Wednesday, April 04, 2007

So much for spitballs

Once upon a time, when an elementary or high school classroom was left unattended by a teacher for a few minutes, a few crazy things would happen. When the cat's away, the mice will play, right? Spitballs would fly, perhaps a tack or whoopee cushion would be placed in the teacher's chair. In my case, on the occasions this would happen, a few friends and I would break out some cards and play poker. Some people did really crazy things: I remember one kid who used a rubber band to shoot paper clips at others, and other who stuck a paper clip into an electrical outlet (ouch!).

These activities are too tame, now. Apparently, the in thing to do is to
have group sex in front of the rest of the class (follow the link to read a news story on this). Five 5th graders - I'm talking 11 and 12 year old kids - in New Orleans have been charged with obscenity for doing just this. I must say, I'm shocked.

Okay, maybe I'm not shocked. We live in a society where the line between the normal, the acceptable, and perhaps slightly entertaining actions of people is blurred and shifted into the unacceptable. What is considered too far? Brant Hansen
just blogged about something along these lines, talking about Britney Spears. With her, it's apparently acceptable to the public for her to party all night, flash her crotch, kiss Madonna, and act like a tramp. But if she shaves her head or (gasp) forgets to buckle up her toddler in the car, then she is considered to have crossed the line. I agree with Brant when he avers that the line was crossed long ago for her, and for many others as well. Given this state of acceptable celebrity behavior, is it really any surprise that kids will do what they see?

Mrs. Euphrony has a big problem with "adult" cartoons. She readily recognizes that they are made with adult themes for more mature audiences to watch; what bothers her is the presentation of these shows in a child-friendly medium. Not only are cartoons child-friendly, they are enticing and enthralling to younger children. For example, last night the family went to get some ice cream and the place we went had a TV that was showing King of the Hill. Seeing a cartoon, Lil'E was immediately enthralled by the show and, as she watched, was exposed to at least two curse words and other situations I did not what her exposed to. All this, over rainbow sherbet with mini marshmallows. I loved The Simpsons but I refuse to watch it, now, because I don't want my kids watching it. I know it's for adults, and contains more mature themes, but the point it that they don't know that. So I'll agree with Mrs. E that these adult cartoons (whether intentionally or unintentionally) pander to the humor of the mature and to the distortion of morals for the younger viewer. We regularly eat at a pizza place which has the Simpson's video game. Every time we leave there, I'm having to explain to Lil'E (who loves to watch the games) that it is not okay for her to hit other people, even if she hates them (her exact question). I try to stear her to Ms. Packman, instead.

And, in case you're wondering, cigarette companies were taken to task in court for similar practices and beer companies may soon feel the same wrath. The wrath of people who object to the undue influence these people have over their children, but bask in the influence of pop stars and the "famous for being famous".

One more thought in this little rant. On Brant's post, and in another recently, I replied with the following observation and question. I think it bears more consideration than it has been given by anyone I've seen. Harkening back a couple of years to the famous nipple-gate incident of the 2004 Super Bowl, lets consider the outrage that ensued. Was the horror and shame in the accidental exposure of a woman's breast? (Tell me that the search engines are not filled with people looking for just this accidental exposure of their favorite stars.) Or was the terrible part of the incident that it was done acting out a part of the song basically describing violence against women? (Justin Timberlake sang about ripping her clothes off, and then proceeded to forcibly grab her and do just that.) Or was the true tragedy that we only noticed the nipple and not the violence?

Sex in the classroom - not so shocking anymore, is it?

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1 comment:

Anne said...

I'm soooo glad I homeschool. :)

As it relates to cartoons/t.v. shows - my motto is... if it's not appropriate for my kids to watch, I guess it's not appropriate for me.

I've noticed too that cartoons almost always depict men (fathers) as being stupid and the women (mothers) as being the wiser of the two. The parents in general are always more stupid than the kids.

I believe turning away from God and losing sight of His plan is the cause of the behavior of mankind. When I was younger I had been taught right from wrong in some form but we all have varying degrees of what's right and what's wrong especially when we're not turning to God for the "standard". My parents taught me certain things were wrong but the one thing they failed in... was teaching me "WHY" - they couldn't tell my why then, nor can they today. My opinion was... so what if it's wrong, I'm doing it anyway. Whey does it matter?

I teach MY children "WHY" and that God's word is the standard by which we measure all things. The only Truth upon which we can rely. I can't imagine the amount of sorrow He feels when He is continually rejected.

Okay, so I ranted on your rant. Sorry.

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