Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

I Was a Teenage Padawan

with 4 comments

Yesterday it was Ahmed Best; today it’s Jake Lloyd, who says the Phantom Menace made his life a “living hell.”

The mere existence of child actors, it should be said, is strongly at odds with just about every other ideological formation we have regarding childhood; I’m pretty sure we’ve all decided to just overlook the contradiction entirely on the grounds that we like having movies to watch.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

4 Responses

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  1. How do you mean, is strongly at odds with our ideological constructs involving childhood? My girlfriend is a academically gifted teacher, so I always hear stories about parents who push their children into extracurricular activities like music, chinese school, or above-grade-level tutoring, and it all seems to be very competitive as to whose child is the smartest or the biggest prodigy. I’m inclined to see child actors as a similar phenomenon, as parents using their kids for prestige of some sort. What ideological constructs are you referring to?

    Since I haven’t posted here before, I feel obliged to say I lvoe your blog. Thanks for keeping it!


    March 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    • I was thinking more of our ideas of childhood as a time of pure innocence in which one is protected from all the ills of the adult world, chief among them sex and work. But you’re right, the other strain is definitely there as well. Perhaps I should have said that half our ideological constructs about childhood are in conflict with the other half…


      March 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

      • That makes sense, although I think ideological constructs concerning the innocence of childhood tend to be applied more to people’s own vanished childhoods. It seems to go more hand in hand with nostalgia and the idea of a former golden age than what we think about how current children behave and interact with the world and what we expect from children. The archetype of today’s children is less Leave It to Beaver or Little Women or what have you than this image of someone who is jaded by video games, violent television, and ADD drugs. Or, going back to my original post, this idea of basically a tiny adult who is overscheduled and pushed to succeed from age 3. This is what I see going on, anyway. What do you think?


        March 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

  2. “Lloyd felt so much anger towards the George Lucas directed film that he destroyed all of his Star Wars memorabilia, and only reprised his role as Anakin for five video games.”

    Just sayin’.

    Josh K-sky

    March 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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