Mad World

Thursday 13 August 2009

I feel depressed tonight. Weight of the world on shoulders and all that. I think of so many people I know who are struggling. There is a conversational forum going on on the television right now about climate change. Several hours ago I wrote on my Facebook status that I was feeling rather sad that I would not be having children. But you know, more and more I feel relieved that I shall miss out on the wonder because when I look at what children are born into, it scares me. I just watched a show called "Consuming Kids" (see trailer below). It scares me how little control parents have over outside influences on their kids - especially in the US.

In an age of rights and freedoms, parents are less free than seemingly ever to be able to raise their children in the way they want to without outside influences. How can good old Mum and Dad compete against Disney and McDonalds banding together to market to their three year olds toys that are characters in movies that are rated PG-13? That same PG-13 rating that 10 years ago would have had an R rating? Or crap marketed to little girls so that they can look like six year old trash?

I never knew before that the US is the only industrialised country in the world that does not have any legislation in place that regulates advertising to children. It's hard enough in this country, I'm sure parents would agree, to try to protect kids for as long as possible from being marketed to. But the ads I saw on this show for kids in the States sort of freaked me, really.

I see that when the debate comes up in the culture about enacting legislation, the good old first amendment is quoted. Land of the free and all that stuff. Is anyone left in the West who labours under the false illusion that any of us are free? We are not free. We are coerced constantly to believe that we are what we own.

This is in a world that is groaning under the weight of too much goddamn plastic as it is. People who are groaning under more and more antidepressant scripts being filled for younger and younger people.

Rights rights rights. What about responsibilities to protect little people who do not have any capacity to understand that they are being manipulated by savvy marketeers? That's child abuse.

It scares the hell out of me what monsters we are creating.

God, where are you? Jesus, come back. Or something. Do something. Stop the world cos we can't run this ship ourselves.


  1. I can't even comment would be way too long. I'm emailing. I am STUNNED (look at my facebook)

  2. I am not going to watch the video. Doubt if I need to.

    There used to be a sort of "honor code" where everyone agreed not to show anything on tv that was the slightest bit objectionable until after 9pm -- but now I can turn on a ton of channels with a decent program but raunchy commercials. In the SW US, we have an entire culture of people that seems to be devoted to raising little girls to dress like prostitutes (ever see a kindergartener in spike heeled boots and a miniskirt?).

    What was unthinkable when i was a child is now classified as "artistic expression" and is protected as such. Well excuse me, but the "art" thing is used to justify way too much. Real problem is that, especially here in the US, people are not raising their own kids. Sure, there are some who have to put the kids in daycare, but so many just do it out of wanting a career and nobody is willing to take responsibility for the kids, or they simply want to spend, spend, spend and don't want to make sacrifices. It has all resulted in a rather callous atmosphere where kids are just another belonging. Makes me want to cry when i think about it :(

    We are a pleasure centered society...

  3. Okay, I watched it, yeah it is annoying -- but it is largely the result of parents spending their kids into submission out of guilt and laziness.

  4. What Tyler said about the commercials, that's what really burns me. We have ads for cialis during children's programs, and I have 9 year olds asking me what erectile dysfunction is. Wha?!

    We are an insane ship over here, that's for sure.

    But in the end it really is the parents responsibility, and the fact that I know which channels have inappropriate commercials during kids programs indicates that I actually WATCH tv with my kids and monitor what they are seeing.

  5. Thanks for your comments, girls.

    I agree that parents not being willing to parent their kids is a real problem.

    But what about the parents that are? Even the most devoted parent can not hold off this tide. It is too strong. It is designed by smart savvy people with big degrees and a ton of knowledge of how kids tick, and it appeals directly to their greed, their desire to belong. How do even devoted parents hold off against such things?

  6. Erin, I have the solution to the cialis ads -- whenever we see the commercial for the first time, I say something like -- "Oh look, a medicine that helps older people dance!"

    And we always joke about "Oh man, why on earth do those guys have bathtubs on their porch anyway? They are gonna get arrested if someone sees their bums!"

  7. I hear you, Sue. It really is nuts because children really are a big market and have control of a good portion of the discretionary $$ in their homes. I wish it weren't that way, but it is and the marketing execs know it. It was true in the 50's and 80's and it's true today.

    I sometimes have walked down the grocery aisles with my kids and heard them sing the jingles from the commercials for products we walked by. It's scary. They are so impressionable.

    LOL Tyler, those are great.


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