Friday, May 10

Cookie Monster did not make us fat.

This afternoon I was thinking about how people blame children’s TV for the problems of a generation...or perhaps excuses or reasons for personal choices or problems.
(But then there are people whose job it is to look for reasons and excuses…)

I was thinking how this attitude is both amusing and alarming.

Amusing; because it is ridiculous to think that kids don’t know the difference between reality and imagination. This is where kids rule!!! They are masters of the imagination and totally get that TV is not real.

“Yeah, mum, don’t worry, I know that is not real blood and the actor is ok…duh!”

Alarming; because it highlights the depth of the lack of responsibility for self that is dominant in our culture.

Blame the politicians, the media, the doctors, the teachers, the capitalist bastards and if all else fails blame the kids TV shows!

When I think back to the media I watched as a kid, before there was so much political correctness in TV programming, before there were ratings on movies, I really don’t see how watching any of it damaged me or formed my opinions.

We were exposed to the whole gamut of TV and movies; blood and guts (Mad Max,  Jaws,) really sexist attitudes (The Brady Bunch, The Dukes of Hazard ), racism(Love thy Neighbour, Benny Hill), homophobia etc and we didn’t grow up believing all that shit!

I loved Bert and Ernie but they didn't make me Gay. In fact I thought they were a lovely couple.

BUT Elmo shits me!!!
Friggen talk like a real kid, Elmo!
None of my kids talked about themselves in third person or talked like a pathetic moron…actually, come to think about it… Elmo wasn’t even on Sesame Street when I used to watch it…maybe he’s the problem and should be banned!!!

My kids watch heaps of TV and play heaps of computer games and they are not fat or violent or stupid.

It's not the show's our kids watch, or even the amount of screen time that's affecting them.

It's the other influences in their lives.

What are our kids’ biggest influences?

That’d be us!
Their parents.
And if they go to school their teachers and peers…

My parents taught me that racism sucks!
They taught me that homophobia sucks!
I heard my parents more than I ever heard the stupid messages broadcast from the box. But the exposure to the “other” messages made me aware of the choices that other people made.

I also educated myself about most things.
I wasn’t going to be a rat in a cage responding to the stimuli of scientists, I was going to be a free-thinking, self-determining, indi-fucking-vidual!

No babe is born with fear ruling their lives. They come into this world trusting, knowing that they will be loved and cared for.
They are not born with hate coursing through their veins. They are born in a state of love.
Any negative, hateful, fear based reaction that our children show has been taught.

It's time for adults to take self-responsibility for their choices, time to let kids make their own decisions without our fears guiding/ shaping/ teaching / hurting them.

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