Obvious Child

“I’m accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I’m a dog who’s lost its bite
I don’t expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don’t expect to sleep through the night.”

From Obvious Child, a 1990 song by Paul Simon, part of the album The Rhythm of the Saints, recorded in Brazil and featuring the drumming collective Olodum.

It features what might be called Paul Simon’s intentionally vague metaphors, the reason his lyrics are so very layered.

It inspired a 2014 romantic comedy film of the same name. The film stars Jenny Slate as a brutally candid stand up comic who brings her most raw, personal issues to her act, until she faces a breakup, job loss, and pregnancy from a drunken one-night stand that turns out to be something much more.

Some critics called it the most honest depiction of abortion since the 1972 episode of “Maude”, which came one year prior to Roe v. Wade. No matter what you believe, the movie delivers a sensitive portrayal of the challenges in this situation for a 20-something modern woman, with comedy, without judgement.

A Kickstarter campaign helped writer/director Gillian Robespierre get her first feature film to the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014.

“The cross is in the ballpark.”

 

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66 Responses to Obvious Child

  1. I remember the Maude episode, Van, but didn’t see the movie with Slate. And, of course, I grew up with Simon and Garfunkle. I’m concerned about women’s rights to control their own bodies and a family’s’ right to family plan without government intervention.

    • You know, I watched the enthusiasm of those pro-life marchers, thinking they have friends in the White House now. It made me sad. I’m old enough to remember the horror stories, D. I hope the message is conveyed to younger generations, who don’t have the same frame of reference. Thanks.

      • I’m with you, Van. I used to work with poor struggling families who couldn’t care for the children they had. Not only does the government want to force more children on these families, by making birth control harder to acquire and denying them family planning, but they want to cut the entitlements that help these kids get their basic needs met. I could go on and on and on with examples from my own experiences. It’s sad and shameful.

      • Thanks for sharing, D. Yours are not isolated stories. Shameful is the right word.

  2. Erika Kind says:

    I never heard this song before! I love it! Thanks for this, Van!

  3. Brilliant video and yes Paul Simon and Garfunkle wrote some amazing music and lyrics.. πŸ™‚ And D Wallace Peach said my own thoughts here Van xxx

  4. Thank you for this post, Van. Well done. Sharing. Huge hugs.

  5. The sad thing is that planned parenting is not only about abortion. As a matter of fact I believe that planned parenthood has actually reduced the need for abortion because women have access to birth control pills. Now some men feel that they know better….

  6. Labels often create a false belief and misinterpretation of one’s convictions. Those supporting women and their right to decide the outcome of an unborn child would probably feel uncomfortable supporting the concept of repetitive abortions as a simple means of birth control. Conversely, those supporting the rights of the unborn child would probably feel uncomfortable watching a woman impregnated through rape ultimately die from complications during an unwanted delivery. It’s not just about Pro woman’s right vs Pro unborn child’s right. Yet we feel the need to demonize one or the other groups. What gives us the right to judge another person’s meaningful conviction? This approach places this incredibly emotional topic into a BLACK or WHITE lens. To deny that shades of grey exist contributes to the incredible divisiveness our country is currently experiencing. We need to learn to RESPECT each other even if we vehemently disagree.

  7. I love Paul Simon. He’s a cool dude. 😊

  8. I have beautiful memories of Simon and Garfunkels first album. I danced all night to it with a lovely man.😊

  9. I love the music. πŸ™‚

  10. George says:

    Very well said and reinforced, Van.

  11. joey says:

    I’ve seen the Maude episode, but I’ve never seen the Obvious Child film. Never even heard about it.
    I’m big on women’s health. Planned Parenthood was there for me when I was young and didn’t have insurance — got my yearly and my birth control and, once, some antibiotics for a nasty ear infection. They were there again when I was older and did have insurance. They were conveniently located on my way to The Mister’s work. So on my way to pick him up, I stopped in, and Planned Parenthood told me I was going to have my Moo. ❀
    I have always supported the cause when I could, either through donation or volunteerism. To me, these are dark times.

    • They were the first ob/gyn connection for me and so many young students at the time. It is dark that folks refuse to see all the good that they do. I only found out about the movie when doing research about the song. It was available on youtube, and maybe Netflix.

  12. The V Pub says:

    One of my favorite albums. His words are brilliant, as they can mean so many things to so many people.

  13. dgkaye says:

    Funny, I’m just reading one of Carrie Fisher’s books – Wishful Drinking, where she talks about her then husband Paul Simon, and she said many of the songs on that album, he wrote about her. πŸ™‚

  14. Wow I have never heard of this movie and vaguely remember the episode.Interesting post Van!

  15. I will have to watch this movie, Van. I have not seen it yet. Great post and I thank you because I’m really into watching good movies when it is nasty outside. I’m writing the title down now so I don’t forget. πŸ™‚ ❀

  16. Ipuna Black says:

    I’ve never heard of the song or the movie, but I’m a fan of honest feelings and emotions from everyday life. Thanks for sharing!❀️​

  17. Steph McCoy says:

    Were it not for Planned Parenthood when I was in my early 20s I wouldn’t have had access to medical care at that time in my life.

  18. Wonderful post thank you.

  19. amommasview says:

    I strongly believe in the right to choose abortion. I know that there is a grey zone and I struggle with the idea of late abortion but also there: It’s the choice a mother to be has to make. Personally I would most likely not choose this option but I understand women who do. Thanks for sharing this. Love Paul Simon and this song. I have not watched any of the movies you’ve mentioned but might do it now. Thanks for sharing, Van.

  20. Bernadette says:

    No matter where you stand on abortion, all women should stand together for the right to control your own body. RESIST!

  21. Rowena says:

    I haven’t had to think about many of these issues for a very long time. However, my daughter turns 11 and it bears thinking about from that perspective. I don’t believe in abortion as a personal thing but I haven’t been in that situation and I feel it needs to be accessible in a safe medical setting. Too many women have paid with their lives in the past.
    I can’t talk about people not educating their kids about sexuality because while we spoke to our son, I haven’t had “the chat” with our daughter yet. Need to start looking into that.
    I’d also like to add that young people do impulsive, split-second things and take stupid risks in so many areas of their lives which see them become a statistic e.g. on the roads. I personally would like to see a compassionate society who had some understanding of that rather than harsh judgement.
    xx Rowena

  22. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week 2017 – #6 | A Momma's View

  23. vinnieh says:

    An excellent song that stays in the head.

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