This was supposed to be the absolute Holy Fucking Grail. Never before, it seemed, had an opportunity such as this crossed my path: a 20 minute educational film from the 1970s concerning sex ed for retarded kids, or “trainables,” if you want to sound even more barbaric. Even better, the whole thing was deadly serious, produced by none other than Planned Parenthood! Such a concept seems airtight and without the possibility of failure, but as with just about everything in this life, the anticipation exceeded the outcome. I couldnít remember being as excited as when I first heard about this short filmís existence, as anything to do with the retarded automatically shoots to the top of my “to do” list. Let it be said, however, that while the film is worth seeing, and can be accessed on the DVD The Educational Archives: Volume 1, Sex & Drugs, donít expect to fall off your couch with laughter. Youíre more likely to be nauseated, disturbed, and outraged.
The film begins with an ominous soundtrack and the footsteps of a young retarded girl lost in “thought” on the streets of an unnamed city. A car approaches, and, being retarded, the girl waltzes over to the open window, where a strange man asks to fondle her hair. Moments later, the girl gets into the car and is driven away, presumably to a remote location to be touched, raped, and left for dead. Now Iím certain that thereís no way to teach a retarded person that itís not a good idea to ride with strangers (especially if that stranger offers velvet and pet mice to stroke), but the message is clear Ė- if this poor girl had only received sex education, she might be alive today. Blitzed out of her hamster-like mind with no hope of a better life, happiness, or fulfillment — but alive.
We then meet a nasty, perverted man who is our narrator; a tour guide through this house of horrors. He usually refers to the submentals as “trainables,” but isnít above using a word like “retardates” if necessary. The sketches that follow are stilted, demented, and oh-so-creepy, but they are entertaining, even if they donít elicit the gut-wrenching guffaws that one would expect. A young man (who, like the ebay salesman of this tape said, looks like Son of Sam) wakes up with a start and tells some dude who is a dead ringer for Fred Goldman, “Iím all wet and sticky.” Mr. Goldman reassures the lad, despite the fact that the Ďtard looks decidedly older than the man performing the lecture. We are left to guess how the poor sap removed the sticky substance, however.
We also witness a freckle-faced young man jerk off in his bed, only to be caught by his mother. The sweet lady tells the boy that itís okay, and even says, “It felt good, didnít it?” She talks and talks about how normal such things are, oblivious to the fact that the initial embarrassment of being caught does not even approach the humiliation of being given an extended talking to by oneís mother as oneís pants are around oneís ankles. The scene ends with a disturbing close-up of the boyís face; a shot that is held for a good 45 seconds. We can only assume that the dolt remains rock hard beneath the covers.
A few more retards role-play, demonstrating that boundaries must be respected and, to the contrary of Lenny from Of Mice and Men, it is not okay to stroke anything so long as it is at least partially covered in fur. [Ed Note: Of Mice and Men is a book] Only a few of these dimwits look genuinely retarded, as Planned Parenthood no doubt had a limited budget and couldnít afford to employ actual Ďtards who would no doubt fuck up take after take. But the non-retarded are at the very least severely handicapped, as even Stella Adler couldnít produce such a committed, genuine group of performers.
So what is accomplished? Is it at all worth the time and frustration to attempt such things, even if mainstreaming is a remote possibility? I for one am not convinced that the retarded of this film learned a damn thing, as witnessed by a pinheaded girl who simply could not stop touching her nether regions, despite the firm hand of a teacher who just might have been Angela Davis. They might be able to repeat words like “penis,” “vagina,” and “jizz,” but these terms will rarely be used in the proper context and will instead be added to a long list of non-sequiters that are shouted out during inappropriate times.
Planned Parenthood should be applauded for trying to keep the unfit from breeding, but can we really expect a young man who is unable to keep his hand out of his own excrement to slip on a condom as his genitals heat up for battle? This video might be better served if it were followed by a renewed push to sterilize the sloped forehead set, featuring extended excerpts from Oliver Wendell Holmesí landmark opinion in Buck v. Bell, worthy of being quoted at length:
“We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”
Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11.
Three generations of imbeciles are enough. Shine on you crazy diamond.