A Conversation for Public Television
Spirit Posted Jun 16, 1999
Zee...Zed...You say tom-AY-to and I say tom-AH-to...bejeezus, people. You're all starting to sound vaguely nationalistic and authoritarian. Pheeeew. I doesn't matter! And as for Sesame Street itself - I watched it as a young'un and loved it. I am articulate, creative, intelligent and generally making a satisfying success from my life, and Sesame Street whilst not responsible for this fact, never ever hurt me or screwed with my head. Goodness...let your kids have some fun if they like it. If you consider yourself a good parents with a successful and healthy input into your children's development then you can rest assured that your kids will get at the very least a little amusement out of Sesame Street and and best, a bit of learning too.
SMURF Posted Jun 16, 1999
Fair point but we have to draw the line somewhere. I mean the person who dreamt up the tellietubbies should be sacked. I'm all for kids having some fun but that's just drivel.
The only problem I have about kids programs is the blatant exploiting of kids manufacturers and advertisers do. Breading a nation of spoilt brats who scream because their parents go bankrupt trying to pamper to their desire to have every known piece of tellietubbie merchandise.
Spirit Posted Jun 16, 1999
I agree that the Teletubbies are mindless drivel, and I cannot see any educational value in them whatsoever. As for making money out of the merchandice et al., well...I agree again, but I reiterate my point that a good parent will not succumb to this material brainwashing and bribery and will maintain a level of control over the demands of their children. Hey, your kids may shout and scream now, which of course will really irritate you, but later they'll have learned some valuable lessons about the difference between need and want and hopefully will one day thank you - for being there to teach them. For being their parents. That is one of the roles of parents, is it not? To guide and teach their children (as well as learning from them). Yes, it's a difficult world to guide children through these days, but when you chose to be a parent, you chose to take that responsibility and I believe it is your responsibility to guide your kids as creatively and honestly as you can. By the way...do you wear clothing from major labels? Just a thought...
SMURF Posted Jun 16, 1999
Personally, with the exception of when I had to wear maternity clothes (the choice is a little limiting) I am not a fashion victim. I usually just wear jeans/ combats and a t-shirt. Fortunately I have a job where I don't have to make an effort too often.
I do agree with you BUT you have to admit that a lot of people have children without thinking about being responsible parents. And most parents are taken in by Mr. Advertiser too. I'd like to think I'm different but that's because I was brought up to know that you can't always get what you want. Certainly I have the financial ability to provide that my parents didn't have but that still doesn't mean that I'm going to rush out and buy him everything he wants.
Spoiling occasionally can be good. I have to admit to having a weakness for books and I would never say no to a book he wanted. But if your child has very few good things in life it can be hard to say no. And it can be even harder if you yourself have not had the chance to grow up and mature fully.
By the way, do you have children?
Global Village Idiot Posted Jun 16, 1999
Without wishing to set myself up as the Teletubbies' champion, I should perhaps point out that they were conceived to appeal to an age range below pretty much anything which had been addressed before - hence the repetition and "baby talk", which have been shown to be the most effective way of stimulating children just beginning to speak. They shouldn't be judged by comparison with something like Sesame Street, and parents should really try to find something more intellectually stimulating for their older children to do while it's on.
If you were to doubt the benefits to society of dragging such young children into the web of TV, I wouldn't disagree with you (though it now seems impossible to prevent them becoming addicted by about the age of 4 anyway).
I also agree that the blatant cynicism which sees everything from second-rate action figures to yoghourt spewing forth as a result of a series' popularity is shameful. But that's capitalism.
Spirit Posted Jun 16, 1999
Ooops...busted! ...Nope, I don't have children. Feel free to ignore me or to chastise me for my presumptiousness! I had the opportunity some years ago, but to my own great sadness decided not to go through with having kids at that time...due to personal circumstances that I honestly believed would be negative for a child's emotional security as it grew up. I accepted also that at that point in my life, I was not really all that emotionally secure in myself either and therefore not really ready to take on the responsibility of another soul's growth. Anyway, I care a lot about kids, and I guess I dropped into this forum as I was getting a little annoyed with the level of cynicism geared towards the media. Whilst I utterly agree that the tv and 'Mr Advertiser' can be negative and brainwashing influences, I just think that more parents should take responsibility for their children's welfare and for screening and helping to decipher the world for their children's best potential. It sounds to me like you are indeed doing your best for your son, and I'm happy to hear that. I'm happy to hear people who are concerned about such issues as child development. I just think the world at large has a negative enough atmosphere as it is, and the more people who take responsibility for their own and their loved one's personal happiness in a positive way the better. I apologise if I come across kinda preachy...I don't mean to...I simply feel...
SMURF Posted Jun 18, 1999
You should be praised for your honesty about not wanting children. My pregnancy was unplanned and I had a lot of self doubt about it. But like my partner said, would there ever be a time when I would feel ready. We're luck as it has all turned out for the best and in a way I'm glad it was unplanned as I've never been expecting anything from the preganancy, birth ,child.
On the subject of telletubbies, I do agree that it was aimed at younger children, like my son who is only one. However, if my son is like other kids, he does prefer to be spoken to face to face and by real people. At the moment it can also be said that he prefers real words as he's got the hang of this babbling baby speak and wants to progress. There is no substitute for person interaction with a child of any age.
I'd like to think Callum won't be addicted to the tv by the time he's four. It is off more than it is on. However, I do feel it is up to the parent to censor tv. People seem to have forgotten that tvs do come with off buttons. My son prefers the radio anyway.
Fandango (a.k.a Researcher 43647) Posted Jun 19, 1999
I'll have nothing said against it , Sesame street Keeps kids watching (easily identifiable charas - Cookie monster etc...)
And not really patronising as most Kids progs. are !
I was brought up on a diet of A. Banana Splits
B. Video games (late 70's +)
C. Sesame street
I see myself as a well adjusted indivdual with a interesting 'slant' on reality !
wingpig Posted Jun 20, 1999
The worst thing about the Teletubbies™ is the rationalising psychobabble the producers see fit to spout forth when justifying their programme. It boils down to the fact that TT encourages people to make stupid noises to kids, which is what part of what I meant by the "patronising kids" thing. In this way TT is probably worse than Sesame Street; they're actually speaking words in the latter, even if they are pronounced incorrectly. TT is truly the worst of the "dump your kid in front of the pretty colours whilst you bugger off and do the washing up" school-of-thought programmes, but it has a crucial point in its favour - it's on BBC and thus has no adverts in the. I don't know about the US arrangement for showing it, but I assume all US channels have advertising breaks every three minutes. Over here, SS is on C4 and thus is broken up by adverts. I'm profoundly grateful for the faact that my dad disapproved of ITV when I was small and impressionable and thus guarded my sister and I from them. The other day I was wandering around the supermarket when some kids, none of whom were older than four, started yelling at their guardian "hey, look, SUnny D! Can we have some Sunny D please mum can we can we sunny D!?" and so forth. Parents might as well sell their first-born to Coca-Cola/Schweppes at birth if this sort of shit's going to happen. Whatever a child watches, it shouldn't be made to become this warped so young.
Ac-1D Posted Jun 21, 1999
Ah.. But the question is not how you see yourself!
The point is TV has the potential to be an excellent teaching tool for almost anyone. The trouble is that in general the money is going towards braindead uneducational crap and parents are doing sweet FA to screen their childs watching habits. I'm not usually on the bandwagon that preaches that TV is responsible for the breakdown of society, but I think that society allowing the breakdown of TV could easily lead to a fat stupid population of half arsed half wits who have to have every thought thought for them. . .
SMURF Posted Jun 21, 1999
I agree with the comment about commercials. One thing that I have noticed is the stratling amount of ads for sweets and fizzy drinks at a time when most people are eating breakfast. I think my son's a bit wierd though. Most children I know are attracted to ads but he prefers end credits!
Driver8 Posted Jun 22, 1999
Just to clear up a trans-atlantic misapprehension: American PBS does not have commercial breaks during its programming. Because funds for public broadcasting are tight, corporate sponsors generally get a plug before or after the program, but these do not constitute actual commercials as they appear on other networks. I don't, however, think that kids are too warped or influenced by entities like Pfizer, the John D. and Katherine T. McArthur foundation, or the Chubb Group. Although, if your kids HAVE been warped by these groups, I'd like to meet them as they're probably pretty interesting young people.
wingpig Posted Jun 22, 1999
Pfizer adverts in between kids' programmes? They're going to be thinking themselves abnormal merely because they can get an erection without the aid of little blue pills. I wonder if Viagra will make it onto the national curriculum as part of the sex education syllabus?
SMURF Posted Jun 25, 1999
In the UK, programs that don't appear on the BBC are broken into every fifteen to twenty minutes for a 3- 5 minute commercial break. During childrens programs these tend to be for sweets, fizzy drinks and no end of crappy products. Also, for popular shows like Sesame Street there is no end of merchandise which children harass parents for.
So you can see how many parents over here are very concerned about the advertisers exploiting kids and their parents. It also means that children have a low concentration span (some people believe).
wingpig Posted Jun 25, 1999
The low concentration span's due to the junk food diet - glucose-heavy crap that makes kids hyper for a few hours before they enter the lethargic, concentration-free comedown. The lack of exercise they get these days also screws their metabolism as well as affecting their mood and capacity for mental activity. Foremost among the sinners of this type are such things as Colas and additive-filled colourful crap such as Sunny Delight. Anyone see the thing on the news recently where they showed that a school banning crisps, chips and lardy-sugar crap from the dinnerhall and implementing the application of fruit and vegetables got a significant rise in performance? There's other stuff about that indicates the differing concentration span between kids biking to school and those getting driven. Besides educating kids in the academic sense, kids TV should feature the occaisonal moral tale of the kid who sat playing Station all day, never walked anywhere and filled their mouth with chocolate, crisps and other crap and eventually died age 34 whilst standing in the dole queue. Has there been any more news recently on the playsation baby who wouldn't even look away from the screen to have his photo taken for the papers? He was two and spent over twelve hours a day in front of computer games.
Driver8 Posted Jun 25, 1999
Parents: Your kids need a Soccer Ball, the hot new kid's toy that's sweeping the nation! Based on Sphere technology developed by NASA, it's been linked to cardio-vascular health, endurance and muscle tone!*
*These statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration
SMURF Posted Jun 25, 1999
You are joking about that kid I hope. That's disgusting!
My kid is a bit young to play footie (he can't walk yet) but I love taking him swimming. Very good for you.
The thing that bugs me about Sunny Delight is how they promote it as a health drink when it's just a bottle of orange coloured sugar water.
I don't profess to be the perfect parent but I'm trying. I think my son has quite a well balanced diet and I make a point of going out at least once a day with him.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. I was a tad unfit as a kid because I spent too much time indoors reading. That much inactivity is bad for you.
Driver8 Posted Jun 26, 1999
Sunny Delight tastes like bat emissions. I am also constantly annoyed by bottled fruit juices with labels that say, "10% Fruit Juice." The juice is extended by high-fructose corn syrup, water, and added citric acid.
Ac-1D Posted Jun 28, 1999
I was a hyperactive child who had too many raspberry popsicles. Never did me any harm...
... although, I do take a lot more psychedelic drugs than your average bear, but I'm sure the manufacturers will deny any link between their chemical compounds and the ones I'm on...
SMURF Posted Jun 28, 1999
The best piece of equipment we bought when we moved into our new house was one of those juicing machines. Make the stuff yourself is what I say.
Key: Complain about this post
- 21: Spirit (Jun 16, 1999)
- 22: SMURF (Jun 16, 1999)
- 23: Spirit (Jun 16, 1999)
- 24: SMURF (Jun 16, 1999)
- 25: Global Village Idiot (Jun 16, 1999)
- 26: Spirit (Jun 16, 1999)
- 27: SMURF (Jun 18, 1999)
- 28: Fandango (a.k.a Researcher 43647) (Jun 19, 1999)
- 29: wingpig (Jun 20, 1999)
- 30: Ac-1D (Jun 21, 1999)
- 31: SMURF (Jun 21, 1999)
- 32: Driver8 (Jun 22, 1999)
- 33: wingpig (Jun 22, 1999)
- 34: SMURF (Jun 25, 1999)
- 35: wingpig (Jun 25, 1999)
- 36: Driver8 (Jun 25, 1999)
- 37: SMURF (Jun 25, 1999)
- 38: Driver8 (Jun 26, 1999)
- 39: Ac-1D (Jun 28, 1999)
- 40: SMURF (Jun 28, 1999)