Photo from Potency by Nina Maria Kleivan
You need to be conscious that your actions have consequences that impact on your fellow human beings. The people I let my daughter portray didn’t give a damn about the human cost, the casualties, their thoughts caused.
The responsibility is yours alone. You can’t throw it away – as a parent, as human beings – and say that you just followed orders.
I’ve never heard someone defend their parenting with ‘I was just following orders,’ but I’ll grant the general moral thrust makes sense. However, a lot of the import is lost by focusing on larger than life supervillains. Very few people’s children (hopefully!) will grow up to be Stalin. By contrast many people’s children will grow up to be assistant manager of environmental safety at Corporation X who one day has to decide whether to overlook a potentially dangerous chemical dumping incident that will cost there company $$$ to clean up. Or whatever.
The point is most children grow up to be evil in a tremendously boring way that, in aggregate, is tremendously harmful to society. And our focus on ultimate personifications of evil undermines the severity of your child’s actual probable transgressions — “after all, it’s not like they’re Hitler!”
So I’d like to see Kleivan’s follow-up piece with her child dressed as a human resources consultant or a Army drone operator or a condo developer. And that would actually be a ‘potent’ and controversial piece, rather than just posing as one.