Monday, March 06, 2006

Defending Confinement

All wealth is biological.

This post by Shannon Love (and the comments that follow) ((h/t instapundit)) tie in to the script I'm working on. She's more focused on the economic and free-riding aspect of expecting other people's children to support the economy in the next generation, but it all ties together.

My script is an adaptation of one of my stories, and one of the few where I *knew* the title and theme before I'd even written it. Defending Confinement. "Date of Confinement" is what they used to call the day that a woman went into labor.

It's morphed a bit over time and certainly has changed since I started to think of it as a movie.

Renegade belt miners have built a hardscrabble society selling ore and are attempting to expand into the middle market with the construction of an ore refinery. The corporation opposing this pushes for child welfare laws to be enforced. The miners, a bunch of brutish, near criminal men, maintain small stations where they "confine" their women and make them have children. A well meaning woman puts herself at considerable risk to infiltrate the miners and rescue the children.

The "civilized" society sees having children as *bad*. Bad for women, at the very least.

The "uncivilized" society sees children as a valuable and necessary resource, and what appears to be an oppressive patriarchy is actually a strong matriarchy. Small children are coddled in the nursery and expected to contribute once out of the nursery. As junior they study and work. At the age of 14 they begin apprenticeships and adult labor with the respect accorded any other contributing member of their community. At the age of 17 a young woman planning to be a doctor is delivering babies and assisting in the minor surgeries the miners are equipt to handle. At the age of 21 a young man is in charge of the construction of the ore refinery.

The "children" saved from this life do not consider themselves "children," nor helpless, nor in need of rescue. They are frustrated and angry at being disrespected and their opinions ignored. As things go from bad to worse they decide they have no choice but to take action, hijack the entire space station by planting explosives (they've been training to be *miners* after all) and steal a top-secret military vessel to get away.

The woman who "saved" them is forced to see the attitudes toward children that she's always taken for granted. She is frustrated that her superiors can't recognize that letting the "kids" roam the station is dangerous. Because she is pregnant she has to face the attitudes her community has toward "breeders" and the automatic loss of respect for her opinion that is part of that. She eventually crosses over to the other side, at least philosophically, and names her daughter after the child's great great grandmother, the matriarch of the belt-miners, who died during the "rescue" of the children.

She finally understands that the belt miners really meant it when they told her to collect the enormous bounty that had been on the old woman's head for 70 years because the corporation forced to pay out is the same that promoted "for the children" as a way to cripple the miners and their plans for economic expansion.

I think this is going to be a hard sell... how does one present a movie about having babies as something that will appeal to young men? Sure, it's got spaceships and violence and fighting back against "adults" who want to control you... but it's about having children.

And I think that will appeal to young men BECAUSE they've been told since they were little that having children is bad, children are consumers, that THEY are a drain on the world's resources, a hinderance to their parents, and probably shouldn't have been born. Wait! You say they weren't told that? What message is sent every time a teenager is told that having children will ruin their lives? They aren't so old that they aren't going to associate that with their own existance.

This movie would appeal on a primal level to young people, to young men, even if it is about having kids.

It probably needs a different title though.

Logline? All wealth is biological. An old feud is carried on into the next generation after an infamous space pirate is killed by a corporate agent.

Update: My friend Sandy wrote some related thoughts on her new blog a couple days ago. I could have written this post nearly word for word myself.

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