Don't let the name fool you -- this is not a religious paper.
There is on occasion a column devoted to promoting Christian Science,
but it is clearly marked as such and except for that, there are no
The issues are brief; my daily copies are usually 12 pages, and
the overall page size is half of the daily newspapers you receive.
Last Saturday's issue was the most important I've received. Larger
than usual, it contained an extensive year-end movie review section,
which will be invaluable to my wife and me during 2004.
Since we've sworn off television, our alternatives are reading or
watching movies; and we do watch a lot of movies, many of which have
to be screened before the kids can see them. After watching the
second "Lord of the Rings" movie, we determined that it was too
violent and had too many scary images for our 11-year-old son.
The year-end issue of the Monitor proved to be a bonanza. That
issue had their summary reviews of many movies from 2003, and while
the review board seems to have never met a documentary it didn't
like, the recaps were generally right on the money.
But more valuable than their opinions was the straight ahead
family analysis of all the flicks. Each movie was rated according to
several kid-friendly categories, including violent scenes, sexual
scenes, profanity and scenes of drinking and drugs. So, if the reader
sees a PG-13 rating, for example, and wonders how that was
determined, this list will offer a good, detailed explanation,
including the specific number of violent, sexual or drug scenes, even
the number of four-letter words spoken in the movie and whether those
words were the mild type.
PG-13 seems to be the gray area for parents. PG-13 movies are
rated as such usually because there's too much sex or sexual innuendo
or because there's too much violence. But the PG-13 rating for
violence does not take into account the difference between "real"
violence and "make believe" violence. Real violence is regular people
doing violent things to each other. The make-believe stuff is from
fictional characters doing some outrageous things.
I'm one of those who believes that most kids can make the