Friday, August 24, 2012

Malia and Sasha watch Modern Family.



I heard the President say that on TV.

So?  I watch Modern Family too.  It's the funniest sitcom on television.  The shows which precede and follow it - not so much.  What do they all have in common?  I'd say they are not good for children, for one thing.  Modern Family is probably the 'straightest' show in the line up.  Why?  Because they play the family thing pretty straight - even with the gay dads and the adopted kid - and there is hardly any sexual innuendo or silly references to body parts, bodily functions, sexual activity, and so on.  The other shows are all about that - and isn't ABC Disney?  Kid's shows in prime time?  See how media corrupts our kids - and you and me?  We become very malleable, vulnerable, and tolerant - these characters become friends in a way.  (I still feel really close to Phoebe on Friends.)

Remember when Ellen came out on her show?  The parents of kids today watched that then, kids as young as Sasha watched that - and bungling Ellen won our sympathy.  Remember Will and Grace?  We watched that too - although alcoholic Karen was the best character on the show - with Jack, of course.  Entertainment is propaganda.  Archie Bunker... Maude... remember when Bea Arthur's character was trying to decide if she should get an abortion?  I vaguely do.  All of these shows turn the unmentionable into dinner conversation... lunch break banter... playground role-playing... parent's basement conversations between kids interested in sex... and I'm just talking about pre-pre-teen here.

Keeping up with the Joneses in the quest to be modern.

So our kids grow up generation after generation knowing more than their parents, and the parents, wanting to be cooler than their parents and better friends to their kids, end up thinking and saying it's all good, it's all cool.  Fast forward to the all-star kid who was told he could be whatever he wanted to be and do whatever his heart wanted to do, and love whomever he wanted to love.  The world is his and he's just fine the way he is.  If he wants to explore his sexuality - fine - use protection.  You know what I'm saying.  This style of parenting tolerates, accepts, and permits everything - "We just want you to be happy!"

Some kids are surprised after they leave home and discover not everyone is as supportive as mums and dadums was.  Their sitcom reality is not as nice or fun as they thought it would be - they are no longer the center of attention.   It takes much longer to grow up these days when parents try to be kids with their kids and no longer parent.  Kids who never heard no, much less constructive criticism, as well as harmless teasing, sometimes meet tragic ends. 

Which is why I always say, "I blame the parents" after something senseless happens.

"Christ says of these people, that they circle the earth and the sea in order to enrich their children, and they make them children of perdition twofold more than they themselves are." [Mt. 23:15] - John of the Cross 

 Question:  How did the Pied Piper take control of the children of Hamlin?

Answer:  He captivated them through entertainment and amusements...

Ed. Note: Follow up to my Getting Naked post.

12 comments:

  1. Maude's daughter was the character deciding whether to have an abortion or not. And my husband and I quit watching all but 4 channels (EWTN, FOX News, Food Network and a little HGTV...littler and littler of late) about 10 years ago...we have NEVER looked back. We are planning in a couple of years to unplug the FIOS forever. Nothing but mind numbing, soul corrupting, life sucking CRAP on almost every channel. And less time watching it provides more time for wonderful books...currently reading Caussade's classic on self-abandonment to Divine Providence, and reveling in the beauty...sure beats anything on the telly.

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    1. It really was Maude- she and her husband conceived after a night of drinking - her daughter simply convinced her to get the abortion since it was already legal in NY - the series aired a couple of months before Roe v Wade was decided.

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  2. i'm with susan. i watch some EWTN and a LOT of PBS and rent movies from blockbuster. what else is there? not a lot. just seeing commercials anymore can be an occasion of sin.

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  3. I am of the mind that one can watch what one wants. If it's not an occasion of sin and there's no kiddies around to corrupt..then who cares?

    Or maybe I'm just trying to justify being a trad who plays high magic fantasy role playing games...just not in front of the kids!

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    1. I agree - I think adults can do that too.

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  4. +JMJ+

    Let's not scapegoat the Pied Piper too much. Luring children away when every adult in town is fast asleep is, well, child's play.

    Nick Joaquin wrote a Philippine-set sequel to that folk tale in which the Piper returns to the village and offers to give back the children if the villagers make good on the original deal. I won't totally spoil the ending, but the twist is that when the children are returned, the adults realise that they don't actually want them back.

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    1. Yes - but the sleeping parents can be a metaphor too...

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  5. Pied Piper tales ought to be compared with the brilliant, "It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown". Nothing like reminding elected officials of the promises made...

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  6. Was it really Maude?...and she had the abortion??? My memory is WAY worse than I thought...I thought I remembered Adrienne Barbeau being pregnant and deciding to keep the baby...talk about confabulation! Joe Biden and I would be a great ticket, huh? We might ruin the country, but at least everybody'd be laughing.

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    1. I think there was an episode where Barbeau did that too.

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  7. I don't know this show at all, so I am going to talk about Z Cars, an old BBC series, for any nonplussed Brit reading. I bet the theme tune is going through their heads as they read my words.................................

    Terry can look it up on youtube if he feels left out.

    What?

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    1. I just watched an episode "Happy Families" about obscene photos at school. This series ran during the Mod-Rocker-Carnaby Street days - it seems very naive.

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