Fatherhood In Our World of TMI
You’re not surprised to know that the world isn’t looking out for your kid. But when you sit your kid down to watch television, or crank up the radio in the car, you might not be keeping an eye or ear out for just how morally-depraved the media has become. In the “information age,” things are being shoved into our faces, and it’s not a pretty picture.
Whether it’s Television, Music, the Internet or Video Games, your kid is bombarded by information constantly. And society is turning sour fast. Remember when even just 10-20 years ago, life seemed to have limits?
Now, this is what we’re up against…
You know what I saw last night on MTV? Two 16 year old parents hitting each other, someone being shot with a potato gun, and two chicks sloppily making out in a Vegas hotel. Okay, so it wasn’t all bad. But think back to your own youth, assuming you grew up in the MTV generation – what’s the worst thing you saw? The two worst things I saw on MTV when I was a kid was blurred-out boobs in Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” video, and the late-night showings of 2 Live Crew’s videos. Videos! Remember those?! It’s true. Hey, kids under 20: the only shows on MTV used to be shows that played different genres of videos. Some days, I miss “Headbanger’s Ball” and “Yo! MTV Raps”. Now, there are a couple of channels like Fuse and Palladia that show videos, but you’ve still got to watch during the middle of the night to catch them.
It’s hard to believe that MTV used to be in the Music-Television business. Now, MTV is more than happy to shovel program-after-program down your throat – and every one of those programs is targeted at sexually-promiscuous kids that never learn the value in education. Now, kids are more concerned with getting on the cast of “The Real World” than they are getting into college. And why not? Reality TV “stars” make more money than we’ll ever make with our stupid-old legitimate college degrees. And just in case you didn’t notice, MTV’s logo no longer even contains the words “Music Television”…
On television last night – a show called “Taboo,” where I got to see a woman’s breast implants taken out. Three shows about guns. At least one show about animal attacks. And “Real Housewives of [INSERT CITY HERE],” where the women are anything but “real,” and the things that some of the families go through is absolute emotional abuse.
The rift between “safe” television and over-the-top reality television is widening, and with ratings favoring the “theater of the absurd,” networks can’t help but opt-out of the old types of shows we used to love. After all, kids these days just wouldn’t “get” The Wonder Years. At least not that we’ve gone this far. Even the Disney channel is breeding starlets that we all eventually see nude photos of on the internet. I mean, not “we all” because I don’t ever look that kind of stuff up. But I’ve been told that they’re out there.
In a five minute period on Nickelodeon – and remember, this is being billed to us parents as the “good” option – there were:
1) A commercial for Nerf guns that though they didn’t look absolutely realistic, had actual ammo clips. It’s almost like you’re supposed to start at Nerf-level to teach kids about how to kill the crap out of people. If we’re going to make these guns so technically complex, let’s just cut the foreplay and make them gunmetal grey.
2) A commercial for some sort of fruit snacks. Immediately, my kid demanded fruit snacks, based on the cartoon character on the screen. I’ve got to admit, I kind of wanted some too.
3) A music video from Victoria Justice called “Beggin’ On Your Knees.” In the song, Justice calls herself “stupid” and then repeatedly tells some boy that he’ll be begging “on your knees” for…something, who knows what. During the song, my kid called my wife “stupid” and said “on your knees.”
Now, I’m not saying that my two year old is the target demographic for Nickelodeon, but it goes to show you how quickly your kid can pick up on violence, sexual undertones, insults and bad nutrition – from one of the “good” options! My mind is blown daily to see how easily a toddler that’s learning language translates television to his own direct wants and needs.
Next up, Music.