The other night I rented and watched the 2006 film Children of Men, which is about a futuristic dystopian world in which humans are no longer able to procreate--until one woman mysteriously shows up pregnant. Clive Owen and his ex-wife Julianne Moore (who happens to be a wanted terrorist) team up to help spirit her to safety.
Even though I had started the DVD much too late in the evening, I found myself unable to stop watching, even as the clock ticked closer to midnight. (I can't stay up past midnight! I have two small imps. Notably absent in this film, as the youngest person on the planet is all of 18.) The film was deeply compelling and very difficult to watch, especially if one has ever had a newborn child and has witnessed their fragility firsthand. (For those who may be scared off, the baby sustains no injury.) At one point the tension was so great I started crying. DON'T HURT THE PREGNANT WOMAN! FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T TOUCH THAT BABY!
As powerful as this film was, it did leave some questions unanswered for me. It was very concerned with the political climate that results in this post-children world, and of course less so with some of the more crucial issues at stake. I found myself wondering what the world would really be like with no children:
• Would people insist in dressing their cats and dogs in cloying little outfits sold by specialty boutiques?
• Would tiny baby springbok and leopards sold in China become the new status symbol?
• Would fart and poo jokes become the provenance of the old?
• What happens to Mattel, Inc.?
• How long would the fires from all the unwanted Disney, Elmo, Thomas, etc. DVDs and cassettes burn, and would the smoke contribute to global warming?
• Would Depends co-opt the marketing ploys of Huggies and Pampers by putting characters of interest to adults on their products, such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears?
• Would they finally leave the gay people alone and let 'em get married if they want to?
• Would clowns who make "animal balloons" start to use all the leftover condoms to save some money, only to then realize they were out of a job anyway?