Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Let's Get Ready to Rumble | 0 comments

Indy_cuts_bridge

“I loved the movies as a kid. I used to go to a helluva lot. …
I have great memories from Saturday morning pictures.
I’d be into whatever was showing.
If it was a pirate movie, I would be a pirate,
and if it was a Western I would be a cowboy;
or I’d come out as D’Artagnan and fence all the way home.
It was a great fantasy land for me, the movies.”
– Richard Starkey, aka Ringo Starr

If you just read the title of this chapter and instinctively turned the page, well, first of all you’re probably not reading this, and, second of all, shame on you. For those of you that have hung in there, but have some skepticism about whether or not you should turn the page and protect your children from the evils of violence in movies, I insist you hear me out.

The last thing I want is to give you a lesson in parenting. Wait a minute. That’s not true. The last thing I want is for you to stop reading this. The second last thing I want to do is give you a lesson on how to raise your kids. As long as you know I really don’t want to do this, we’re cool.

I come from the era of school shootings and bombings and teen suicides, so believe me, I know about the alleged effects of violence in media. “That metal album made my kid a murderer.” “That comic book taught my kid how to make napalm.” “That TV show made my kid give up on life.” These were the things heard on nightly news no more than a decade ago. With every new case, reporters made it seem as though it were more proof of the evils of the entertainment industry. They tried the same argument with smoking and drug use.

But as it turned out, these things were not convincing kids to do anything and – big surprise – the parents were completely oblivious to what was going on with their kids. “They seemed so normal and happy.” I grew up in a household with very little censorship as far as movies and music were concerned. And I’m not advocating that approach, either. I’m not going to say “I turned out pretty normal, so it must be the way to go.” Those people are ignorant idiots, too.

I’m advocating for parents to have an attitude of inclusion on all fronts. Expose your kids to a wide variety of stuff, educate them on it, create an open forum of discussion, and let them decide where to gravitate. In my experiences, sheltering your offspring from anything will not keep them from it – in fact, it’ll drive them to it. Instead, sit down and watch something mildly violent or sexual or crass or whatever, and then stress whatever lesson you choose. Tell them what they’re seeing is “pure evil” or “not real” or “not allowed until you’re older” or whatever. The last thing I want to tell you is what life lessons to teach your kids. Oh wait … maybe it’s the third last thing.

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