The “Talk”

I’ve spent a fair measure of my time recently painfully reliving my tween years: I’ve been covering the Legislature while it debates a statewide sex education mandate.

Unlike the subject, the legislative discussion gets a little, um, sterile.

Luckily, there’s a DVD. You hear about it every now and then at the Capitol. Its formal title is “The Talk, An Intercourse on Coming of Age.” It’s a school video that’s mentioned as a potential element of a sex-ed curriculum.

captaincondom.JPGIt’s occasionally referred to by lawmakers as the “Captain Condom video.”

It really isn’t clear how many who talk about the video have actually seen it. The teenagers in the actual “Captain Condom” scene actually decide it’s best to abstain from sex. Or pretty much from sex. But they take a rather awkwardly hilarious route to that conclusion.

“Kids are really engaged with it,” says Catherine Conzet, development director at the Minneapolis-based Youth Performance Company, which produced the video. “It’s something that teenagers won’t roll their eyes at, like other videos… They’re horrible, and they’re usually written by adults. This one was predominantly written by teenagers.”

It first ran in YPC’s 2004-2005 season, and subsequently reappeared at the Fringe Festival, as did the other YPC smash hit: Goddess Menses and the Menstrual Show. Conzet said the YPC filmed “The Talk” for DVD because the demand for the production to tour was so high that they worried that the cast wouldn’t get their school work done if they took the show on the road.

“We’ve sold the DVD in 28 states,” Conzet says. “They’re showing it in India and South America.”

As a rule, we don’t typically recommend sex education films here at Minnesota Public Radio News. But since Bob Collins is on vacation and I’ve got the run of the place, I thought I’d urge the gentle readers of News Cut to decide for themselves just what Minnesota’s youth might actually be learning at school.

Click on the play button below to see the video. The clip runs about 5:20 and the second-best line is the last one.