Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inappropriate Cartoons

Visiting WB Animation this A.M., I got a chance to see the new Warners theatrical shorts featuring the classic Warners characters. They run along the lines of the recent Coyote and Roadrunner 3-D cartoons that hit theaters over the past year.

And to let you know, this new crop is excellently done and very funny. But of course they have ... how do I put this delicately? ... a lot of creative Warner Bros. violence. (When you have heavy kitchen implements and large pianos falling from high places, what can you expect?)

After I got through laughing and wiping the moisture from my eyes, I fell into a conversation with a staffer about how it's nice that a large conglomerate can allow Termite Terrace style mayhem to occur on the silver screen in this day and age. (I asked: "Were these things focus grouped? Tested?" The answer was "No.")

And that led to what is and isn't politically correct in 2011, and how good old-fashioned cartoon socking and knocking is often balm for the soul. And then later in the afternoon I saw this:

The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. ... "Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth."

Storylines involving cocaine and crystal meth? The Council says that like it's a bad thing.

But I have a solution for the prudish, priggish and faint-hearted: If parents think Family Guy and American Dad are polluting little Johnny's and Tiffany's minds, maybe they should monitor what their children are watching. Or better yet, turn the flat screen off.

See, television isn't the end-all and be all. There are these great new things called books that force children to use their imaginations. And the great thing is, you can sit down with them anywhere. (Oh, wait. I guess you can do that with the teevee, as well.)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fringe right in this country (mostly religious right winged kooks) have taken so-called "political correctness" to the furthest extremes with this sort of silliness. They should shut up and focus on their lives, not butt into everyone else's. This is America, a secular country. Not a politically correct theocracy, christian or otherwise.

Worrying about stuff like this is going to make the Country BETTER? I think not.

Pray to any invisible guy in the sky you want, but leave the rest of us out of it.

Anonymous said...

Amen!!

Anonymous said...

Though I am Christian, I just can't stand the fact that the PTC is just loony. What, are parents too lazy to even tell their kids not to watch those "violent" TV shows?

So sad.

Anonymous said...

I agree. As a child, I found the incredible bloodletting and sex in the bible as entertaining as Roman and Greek history!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can change the channel or totally turn off the TV in my home , do everything in my power to encourage my kids to read, draw, paint, explore other creative activities besides sitting passively in front of crude TV cartoons, but then my kids have to go to school and interact socially with the TV-brainwashed morons whose parents aren't as smart or cultured as me. So that junk from MacFarlane, etc. does subtly infect my kids too , through their peers. At a certain point what they pick up from their peers is way more significant than any influence they're getting from their parents. So that is a disingenuous argument to suggest that the solution is simply "don't like it , then don't watch it". Anyone who really believes that has never parented children and doesn't understand the power of peer influence in the media-saturated social networking world we live in. Just try that simple-minded idea of "Turn off the TV and tell Junior to go read a good book" when all his friends are telling him he should be watching a certain show and he picks up on the fact that if he's not watching that show then he's not cool , not "in" with the group, because he's not getting their references and in jokes. And then you get to be cast in the role of the Mean Ol' Parent who says no. Isn't that great how that works ?

Anonymous said...

^Agree with the above. It's so easy to say, "Turn it off!" and gee, that might have worked in the 1950's. But it's a media-saturated world today, and much of that media is powered by folks who don't give a damn about kids' welfare, sensibilities, morals, or what have you. They just want their money.

I'm not a parent, but I feel sorry for anyone who is. It's a hell of a world to try to raise a kid in and to try to instill in him/her any kind of moral fiber whatsoever. The media sharks are everywhere, and they're always hungry.

As for the Warner toons, as long as there isn't any gunplay or bombs in them, I daresay most people won't object.

yahweh said...

Sure, your kids will see anything they want to and make decisions about what to watch that you don't agree with, but guess what? If you've done your job of parenting it won't matter what your kids see on TV. Either you've raised a good kid who will grow up to be a productive member of society or you haven't.

I just love the fact that the same people that scream about "too much government" and how "the government shouldn't be in charge of anything" are so quick to want the government to help raise their children (and decide what you can and can't do in the privacy of your own home).

Stop worrying about whether you're the mean parent or not. As long as your kid is a kid he needs someone to be his parent not his friend

rufus said...

Wow,'yaweh', I couldnt have put it better myself!

Also, us, non parents may sound like we don't empathize, but guess what, yes we do. I have nephews and nieces, and I do worry about the nasty stuff they'll be exposed to in the near future, mainly porn.
However, our jobs, as entertainers is to entertain. And parenting is NOT on our job to-do-list.
I ask myself, why do people have children if they are not ready to BE parents?!?

rufus

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, it was before the "crap" that's on TV nowadays. But you'd better believe me and my friends still knew about swearing, drinking, violence, womanizing, you name it. It's human nature to explore these areas and misbehave. It's in misbehaving that we learn TO behave, especially if you have parents who set good examples.

Taking the naughty TV shows away will do nothing to lessen that.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Steve said...
"See, television isn't the end-all and be all. There are these great new things called books that force children to use their imaginations. And the great thing is, you can sit down with them anywhere. (Oh, wait. I guess you can do that with the teevee, as well.)"

Well, you did your best!

Anonymous said...
"This is America, a secular country. Not a politically correct theocracy, christian or otherwise."

I noticed a few of these guys wished the Reinassaice never existed and the 'filth' it brought the world.

"Yes, I can change the channel or totally turn off the TV in my home , do everything in my power to encourage my kids to read, draw, paint, explore other creative activities besides sitting passively in front of crude TV cartoons, but then my kids have to go to school and interact socially with the TV-brainwashed morons whose parents aren't as smart or cultured as me."

Sums up my childhood, but then, I didn't want to go for that 'cultured stuff' anyway.

Steve Hulett said...

I survived Marilyn Monroe and PLAYBOY.

I'm sure today's youths will successfully weather Seth McFarlane.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and besides, society's ills have improved greatly since the media went beyond Monroe and Playboy in terms of lewdness and profanity.

(That was sarcasm. Felt I had to point it out, since so many of you here seem so clueless).

Anonymous said...

I'm a parent - It is easy to turn off the TV or change the channel. You see they created this thing called the remote, and kids are great at finding it for you if you can't, or some sets and cable boxes you do it manually.

My kids want to watch that junk, I say no and actually talk to them about what they hear at school, give them guidance on how to deal with it. And they're doing swell. They both tested in the top percentile on the State Assessment, are creative active and have a decent social life with quality friends.

Considering the internet provides worse stuff, censoring or cancelling Family Guy or whatever is futile, so figure out how to deal with your kids on issues like this. It's called parenting.

Steve Hulett said...

A nice husband, wife and four kids living in the neighborhood are devout evangelicals. The parents are strict with the children and home-school all of them. They make sure the television viewing is closely monitored. That the computer and internet have codes and screens and safeguards.

Yet a few years ago, their oldest boy, then sixteen, wheedled our seventeen-year-old son's computer i.d. out of him and used it to watch porn on the internet.

(His father told me all this after the fact. It ruptured our kids' friendship.)

Anybody who thinks they are going to control and shelter their kids from the realities of 21st century culture and life are way more optimistic than I am.

Anonymous said...

We ought to get the Government out of our personal business.

Legalize abortion
Legalize weed
Legalize gay marriage
Bring back progressive ideas like PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Keep religion out of Public Schools and government (we were founded as a SECULAR country, after all!)
Deny corporations "personhood" and hole them accountable for their taxes, and the damage they do to the environment especially when it comes to harming individuals and their health (fracking, mountaintop mining, oil spills).

The U.S. was once a progressive, prosperous nation. With the turn towards community and stronger public education, we can be again.

rufus said...

Sorry Steve but Playboy and "Two girls one cup" are two completely different beasts.
Also, while I don't even watch "American Dad" or "Family Guy" (I don't find them funny) I am more offended that some parent angry at the media, wants to thwart my freedom to choose what I can watch.
As I said, there are things a lot nastier out there, which are far easier to stumble upon these days, such as porn and real life violence, that make Mcfarlane toons quite tame in comparison. Porn is available with the strike of a key. In my day you had to be very resourceful to get to see some boobs....

rufus

Anonymous said...

There sure is a lot of bad stuff out there. And it seems to get uglier and more perverse. Definitely harder than ever to keep your kids as kids for as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather watch violent cartoons than the ugly awfulness of childish crap like rango.

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