Monday, December 31, 2007

Blame the fricking television.

That's what I say. Blame the tv.
And yes, I'm well aware that there is a long standing debate on the effect of television on children and having bolted together an essay on the topic at uni I'm also aware that there's conflicting and often poorly conducted research for both sides of the argument.

I'll lay it out now though that I don't believe violence in television programmes or video games has any discernible long term impact on a child's behaviour, development or logic. Granted, some children may want to repeat an act seen on tv but I posit that it's the parent's responsibility to keep an eye on their child and ensure they're told what's right and what's not. I mean, growing up as a child the only direct impact tv had on me was once when I was about seven. There was a show on crocodiles about to start and I was so excited I was jumping on the couch and slipped, smacked my head on the coffee table and was rushed to hospital where I was sewn up with a number of stitches across my forehead.
So yes, blame tv for that. Also blame me for being the weird sort of child that gets excited to an almost epileptic level by a crocodile show.
Now to clarify, my stance on violence having an effect on children's behaviour is a firm and resounding 'Aww hells no'. And by violence I mean in a stylised, fictional sense.
However, (and this is the gripe that spawned this so-far beleaguered post) I do believe that certain television shows are on track to screwing with not only children, but impressionable adults. It's all these supposed reality shows. (Yes, yes, I know you've all heard a million rants about reality shows, but let me vent a little.)
So my issue with these shows it that it's the very nature of these shows to show supposedly normal people arguing, fucking, drinking, screaming, crying, swearing and basically exhibiting any other level of polarised behaviour. It's either that, or it's a My Super Sweet Sixteen scenario.
This show in particular really pisses me as it shows the most abhorrent, rich, spoilt children being given 'no budget' birthday parties* by their negligent parents whose idea of showing love or affection is anything that can be purchased for more than ten thousand big ones.

So kids sitting at home watch the people on Big Brother 34 screaming at each other over how much spaghetti has been used. They see some fat little whore from LA crying because her parents bought her an Audi and not the Mercedes she wanted. They see people in The Real World:Denver fucking and yelling and yell-fucking and fuck-yelling and whatnot.

And all of this, I'm postulating, sits somewhere inside their unconscious contributing to their understanding of what a basal behavioural level should be. And thus kids get this warped sense that it's ok to totally flip out over the tiniest things and then parents wonder why their daughter just called them a bunch of fuckwits, screamed and slammed the door when asked to tidy her room. Or why she went and fucked every guy at school because she thought that her friend Jodie was talking to her ex Tommy. Or something.
I dunno. I'm rambling.... I just think that kids are losing track of how a relatively normal person should act and as a result they're going to find social interaction a real task. Especially when every other chump and skank are all losing their shit and getting all up in each other's grills because the price of a sausage roll at the school canteen went up by 5 cents.

Bring back the good old days, when the only thing you hoped for as a tv watching child, wasn't a Mercedes or a BMW or for P Diddy to sing at your birthday party. Your only wish was to be on A*mazing and get to do the run through the maze collecting the hidden keys and hopefully winning a Gameboy.**
Halcyon days they were. Simpler times. Good times. Great times.

Anyways, I've had enough of trying to articulate my position on this.

The primary moral of the story is: Reality shows are screwing up everything.
The secondary moral of the story is: Bring back A*mazing. I could so do a whole post on that show. Stay tuned.

Also, what do you think? Is the portrayed craziness of people in reality shows messing up the perception of what 'normal' behaviour is for impressionable people viewing them?

* When I was 16, a 'No budget birthday party' was a rather literal term which meant I was getting sweet fuck all and would probably have to rely on mates to chip in and buy me a bottle or two of passion pop. No P Diddy at my birthday party. (Also note this * is not pertaining to the * in A*mazing. Just in case you were confused or something.)

** Remember James Sherry who hosted A*mazing? I found this page on him and now I think about it, it's like someone stole some DNA from Will Anderson and a sprinkling of alleles from Adam Hills and grew James Sherry in a petri dish. The Girl also told me a story which involved a girl from her school allegedly hooking up with James Sherry at a bar once. And then maybe going home with him. Whilst she was umm.... quite...errr... young.
I wonder if he made her rummage around to find his 'super secret hidden key'. Did she go home with a gameboy? Or did she get game with a home boy? Oh zing!
Um... Sorry... I promise that'll be the last bad pun for the year.


John Surname said...

A*mazing was awesome when I was 8. Kids these days. They haven't felt true emotion until they've pointlessly seen a fat kid in a helmet run around a maze collecting letters.

jiminycricket said...

That's so true John.
These days it would be deemed demeaning or something similar. I deem it quality viewing.
More pointless fat kids, I say.