Monday I wrote that Congress and the FCC have kicked broadcast indecency where it hurts with hefty new fines.
I’m not a parent myself, but I’ve never been able to fathom the standards some people set for their children’s viewing habits.
Take for instance some members of my family. Their kids are in their mid to late teens now, but when they were younger their folks made some curious viewing choices for them.
Braveheart. Honestly, this slaughter-fest is the favorite of just about every consternative I know, including my family members. So, they let their young kids watch it. I have a pretty high tolerance threshold for disturbing movies, but after viewing just a small portion of this movie I turned it off. Too much wanton violence.
Ok, it also put me off because it was an ego project for Mel Gibson, who directed and produced and starred as the heroic martyr, but that’s beside the point.
The rationale for allowing the kids to watch this movie was that it was “historical.” I should have brought over my copy of Quills, about naughty writer Marquis de Sade, for the kids to watch. Historical – French Revolution, legendary writer – but also quite risqué, as is befitting the subject. How do you think this historical dandy would’ve gone over?
The real story behind the historical criteria became transparent when the kids were also allowed to add The Matrix and Spawn to their collection: Violence of any era is ok, profanity is frowned upon but fleeting, and nudity/sex are big no-no's.
Against my advice they showed their kids the brutal Starship Troopers, thinking it was a Star Wars-type movie. They all enjoyed the action/violence/mayhem but, as I was told later, they fast-forwarded through "the boobies." There is a coed shower scene in there, to my recollection, and maybe a bedroom scene or two.
I took the kids to see Black Hawk Down with their parents’ blessing, but when I took one of them, by then 16, to see V For Vendetta, that was a different story. For the latter, when I explained what movie we were going to see, the concerned parent seemed wary about the subject matter and R-rating, but reluctantly allowed me to proceed. (It if had been called V For Vagina, it would have been a guaranteed non-event.)
Black Hawk Down was a true story about heroes of the American establishment, while V For Vendetta was a satirical yarn about an anti-establishment “terrorist.” Both were quite violent. Both movies left the kids relatively unharmed, I might add.
I enjoyed talking about V4V with the kids in particular, as it allowed me to point out that both Jesus and the soldiers of the American Revolution were anti-establishment. It’s easy for patriotic Christians to forget these facts.
I don’t think I will ever understand the “logic” in allowing children to watch people causing each other pain, while forbidding them from watching two people giving each other pleasure. I’m not suggesting one should intentionally show sexual content to kids, merely that 1) it’s hypocritical (and unfathomable) to find one acceptable and not the other, and 2) that the kids will probably be ok if they see a breast or two.
The ideology thing, though, I disagree with, but get completely. It’s about maintaining the status quo and not challenging traditional ideas about what constitutes a hero and what constitutes a villain (as in V4V). Bad cowboys wear black hats and good cowboys wear white ones. And that’s how some people like it.The people I’ve described here surely welcome the new indecency fines, based on their track record. They are birds of a feather with our elected officials, who seem to be preoccupied with the evils of human flesh, but not on the evils of destroying human flesh. Why should those with such incomprehensible, hypocritical and self-serving standards determine what I can see on TV?