Sunday, June 12, 2005

drawing the line

[to see my more recent posts click the word "pampering" at the top of the page]

This morning I experienced my first true parental moral dilemma.

The kids were in the front room playing a PlayStation game. Since I consider myself to be a liberal-thinking, modern progressive type of parent, I had no problem with them playing the game “Simpsons Hit And Run”, and why not, it’s funny.

My 10-year-old daughter had been watching MTV in the kitchen, probably for the MTV Movie Awards. When she went to join her brother at the PS2, I stayed in the kitchen, and the TV stayed on.

At 10am on a Sunday morning, a new MTV cartoon called “Drawn Together” began. I was busy doing things around the kitchen but in the bits I could see I noticed it was a fusion of classic cartoon characters and reality TV. Quite clever. I noticed different old classic characters being lampooned, such as Betty Boop, Family Guy, The Little Mermaid, Pokemon, even Spongebob Squarepants is in there. It sounded good.

Then I noticed the dialogue. The Little Mermaid character was talking about a dream she was having, and in the dream she was fantasizing about french-kissing the fit black female r&b singer Foxxy Love. In the cartoon we are treated to a full enactment of said kissing.

Then later on Foxxy Love herself gives all the other characters a lesson in the birds and the bees, with a way-too-grammatically-correct demonstration provided by a couple obviously copied from Family Guy.

This show looks hilarious, but I am annoyed that is was shown early on a Sunday morning. I want to complain to someone, I want to do something about it, but I’m afraid of sounding like, well, like my grandparents! Surely it’s not unreasonable to object to this material being shown at this hour.
Is it???


Buffalo said...

I think the answer depends upon the person answering your question.

I know my parents censored nothing I read or watched. Not because they didn't care but because they didn't believe in censorship.

BUT the most graphic that was easily available didn't amount to a hill of beans by todays standards.

I didn't censor my kid. There was more available. Can't really say how that turned out.

I believe there is age appropriate, but don't know the age or what is appropriate.

So glad it is you, rather than me, with the dilema to solve. Good luck.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I think as a parent you've got to censor. I learned that the hard way when my then two-year old flew planes into his toy barn for a solid year after 9-11. He only saw a short bit of it because the buildings were falling and I was watching it live and couldn't turn away for a second.

So you just have to be a parent and tell 'em to turn it off. It sucks, but there you are.

Michèle said...

I've never heard of or seen this program, but its content sounds pretty extreme to me . . . at least as a kids' program. The entertainment industry is about money, though, not values, so I'm not too surprised. I guess you either have to censor or give your kids heavy doses of the values you want them to grow up with. I would think that censoring is pretty tough, though. You can censor this program, but when the kids change the channel they'll find another program just like it. There's just too many inappropriate messages out there these days. You've got your work cut out for you. Good luck!

shandi said...

Saturday morning cartoons just aren't what they used to be. Where's "School House Rock"?
I say "Censor Away"!!! They're going to get it somewhere.... let it be from you.
btw: watch the PS2 games as well...there are some highly inappropriate things on there as well.

Windy Wisdom said...

It has been a few years since my kids were that young but nothing has changed. If you are uncomfortable with the content than it is your parental right and obligation to censor and also to verbalize your concern to the powers that be. Never feel that you will be accused of being like your parents or grandparents. Apparently something they did worked our right for you. Lots of luck.

Mike Todd said...

That show used to play on Comedy Central around 10 or 11 at night over here. I think it got cancelled after less than a season. So if you can just distract your kids for a few more weeks, the situation might just work itself out on its own.

fairygirl701 said...

I remember seeing it on Comedy Central too. Just from seeing it that one time, I wouldn't let anyone under 10 maybe 12 watch it!!

James Howard Shott said...

It is every parent's responsibility to control what their children are exposed to on TV, Radio and in music and the movies.

We all have different levels of tolerence for these materials. Some of us allow children to watch/ listen to virtually anything, while others are more restrictive.

Personally, I think the longer we can protect a child's innocence, the better it is for the child. By the time they hit junior high/middle school, their peers will exponse them, at least a little, to the seamier material. It's almost unavaoidable, unless the child goes to a private school.

Say what you want, children are affected by what goes into their ears and eyes. The younger they are, the greater the effect. That is mitigated by what their parents teach them about right and wrong, by what's acceptable and what isn't. If parents are determined to not let little Johnny or Mary grow up to be on welfare, have their bodies tatooed and pierced, talk like tramps and punks, murder, steal and lie, the parents can deter that behavior.

But the parents have to be serious about guiding their children's development. If they believe that means "censoring" (an inappropriate term in this context) what the children see and hear, so be it. If that means the children get punished when they cross the line, punish them.

In the end, you'll be glad you did, and society will be a better place because your children are good people.