Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lessons from The Sandlot

The Sandlot is one a movie that defined youth for many kids is the early 90's. Well the movie feels wholesome and sweet, with a simple kid oriented message. However if you watch the movie closely their are some underlying messages that might not be the best life lessons for young kids.

Everyman deserves a room full of trophies
Bill or umm... dad, has a room solely for his trophies, the overall feeling is that no one else is allowed in this room. Mind you their seems to be no purpose for this room other then for dad or umm...Bill to escape into his past. Mr. Myrtle also has a room full of trophies and baseball memorabilia, even though he is blind and this room was obviously set up post blindness. It's not really a bad message for a kid but it sure is going to set them up for disappointment later in life when the spare rooms becomes a guest room for his in laws, and his trophies are stuck in a molding box underneath the Christmas decorations.
I have a secret closest inside our closest...don't tell B!
No one has parents or responsibilities.
Now I am not suggesting that children should be slaves for their parents, but these kids never have parental guidance. Smalls is the only person in the entire movie who we are even sure has parents, the rest of these kids probably just sleep in the clubhouse every night. You know that random tree house on what I assume is public property overlooking peoples houses. From the actions/decorations of the clubhouse we know that the sandlot boys "own" the place, but when was it built and by who and who thought it was OK and reasonable to build a tree house in the middle of a decaying baseball field? We never hear of any repercussions for any of the kids after the chewing tobacco incident or the pool incident. They just keep playing baseball at 8am, until dark. These kids apparently don't eat, don't do chores, don't have doctors appointments, don't go on vacation, don't have any mandatory family events to attend.

They had no parents, so who took this picture?
They also have no money, understanding that $.98 baseball would be $6.79 today (that's an expensive baseball) but they Benny manages to pay for everyone at the fair, they have money for soda's, and they collect bottles for a ball later the same day they complain about not having $.98, why did no one mention the bottle thing before Smalls went and destroyed history?

Anything can be learned instantly
One of the main points reinforced early in the movie is that Smalls can't catch or throw. But then Benny explains both these activities to him in what might be 23seconds of screen time and boom Smalls can catch and throw just as well as the other kids, whom crush the local baseball team. So yes this to me says Smalls is a baseball prodigy, years and years of practice by the other kids is equaled by Smalls in a matter of seconds.
So if I blindly stick my hand in the air the ball will fall in it, that's simple enough.
He is never even shown being taught how to swing a bat yet the first (and only) time in the movie he hits the ball over the fence. And if that's not enough, a fat ginger kid can keep up with seven skinny kids in what had to have been at least a two mile run.

Fiddling with stuff is stupid
Judging by how quickly Smalls picks up on things, his mother dis-encouragement towards his scientific and technological endeavors were significantly misguided. Instead of growing up to invent robots, or cure cancer we got another sports report wearing a stupid hat. Smalls was a smart kid (straight A's, into science, good with mechanics) essentially he had all the tools to be a great scientist working on the worlds problems. If it wasn't for his mom encouraging him to get in trouble, she would have probably been able to live out her days in a beach side mansion in Malibu rather then sending her journalist son money for his rent.
"Seriously Scotty, Hank the milkman will be here in five minutes and I need you to leave."
If you are a mother and have a young boy and he enjoys school, engineering and science, shut your mother trap and let the kid play with his "stuff." It'll work out for you a lot better then raising a sports writer whose greatest thrill in life is his millionaire friend winking at him after stealing home.

Girls are inferior (I never said the lesson weren't true)
"You play ball like a girl," is more offensive then saying "you bob for apples in the toilet...and you like it." In fact playing ball like a girl is reacted to by both sides as if he just said something so offensive that to describe an equivalent here would require me to mark my blog 18+. Not only that but girls are only good for one thing, tricking into kissing and then creating a pedo-lifeguard (are we suppose to assume Wendy Peffercorn waiting 8 years before making her move on squints?)
Think how the internet destroyed life for small town hotties, no one cares about these girls anymore we have a whole world of girls to look at. Poor girls.
Heroes get remembered but legends never die 
And apparently never get in trouble for causing thousands of dollars in damage. First we have the tobacco incident, where the kids throw up all over a slew of innocent bystanders, we have all the broken shit like vacuums pots and robots, what else... Oh yeah we have a destroyed celebration, including a table full of food and a cake, not to mention the stilt walker dude has at least a broken arm at worst he is just flat out dead. Then we have a broken window and a destroyed projection screen. We have the mess of the alley way and the dents in the cars that we're ran on. And then for the grand finale we have the fence being destroyed. and how did this all begin you ask, oh with just an innocent act of trespassing. So all together we have Trespassing, vandalism, destruction of property, public disturbance and manslaughter. And what happens as a result of all this? Oh, Smalls gets grounded for a week (but that's because of the baseball) and...and...and absolutely nothing.
If a dog is trying to kill you and gets stuck, don't flee to safety, no free the beast (pun) and just hope for the best.

So for all the kids in the world remember, you can do whatever you want and their are no consequences, and if you destroy a family heirloom you will simply be rewarded with an even better artifact from a blind guy who just happens to have more baseball memorabilia then they have in Cooperstown.



  1. you know nothing about living a good childhood... shame on you

  2. In order, the movie explanation of all these:
    1. Unites the father figures in movie
    2. Provides room for plot
    3. Pacing
    4. It was summer, not school-time
    5. Girls ARE inferior
    6. Ridiculous comedy

  3. Well I believe you to just be trolling, as I am obvious aware of the cinematic elements of the movie. I must tip my hat to your #5 "Girls ARE inferior" comment, Bravo sir, bravo!

  4. do you really have nothing better to do than tear apart a great movie..... maybe they didnt get caught because its a movie.... its not reality