"Common Sense" Media & Parental Censorship

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"Common Sense" Media & Parental Censorship

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Boogie Nights is not for the faint of heart. The film earned its R rating for its raw depiction of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and profanity. Interestingly enough, it makes no attempts to justify such social lechery, or even illustrate the all too common consequences of such actions, which may leave viewers confused as to what, if any, morals or lessons are to be taken from here.

Bottom line: Kids may be interested in seeing this movie because of the controversial topic, but parents should know that this material is not suitable for children and younger teens.

Is it any good? 2/5 stars

This is a review of one of my favorite films, Boogie Nights, an ingenious production that gives you almost everything you want in a film. True, it's not for the "faint of heart" (if by that you mean people who freak out about everything) and I wouldn't recommend it to young children who wouldn't understand it, but it's a fantastic original story. I first saw it when I was sixteen, against the "strict warnings" of this website. Did it upset me? Disturb me? Not really. I was just blown away by how great it was. And what's with rating a movie based on how ethical it is? This site give Miley Cyrus's shit-tastic album a 4/5!!!

Why does every fucking artist have to defend and justify their work? What is the deal with that? And why are parents so paranoid that "the media" is poisoning their children? Maybe if they discussed things with their kids instead of throwing entertainment at them their children would come out a lot more intelligent.

What I really don't get is why these "television/movie" councils think all children absorb from media is the moral messages. Believe it or not, if children are intelligent and somewhat nuanced, they WILL pick up on issues and themes. Film and television are in many ways art forms that have so much more content to discuss besides what's taboo or not. And really, what is so terrible about a heightened reality? I think most children understand that TV isn't real, and if not parents should clue them in.

This website warns away children from anything with a "bad message", "crude language", "sexual references" and "drugs" . Why are we trying so hard to shelter children? Do you think kids with parents in gangs or who have been through serious rough times don't know what life is about? Even your average child understands so much more than people give them credit for. I'm not saying I'd hand my 5 year old Requiem for a Dream, but if I thought my kid was mature enough to understand the content I'd watch it with him.

All these shitty kids movies today make me want to gag. Children can handle a lot more than adults think they can.

All of this censorship is only scaring kids away and making them ignorant. "I can't watch this movie because it's rated R" is a common statement, when in fact the child is probably capable of handling the material if they're 12 and over. The ratings system is so vague and ambiguous in this country and is seriously pissing me off.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

"Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby


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 Boogie Nights is not only

 Boogie Nights is not only a very well made movie, it absolutely does deal with the consequences of behaviors.  Substance abuse is nearly the end of at least a half a dozen characters, and there's a sharp divide between those who find happiness in a more settled existence (complete with a wife and kids) and those who continue on in the porn industry.

Brock Lander, as well as what's his nuts... Burt Reynold's character... are both obsolete by the end of the film, and are still trying to make things work.  They're poster children for the danger of stubborn idealism in the face of change.

No, I think Boogie Nights has moral messages.  I just think the messages reflect reality rather than Christianity.

I also liked Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting.

Funny that I've seen all three films at least four or five times each, and I've never become addicted to any drugs.  

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Boogie

Hambydammit wrote:

 Boogie Nights is not only a very well made movie, it absolutely does deal with the consequences of behaviors.  Substance abuse is nearly the end of at least a half a dozen characters, and there's a sharp divide between those who find happiness in a more settled existence (complete with a wife and kids) and those who continue on in the porn industry.

Brock Lander, as well as what's his nuts... Burt Reynold's character... are both obsolete by the end of the film, and are still trying to make things work.  They're poster children for the danger of stubborn idealism in the face of change.

No, I think Boogie Nights has moral messages.  I just think the messages reflect reality rather than Christianity.

I also liked Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting.

Funny that I've seen all three films at least four or five times each, and I've never become addicted to any drugs.  

 

 

 

That's what I was trying to say! Smiling The "moral" messages are more complex then how to be squeaky-clean.

Hmm, strange isn't it? But it's okay to learn about how Jesus was murdered, naked and bloody on a torture device. Because that's more appropriate for kids than a film that reflects realistic situations.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

"Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby


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Quote:I also liked Requiem

Quote:

I also liked Requiem for a Dream

Seconded. That's my favorite.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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If that Passion of the

If that Passion of the Christ movie had been about anyone else it would have been rated NC-17.

 

 

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I was just complaining about

I was just complaining about this on a different thread yesterday, so it's a wonderful coincidence that you posted something similar today. =]

 

The most striking thing about the complaints of crybaby parents and preacher's wives is that in nearly every case, they object to something they identify as obviously offensive or obscene, and yet the standards they apply are completely arbitrary. Indecency and obscenity can only be described qualitatively. There is absolutely, indisputably no possible way to gage indecency or obscenity in any kind of quantitative terms.

 

Often times, these parents will try to pretend they can gage them in quantitative terms by watching an entire season of some show and keeping tally of how many times they noticed something offensive. Then they issue reports like, "South Park has, per average episode, 35 sexual references, 12 hate words, 22 crude references to human body waste, 8 instances of physical violence between characters...." etc.

 

The key problem with these reports is that these parents, who no doubt have a common agenda and must clearly have similar opinions, are only counting how many times THEY THEMSELVES are offended. If I was counting how many times South Park offended me per average episode, the report would come back with a big zero on it.

 

They try to say that some things are just obviously offensive. Like the word "fuck". How can that not be offensive? So they say. If a television sitcom uses the word "fuck", the soccer moms are all over that shit. Yet, when the soldiers swear in war movies---like Saving Private Ryan, for example---the swearing is overlooked on the grounds that it's "authentic". And then the same people, paradoxically, turn around and condemn a PBS documentary on Blues music because the Blues artists being interviewed swore a lot. What happened to authenticity?

Or some parents will even object to children's shows using the word "suck" as in "you suck" or "he sucks" or "that sucks". They won't stand for it, they say, because it's clearly a reference to fellatio.

Really? This coming from the same people who would argue that instead of saying "he sucks", the person could say something cleaner but with the same meaning. Something like "that guy's a jerk." Really, old people? Really? Even though the pejorative "jerk" IS WITHOUT A DOUBT derived from "jerk-off", which is a reference to masturbation? Really? What about another favorite term of this older generation: "scumbag". Really? This one is even worse than the last, since it refers to a used condom. You might as well be calling the person a cum dumpster. But no, that would be too offensive and not old-timey enough.

And they lump these supposedly "offensive" words into categories like "sexual references" and "references to human waste" as if these are topics that are objectively taboo.

Really? Really, old people? We're supposed to believe that the reason the word "shit" is so offensive is because it refers to something unpleasant? Let me suggest some replacements: poop, poo-poo, feces, dung, waste, manure, droppings, doo-doo, doody, etc.

Strange that all these words refer to the same thing as "shit" and yet you don't count them as offensive? A little arbitrary, don't you think?

What about the word "fuck"? We have many euphemistic replacements for those too: "making love", "knowing in the biblical sense", "having relations", "sleeping together", "consumating a relationship", or just plain "having sex"

But, they would argue, all of those terms describe sex objectively or even in a pleasant way. The word "fuck" is forceful, and it purposely portrays sex in a dirty, offensive way.

Really? So if I say, "He fucked her" I'm being offensive, yet if I portray the same act in an even MORE dirty and terrible way by saying "he raped her", suddenly I'm not offensive anymore? Pardon me if I ask, what the fuck? Or would you prefer what the rape?

And it's also bullshit to pretend like this is some new thing that's just happening now with "these kids". If we were to listen to the whining of these busy-body old ladies with their dried up old vaginas, we wouldn't even be able to enjoy Shakespeare anymore. This is a poet who LOADED his poetry and plays with sexual references and veiled obscenities. The very title "Much Ado About Nothing" is even a pun. "Nothing" implies "No thing" which implies "No Penis" which implies "vagina". In other words, the title of his play is "Much Ado About Pussy". And if you've seen/read the play, and are now learning this for the first time, you are probably laughing at the brilliant appropriateness of it.

But! they would say. Shakespeare is different because he's artistic!

Well who the fuck appointed these people the official deciders of what is or is not artistic? Are you going to try to gage art quantitatively now as well? On what basis?

 

These people are fucking annoying. I understand that there are certain things that you may not want your kid to see, but the fact is that your kid is going to see them. The more you try to protect your kid from them, the more your kid is going to try to see them. If it's really so obviously obscene and indecent, then wouldn't a person find it repulsive and never want to see it again anyway?

 

It's their haughty self-righteousness and air of "we are so obviously right about this" that annoys the hell out of me.

 

There is nothing you can say to convince them. Even if they understand the nonsense of what they're trying to accomplish, they would probably just shurg and keep doing it.

 

I encourage people to bitch about this at all possible opportunities.

 

Quote:

Hmm, strange isn't it? But it's okay to learn about how Jesus was murdered, naked and bloody on a torture device. Because that's more appropriate for kids than a film that reflects realistic situations.

EXACTLY!!! You see?!

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Acheopetryx, you're so

Archeopetryx, you're so right! Shakespeare is a great point. And you know that most of the books I've read in school have contained rape, incest, gruesome violence, racism, etc. But it's "okay" if it's in an academic sense, yet "vile" if it's on television.

I watched violent SciFi movies with my dad when I was a kid and my reaction was usually "Cool..." Kids are less likely to get disturbed by violence on tv/film since they don't have enough life experience to recognize the context behind it.

Look at this shit...High School Musical 3 awarded Parents Television Council seal of approval? Great, more shitty Hollywood garbage for an already idiotic generation.

Apparently one of my favorite shows, Gossip Girl includes a scene of "graphic sex". Since when? That show has tons of sex but it's so censored you could easily assume they're just dry humping. And I love how these guides ignore the OTHER messages in the show, like eating disorders, adolescent/family struggles etc. because someone said "bitch". Ooooh, its a WORD! Ohh my god shield the children from the evil media! It's corrupting our youth!

Apparently innocuous kissing on a kid's show is under the category "sexual theme". You could make a case that Teletubbies is disturbing and sexual, which it most likely is cause that show makes NO FUCKING SENSE. Oh wait, THEY DID MAKE A CASE FOR IT BEING SEXUAL.

Quote:
C TV children’s show TELETUBBIES is under investigation in Poland after officials claimed the series endorses homosexuality.
The programme, which features four coloured oversized Teletubbies, has been criticised by children’s rights groups over male character Tinky Winky for his purse-carrying ways.
Activists in the country, which is campaigning to ban the promotion of homosexuality, believe Tinky Winky’s ‘effeminate’ ways should not be broadcast - and are calling for a psychological analysis into whether the character is ‘too gay’ for Polish TV.
Ewa Sowinska, a spokesperson for children’s rights, says, "I noticed he (Tinky Winky) was carrying a woman’s handbag. At first, I didn’t realise he was a boy."
- pr-inside.com

How did our species ever evolve? How?

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

"Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby


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peppermint wrote:How did our

peppermint wrote:

How did our species ever evolve? How?

 

It's clear that we've evolved. It's just that the extremely intelligent ones have made it so hard for nature to kill off the extremely dumb ones that now we all have to put up with them on a regular basis.

 

Plus, everyone knows that baby-making goes up as intelligence goes down. =]

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 Well, while we're talking

 Well, while we're talking about standards of offense, a couple of weeks ago, I watched "Shortbus," which is basically a series of vignettes that all converge on one quirky underground sex club.  Each set of characters has their own sexual issues, from the sex therapist who's never had an orgasm to the gay man who has been making a detailed documentary of his entire life to give to his lover after he commits suicide.

There's real sex in it.  Erect penises.  Vaginas.  Ejaculation.  By all "decency standards" it's porn.  But it's not porn.  To say that it's a movie designed to give people sexual stimulation is absurd.  Yeah, there's probably something in it that appeals to almost any taste, but the point of the movie is obviously not sexual titillation.  It's creating an unflinchingly real model of reality.

Personally, I thought it was a well made, if somewhat cliche movie (cliche in the direction and cinematography, not the subject matter) but when you're in a crowd of -- oh, I dunno -- maybe three or four movies in the same genre, you have to get some props for that kind of cinematic bravery.

All of this is interesting, and backs up your point, Peppermint, that the nuance behind movie "morality" is very subtle.  However, I'd like to raise a larger point.  When we use the same language as theists when speaking of movies' messages and morality, we are playing into a trap.  If we play along with the defense of certain movies, we are admitting that there's a need to defend them!

Personally, I'm a big fan of movies that portray reality, like Requiem for a Dream and Boogie Nights.  I tend to really hate action thrillers.  I despise the obligatory physics-defying car chase.  Yet, I love sci-fi movies.  Fantasy?  Sure... give me dragons and princesses, and to hell with the budget.  "Dragonslayer" still amuses me.

The thing is, these preferences are just that -- preferences.  I would not presume to tell someone that they can't watch empty action movies or a whole marathon of Julia Roberts chick flicks if that's what they want.  Most people don't have a problem following it this far, but because of this arbitrary Christian emphasis on sex, it's assumed that some subjects just "go too far."  I don't see the divide.  Honestly, I don't even see the divide between art and porn.  Yeah, I know, I know... porn can be exploitive.  So can Hollywood, folks.  The thing is, there are Hollywood films with worse acting than Debbie Does Dallas, so it isn't a matter of acting.  Ever seen Showgirls?  Striptease?  The Red Shoe Diaries?  Wild Orchid?  There are plenty of Hollywood films that are obviously just out to turn us on and make us think about sex.   If you leave Hollywood and visit the rest of the world, there are plenty of films with real sex and very well simulated sex that are very artfully done and still turn us on -- substance and sex appeal!  (Think "Sex and Lucia," "Nine Songs&quotEye-wink  Well, it's a stretch to call Nine Songs a good film, but it definitely has sexy moments.

Finally, do a quick google search for "real amateurs" and amidst the thousands of professional porn sites, you'll find a dozen or so sites where real people videotape or photograph themselves, or themselves with their significant others, or just random hookups, or whatever, and post them on the web.  They're clearly not being exploited, yet they're making sexual videos for the enjoyment of others.

Could it be... is it possible.... some people like to be watched?  (We could ask... if some people enjoy it, is it wrong for them to make money from it?)

The point is, Christians (and quite a few non-Christians as well)  will try to draw a solid line between good film and bad film, and try to base it on a rather arbitrary moral standard.  That standard, as anyone who studies the science of humanity knows, is bogus.  They've singled out sex as a dividing line.  If the sex is real (or too close to real) then it's not good for anyone to watch.  (Don't get me started on how bad it is to teach children who don't know a damn thing about sex that sex is dirty.)  If there's too much sex, it's bad.  If there are drugs without depiction of a judge handing down the maximum possible sentence, it's bad.

 The hidden assumption in all of this is that film is supposed to be a certain way.  Maybe in another thread, it would be worth discussing the research and pseudo-research into the effects of different kinds of film on viewers, because there certainly are real effects, but once again, the Christian belief turns out to be based on dogma, not science.

 

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Seems to me there's an

Seems to me there's an analogy in gestation here.  The Parent's Television Council (or whatever it's called) and similar organizations attempt to censor the world for everybody, including big people, so that kids, who are naturally curious about sex, might not learn anything before their folks are ready to tell them.  Of course, some parents are never ready to tell kids about sex.  Consequently we get some seriously unprepared dumbasses tasting freedom for the first time at the University of Georgia and I have to worry about catching Chlamydia from a nineteen year old (OK, I wish I had to worry about catching Chlamydia from a nineteen year old).  

This is just like the nutcases who don't vaccinate their babies.  Without getting into an argument about autism (I don't think that would happen here, but stranger things have happened) I think we can all agree that Poliomyelitis is bad, but exposing a young immune system to a Polio vaccine is good.  Kids who haven't had a very frank version of "the talk" (which really should be several talks), even if they get a passable sex ed class, end up as emotional cripples who collect unhealthy relationships and sexual practices like I collect porn.  I mean musical instruments. 

 

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 It seems to me there is an

 It seems to me there is an even sharper divide, DDA.  Even among parents who have "the talk" there is often an off-on kind of switch.  If a six year old asks about sex, the parents will say, "You're not old enough."  That's stupid.  If a kid is old enough to ask the question, he's old enough to get an answer commensurate to his cognitive abilities.  Many adults seem to think that childhood is a beautiful asexual bliss that ends abruptly when puberty hits.  Funny thing, science disagrees.  We're always sexual beings to some degree or another.  We're just not mature sexual beings until after puberty.

This puts porn in a different category.  Suppose an eight year old sees a photo of two men having anal sex while wearing latex body suits and slathering themselves with canned spaghetti-O's.  (Don't make fun of my imagination, dude!!)  Most parents would have a shit fit, call the government, and have men in biohazard suits decontaminate the whole area.  Then they'd do the little strobe pen from Men In Black and try to erase all memory of the event.

A thoughtful parent might take a different approach, however.  "Gee, Little Johnny, that is pretty strange, isn't it?  You know how some men like women, and other men like men?  Well, those were men who like men, and they also like to do some pretty weird things with clothes.  Sometimes adults like to use their imaginations just like kids, only they use their imaginations for grown up things.  Anyway, I'm going to start making dinner.  Do you want to help me with the vegetables?"

No panic, no life changing event.  Prepubescent children tend to be singularly uninterested in porn, but adults seem to think that a child's interest in a particular porn image is interest in sex.  They're not remembering that children think differently.  In the example I gave, we as adults have to realize that the sex part of the picture would be the first thing we see, but a kid would see two men in latex with spaghetti-O's all over them.

Like I said... explanations commensurate with ability to comprehend.

 

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Well, perhaps I'm spoiled,

Well, perhaps I'm spoiled, then.  That is to say, my parents never held back, largely out of concern for my safety.  I started getting the first sex talks around six years of age, most memorably when I came home talking about being picked up by "strangers" and my dad explained to me that a "stranger" was really just a less scary name for a pedophile.  And that's what I mean by a series of talks.  At every event there's something to teach, the parent should teach.  And for that matter, I didn't even have to learn the basics from the folks.  I learned about sperms, eggs and fertilization from reading the Charlie Brown Cyclopedia when I was somewhere around five.  

 

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Hambydammit wrote:All of

Hambydammit wrote:

All of this is interesting, and backs up your point, Peppermint, that the nuance behind movie "morality" is very subtle.  However, I'd like to raise a larger point.  When we use the same language as theists when speaking of movies' messages and morality, we are playing into a trap.  If we play along with the defense of certain movies, we are admitting that there's a need to defend them!

I definitely agree. We can't attempt to defend all aspects of a movie we love based on a perceived morality, just as xians can't attempt to defend all aspects of their bible based on some set of moral lessons they've cherry picked. Just as we could say, "Whatever morality you've cherry-picked from the bible is far outweighed by the garbage it contains", a theist could make the same statement about, say, Shortbus. (Which is a movie I've heard about but never seen.)

I don't have any disagreement with people who want to defend their favorite movie or their favorite religious text on the basis of artistic expression, though. This isn't a problem for people who want to talk about movies, since it's an opportunity to exchange subjective insights about craftsmanship, cinematography, writing, adaptation, etc. It's a problem for the bible, though, since many theists refuse to consider their religion on a completely subjective level, like discussing their favorite musical genre.

I personally don't believe movies have inherent moral value. They often portray human themes in a way that makes us reflect, and so a moral lesson might result, but whatever you learn will be completely a product of your own self-examination. In other words, in order to derive morality from movies or literature (including the bible), you have to come to the movie or the literature with some kind of morality to work with. The movie or the literature simply provides you with a new angle, a new situation you yourself haven't experienced, and so it offers you an opportunity to reframe your concept of morality, to come away with a more fine-tuned sense of what you already held to be true.

But I don't think anyone goes into a movie or starts a book and comes out with a belief they didn't already have.

Quote:

Personally, I'm a big fan of movies that portray reality, like Requiem for a Dream and Boogie Nights.  I tend to really hate action thrillers.  I despise the obligatory physics-defying car chase.  Yet, I love sci-fi movies.  Fantasy?  Sure... give me dragons and princesses, and to hell with the budget.  "Dragonslayer" still amuses me.

The thing is, there are Hollywood films with worse acting than Debbie Does Dallas, so it isn't a matter of acting.

I often boast that I have seen the worst movies ever made, and no one has yet shown me a movie that competes with these two in utter terribleness.

1) Return to Frogtown - (The lead male has the HUGEST HEAD I HAVE EVER SEEN)

2) R.O.T.O.R. - (The two main protagonists are named "Dr. Steele" and "Captain Coldyrne" (pronounced "cold iron&quotEye-wink, which should tell you all you need to know.)

 

I would actually highly recommend them, though, since they're so bad that it's fucking hilarious. I gave Return to Frogtown as a Christmas present one year. The recipient still hails it as one of the best gifts she's ever received. And the next year, I got an Army of Darkness movie poster in return! Score!!!

 

Quote:
google search for "real amateurs"

You say that as if I didn't have it open in another tab. 

 

Quote:
The hidden assumption in all of this is that film is supposed to be a certain way. 

 

That sums up very eloquently the attitude I disagree with. No artistic medium is required to produce only such-and-such types of things. We can reject anything we don't like that comes out of it, but who are we to try to impose some kind of filter on it at the expense of others who might be seeking a certain style?

Just as laws attempting to regulate what substances people put in their own bodies are irrational and a waste of time (see prohibition and the so-called war on drugs), laws which attempt to regulate what IDEAS people entertain in their own heads is irrational and a waste of time.

I hope Big Brother doesn't come arrest me for thought-crime. (Props to Orwell.)

 

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literature is a very good

literature is a very good example here.  some of shakespeare's best plays would never see the light of day in a high school classroom (titus andronicus immediately springs to mind).  our high schoolers are reading some of the tritest, most outdated shit that counts for "literature."  i mean, john fucking knowles, for christ's sake?  the only halfway edgy authors we read in high school were steinbeck and george eliot, and i really wonder how long steinbeck will stay on the list.  we learned about chaucer, but never read anything from him (heh heh, wonder why).  yet we read dante, and dante is the most overrated motherfucker in the history of literature.  him and john milton.

if i had my way, every high schooler would read henry james, john fante, celine, charles bukowski, kerouac, studs terkel, gore vidal, nabokov (yes, lolita, ESPECIALLY lolita), dostoievsky, howard zinn's people's history of the united states, goethe, knut hamsun, flannery o'connor, and albert camus.

four things would go out the window right away: a separate peace, catcher in the rye (yes, i said it), our town, and julius caesar.  i was a classical studies major and i took three english courses in college under a distinguished shakespeare scholar and harvard valedictorian, and i still don't see what the big fucking deal is with julius caesar.

well, that turned into a rant, but my point is, because of retarded parents, our kids are missing out on the greatest works of literature, just at the age when they'd make the biggest impression, and being fed sentimental garbage.

pff.  john motherfucking knowles.  jeeeeesus christ...

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
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iwbiek wrote:we learned

iwbiek wrote:

we learned about chaucer, but never read anything from him

Miller's Tale!!! All highschool students must read the Miller's Tale!!!

Sex, farts, mooning, practical jokes, and humiliation. What's not to love?!?! 

 

Quote:

four things would go out the window right away: a separate peace, catcher in the rye (yes, i said it),

Actually, I don't think I protest to Catcher In the Rye. I think everyone should read it, but not in high school. That's just wasting their time. I don't know how the book became classified as YA literature. It is a book ABOUT a kid of high school age, but it really takes an adult perspective to appreciate. It's like if you tried to write a book in which the theme was that high school years are the best years of our lives. You can't expect high school kids to appreciate that. They're high school kids! They don't have the necessary frame of reference!

I think Catch In the Rye is much the same. Maybe high school students can find some other way to appreciate it, and I don't mean to argue that everyone should appreciate it in the same way, but I just have a hard time seeing it as a book targeted at high school kids rather than being a book ABOUT high school kids. 

Quote:
and i still don't see what the big fucking deal is with julius caesar.

I second you on this one, too. I always assumed it was because it was the most religiously and sexually "safe" shakespeare story.

Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing are my personal favorites. =] 

Actually, I started reading King Lear a few months ago, and it was shaping up nicely, but I had to put it on hold. So.. King Lear is probably awesome? I agree though. Julius Caesar isn't that exciting.

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 Quote:They often portray

 

Quote:
They often portray human themes in a way that makes us reflect, and so a moral lesson might result, but whatever you learn will be completely a product of your own self-examination.

This is definitely true.  There is a flip side to it, and it's where the theists seem to get confused.  Our morality doesn't exist in a vacuum.  It is the sum of our experiences filtered through our continually developing interpretations of the world.  That is, if I see Saving Private Ryan, all of those images and portrayed events become part of the reality through which I will interpret the following events in my life.

Furthermore, there are physiological changes to stimuli, whether from movies or real life.  Our genes don't know about movies, which is a good thing for Hollywood.  For the most part, people have the same reactions to movies as real life.  When we see violence, our testosterone levels rise.  When we see sex, we get horny.  Prolonged and/or often repeated changes in hormone levels can have real effects, especially in children.  This is the thing theists latch onto when they start pressing for movie censorship.  (Odd that they only focus on the sex part, but we'll take it as read.)

If a child watches violent images six hours a day for ten years, the images will have a very real effect on his personality as an adult.  That's the way people are built.  If an adult watches nothing but Adult Swim six hours a day for ten years, they'll probably be funny in a quirky way that doesn't quite appeal to people over the age of forty.  What we see does have an effect on us.

Where theists get it messed up is that they seem to believe that all images are equal.  That is, they seem to think that if a child watches gay sex, they'll become gay.  If they watch a movie about a mass murderer, they'll become a mass murderer.  Ask yourself, have you ever watched Leave it to Beaver?  Did you become a shallow sexist prude as a result?

The bottom line is that theists see movies as magical.  (Funny... they think of God that way too...)  Remember when Fallwell was warning his flock not to watch Michael Jackson's "Thriller" because they would get possessed by magical demons from hell?

Movies are not magic.  They're stimulus, just like everything else we perceive.  They're judged just like any other stimulus.  That is, our brains put them through the algorithm that is our mind, and we form an opinion based on the sum of our experience.  Humans who have solid critical thinking skills and a good grasp of reality don't become gangsters from watching Boyz N the Hood.  They incorporate that portrayal of urban black America into their experiences, usually with the understanding that it's a dramatization of a certain perspective.

For me, this is very simple.  Without a scientific or otherwise compelling argument for drawing a particular line of censorship, anything that is legal to portray should be allowed.  (That is, it's illegal to kill people, so filming real murder shouldn't be allowed.)  Just like anything else, I object to forcing anyone to do anything beyond the normal taxes and obeying the law bit.  As long as people have the ability to turn off the TV or the internet, I can find no compelling reason to believe the occasional exposure to a personally offensive scene is a real problem.  I have managed to live my life quite happily for years without watching more than two or three episodes of Cops.  Likewise, I couldn't name any of the characters on any of the sitcoms on ABC.  For that matter, I'm pretty sure I couldn't name one sitcom on ABC right now.

The thing is, if there was no regulatory censorship body for television and movies, there would still be family movies and G rated TV shows.  That's because some people genuinely like them, and Hollywood producers aren't dummies.  There's a bigger market for chick flicks than indie films with lots of erect penises.  Once again, the censor-happy theists believe that they're all that's stopping evil and corruption from taking over the planet, and the fact is, people pretty much censor themselves.  Notice that "Religulous" is all over the interwebz?  Farenheit 911?  Where there's a market, there will be art.  The availability of any genre is generally about equal to the demand for it.

Look at it this way.  Nearly everybody in America could get the Science Channel.  If a hundred million people bitched about the Science Channel not being on the standard cable package, guess what?  It would get put on the regular package, right next to ESPN.  People want to see sitcoms and reality shows.  Like it or not, the Hollywood folks found a way to make more money for less creative effort, and people like it.

Hollywood follows culture.  It doesn't dictate it.

 

 

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Greats points, hamby. I read

Greats points, hamby. I read Lolita my senior year of HS and fell in love with it. My english teacher actually encouraged me to do a nuanced paper on it, and it was interesting. I had a lot of friends that read Catcher in the Rye and loved it, so I don't think it's fair to assume high schoolers won't appreciate it as some people feel. It's more about mental maturity than anything else.

I also agree completely that film doesn't have inherent morality. Sometimes it just IS. Why we find enjoyment in things is more complex than whether it gives us a "life lesson". And if you are learning "life lessons" from TV/film exclusively you need to get out of the house.

To me, these trashy kid shows are worse than the "offensive" film out there. Has anyone else noticed children's TV has become more and more mindless recently? Characters are insipid and one-dimensional, humor is obnoxious and the plots are so recycled it makes my head hurt. Pretty much all of those "sitcoms" on the Disney Channel are total crap. Whenever I babysit I don't know how these kids find enjoyment in this garbage.

Don't get me wrong, I like my occasional mindless TV, but if I'm going to watch junk food it's going to at least be somewhat witty and creative. I also love classic children's books and sweet little cartoon movies because they're fun and a great escape from reality, but children shouldn't be limited to that!

Check this out:

 

 

 Wow...if you haven't talked to your kid ONCE about sex and they're a TEENAGER, you have failed. And why are these researchers assuming teens are complete idiots who can't DECODE FANTASY??

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Quote:some of shakespeare's

Quote:

some of shakespeare's best plays would never see the light of day in a high school classroom (titus andronicus immediately springs to mind

I remember studying TA in high school.

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Once at camp when I was 10

Once at camp when I was 10 or 11, we were watching one of my all-time favorites, The Lion King. The counselor fast-forwarded the part where Mufasa is killed and I got annoyed. "It's too sad! This isn't good for you guys to watch! There are younger kids here!"

What. the. fuck?

I am more touched by those scenes NOW because I have the life experience to be affected by it and the emotional development to be sensitive to it. Not saying kids aren't sensitive, but it's definitely different. I was pretty numb to that scene as a kid and much more fascinated by the music, animation and story. The "sad" parts of the film didn't effect me until I was much older.

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What the Fuck???? What a

What the Fuck???? What a moron! That movie was MEANT for young children - and if he really thought it was too rough why show it at all rather than skipping an integral part of the story? Was this a religious camp? I guess a mild not at all graphic death scene in a cartoon is too hard for a kid to see, but teaching them God's son who loves you was horribly tortured and died an awful death because YOU sin is ok.

 

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Archeopteryx wrote:I think

Archeopteryx wrote:

I think Catch In the Rye is much the same. Maybe high school students can find some other way to appreciate it, and I don't mean to argue that everyone should appreciate it in the same way, but I just have a hard time seeing it as a book targeted at high school kids rather than being a book ABOUT high school kids. 

inability to appreciate catcher in the rye is not my problem.  my problem is it's really angst-y and pretentious and overrated.  i always get called a heretic for that, but when it comes to novels of youth, i think kids would learn more from wait until spring, bandini or maggie cassidy.  actually, if i could only pick one novel of youth for high schoolers to read, it would be charles bukowski's ham on rye.  every school administrator in the US would be after my head, but i guarantee you the kids could relate to it more than salinger.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:some

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

some of shakespeare's best plays would never see the light of day in a high school classroom (titus andronicus immediately springs to mind

I remember studying TA in high school.

wow.  and you went to a public high school?  in the US?  it certainly wasn't in kentucky.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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peppermint wrote:I had a lot

peppermint wrote:

I had a lot of friends that read Catcher in the Rye and loved it, so I don't think it's fair to assume high schoolers won't appreciate it as some people feel. It's more about mental maturity than anything else.

Fair enough.

Quote:

 Has anyone else noticed children's TV has become more and more mindless recently?

 

I don't watch a lot of children's television, but I'm of the belief that it's not so much that television is becoming more mindless and crappy. The writing/acting on television shows used to be more god awful than most people remember. Our television shows are actually getting a lot better in general, but I think that all of the improvements are producing audiences with more sophisticated tastes.

I remember when I thought the special effects in Terminator 2 were mind-blowing. But now when I see clips of the movie, I'm like "Meh. They do fancier shit than that on TV."

But if we're talking exclusively about children's tv... hm.. I don't know. I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from my own nostalgic biases to honestly assess today's children's shows. I think everyone generation believes that its television shows were the most bad ass children's shows of all time and that the following generation's are craptastic.

But I could be wrong?

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Quote:and you went to a

Quote:

and you went to a public high school? 

Not quite. The international schools in Hong Kong are partially government backed. Parents, however, still pay tuition fees.

Quote:

in the US?

No, in Hong Kong.

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Archeopteryx wrote: Has

Archeopteryx wrote:

 Has anyone else noticed children's TV has become more and more mindless recently?

I wouldn't agree with that.  It does depend on what channel you're watching.  I have noticed that there are a lot more calm shows on now.  I like that for 2 reasons 1) my kid isn't bouncing off the wall at the end of a program and 2) some of the slower shows can actually take the time to introduce elementary critical thinking.  You do have be selective to find these programs, but there seem to be a fair number more offered now than when I was a kid.

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 Quote:Quote: TV and Teen

 

Yeah, the irony is that the TV and movies Christians are bitching about reflect exactly the same kind of thinking that Christians have!  Think about it.  Sex is constantly being hinted at on TV, but it's always in euphemisms and wink-wink nudge-nudge references.  When we do see sex, we never see condoms.  Sex is always something that just takes over and drives people crazy, and it's usually not going to end well.  Somebody's going to kill somebody over it, or a marriage ends, or something.

That's pretty much the same way Christians view sex.  It's something we don't speak about in public.  (Except that we talk about it all the time, as if we're obsessed with it... but only in the context of getting it out of the tv and media.) We do it, always with a certain amount of shame, behind closed doors with the one person who we love and are committed to for the rest of our life.  Any deviation from this schedule leads to disaster.

Of course, we know that teaching this kind of attitude leads to more promiscuous and careless behavior by teenagers.

 

 

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I can't remember the name of

I can't remember the name of the Psycologist who came up with the concept, but I remember something about "The Garden".  It is the idea of placing children in a compltely safe enviroment only to later throw them into the wilderness without any ability to cope with reality.

It's a sad thing, but it would seem that "ignorance is bliss" tends to be the general rule for most people.  I like to think of it as a reflection to their fragile god.  If you think too hard on Yaweh (or other god) too hard then *poof* there they go, I guess they think of their morality in the very same way.  If they allow their children to actually think, then *poof* there goes their morality.  They already act like homosexuality is so addictive that it has to be outlawed. Sticking out tongue

 

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anniet wrote:Archeopteryx

anniet wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

 Has anyone else noticed children's TV has become more and more mindless recently?

I wouldn't agree with that.  It does depend on what channel you're watching.  I have noticed that there are a lot more calm shows on now.  I like that for 2 reasons 1) my kid isn't bouncing off the wall at the end of a program and 2) some of the slower shows can actually take the time to introduce elementary critical thinking.  You do have be selective to find these programs, but there seem to be a fair number more offered now than when I was a kid.

 

Just wanted to clarify that those words are not mine, though I did quote them for my own comment. =]

 

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I took my two oldest, (boy

I took my two oldest, (boy and oldest girl) to see '300' in the theatre. They loved it and haven't eviscerated, raped, or bludgeoned anyone... yet. lol.

By contrast, I took my youngest (6 yr. old) to see 'WALL-E' and I almost cried in the first five minutes. She even had to ask me if I was ok.

'WALL-E' was more of a horror movie for me. Scariest fucking picture I've ever seen besides 'Idiocracy'.

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