would ever do anything like dance around the living room in front of their friends wearing silly Halloween costumes. (Not that you’ll ever know about or be able to prove, anyway!) But rest assured, I’m sure I’ll do something to embarrass them over the years, so I just hope they’ll have picked up enough wisdom along the way to at least provide me with the same begrudging respect the undead Ralph shows towards his mom in Rockula. Even though she is a flaming loony.

Over the centuries Ralph seems to have learned, quite correctly, that a basic level of respect for one’s parents isn’t based on their personality, coolness, or even the material goods they provide. As the Catechism explains, “Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace… As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them.” Now keep in mind, honoring a parent isn’t the same thing as loving them. If a parent has abused you, abandoned you, or some other such thing, you may not be able to feel love for them at the moment. But the command is still there to honor them.

That’s a pretty tough demand, really. But as Fr. John Hardon wrote in his Pocket Catechism, “Underlying this obligation is the virtue of piety, or devotion to the authors of one’s being. Thus filial piety is an earthly expression of the heavenly duty to honor God, who is the primary Author of all created beings.” So let’s all keep that in mind the next time mom makes an entrance in front of our friends wearing that bustier she picked up at Hot Topic and begins to pop and lock. Humiliating or not, she’s still ours.


Anonymous said...

I bet you had to work hard to keep this one short! I'd only add that the HOW of honoring one's parents is the hard part. Formation of conscience is pretty key here. For example, before I married my parents gave me some "advice" contrary to the moral teaching of the Church which I have rightly ignored. And it's worth noting that just what topics we should seek their advice for isn't specified. Parents may have quite different ideas of HOW they get honored than their adult kids, and I think the Church is smart to give very, very few specifics. It's also a good reminder of how universal the Church is--just in my own family, the ethnic traditions & generational differences are huge enough to generate another Code of Canon Law.

Xena Catolica

EegahInc said...

Well, I admit I highlighted four paragraphs and hit delete before posting this. I was even dragging in Cordelia from King Lear. So, yeah, lots of room for tangents, but I think I settled on a decent enough sound byte version.

MissJean said...

At least she didn't enter in a cheerleader's uniform, singing "Mickey." :) Yes, I have to agree it's a good wide arena for honoring your parents. I honored my mother by letting her decide where everything went when I moved into my house - and moved it after she and Dad left. :)

EegahInc said...

"I honored my mother by..."

Well, if we're going there, I honored my parents by... on second thought, I better not go there :)

Enbrethiliel said...


It looks as if we're cross-referencing this week, Eegahinc. I did a "Twelve Things" post on Rockula (which I also enjoyed) earlier this year).

And I like the moral you've drawn here. I think I would have done something fancy and abstract, based on Ralph's alter-ego in the mirror, but this one is so much better! =)

EegahInc said...

Checked out your Rockula piece and I have to admit, I sometimes miss my 80s hair as well :)