Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Left Losing the Culture War?

Interesting article that jives with others we've been commenting on. I'm pretty mixed on this topic. I don't let my kids watch MTV, but I lived through the whole Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedies brouhaha back in the eighties. I was an avowed leftist then and was absolutely freaked that people like Tipper Gore were trying to censor music and television. So on the one hand, keeping some of the crazier stupidity in entertainment (MTV in general, Jackass, Britney Spears, Survivor, Friends) away from my kids is extremely important. On the other, absolute protection of the right of those businesses and artists to make and promulgate that crap is equally important. Balancing the two is the key. While I thought the whole shindig over Janet Jackson on the Super Bowl (let alone the silly, racy comercials) was just so much stupidity, I'm realizing that, hey, maybe the broadcasters do need to be aware of the audience to which these things are being broadcast. Parents let, in this region of the planet, encourage, their kids to stay up late watching the World Series. There must be a way to ensure that the between innings (or as slow and dull as baseball is, between pitches) entertainment reflects that audience rather than mindless adherence to a time slot (the argument used for defending what's on the Super Bowl).

The main problem comes down to one of control. I control what's on the TV in the house, not the kids. So while my son desperately wants to watch "Dog Soldiers" (a really fun, horribly violent and bloody werewolf movie) he can't. We also wouldn't put "Dangerous Liaisons" on while the kids were up. However, when they're gone to a friends house, they can see stuff that they wouldn't be allowed to at home.

So what am I saying. A lot of nothing. It isn't easy being a parent, but I'm not sweating Grand Theft Auto IV: San Andreas nearly as much as I am the fact that my kid keeps saying "Yo, yo, yo." That's something to worry about.

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