Parental Guidance Is Advised

I was watching TV on Saturday morning, hoping to catch some funny cartoons to remind me of my not-so-distant childhood (cough cough, but do I say :)) but what I came across was disturbing, to say the least. When did cartoons become so…how shall I put it (at the risk of sounding redundant)…disturbing?

There was a cartoon programme which showed an old lady speaking to a monstrous creature whose dialect I could hardly make out. Is this what kids are watching nowadays?

Monsters, dragons, morphing humans turning into anything from a Transformers-like gadget to a cockroach (OK I may be exaggerating just a little bit)…it’s little wonder that these kids have nightmares and basically have a very different childhood experience from the rest of us born in the 90’s and earlier.

I remember once like five years ago I watched a cartoon where the whole episode was about this family made up of the parents and two kids and how the dad had been working too hard and was always coming home late, leaving his wife frustrated. The wife decided to take matters into her own hands and dressed in a seductive, low-cut top and proceeded to try and seduce the neighbor (or was it her husband’s boss?). This was a cartoon that kids were watching!

I realized things were getting out of hand when I noticed I can no longer watch cartoons (and I love cartoons). If I find them disturbing, I can only imagine the kind of effect they are having on our younger generation.

Other kids’ programmes are not without fault either. Most of them are either about wizardry or super powers. I was shocked when my little 3 year old, relatively shy and quiet cousin spread her arms wide and growled “I’m alive!” What?! Where did she watch that? We can’t have little growling, fighting, seductive kids running around while we watch.

We think that we will filter all the other “grown-up” programmes from our televisions and let our kids watch cartoons but guess what, they (I’m not sure who “they” are in your case but I know who “they” would be in my case) are getting to our precious little ones through that too. Video games are full of violence, cursing and excess competitiveness.

Cartoons, video games, prime-time television and even advertising are all reaching our little ones without any obstruction. Movies and other television shows have strange ratings these days. You will find a PG-13 movie full of violence and “mild sexual situations”,  a PG-10 movie that should clearly have been rated “18”…really, who filters these things?

Cow and Chicken

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but whatever happened to Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes, Cow & Chicken, Animaniacs….you know, the childish, nice and innocent cartoons?

How can sex sell in children’s entertainment?

Clearly, something is wrong with our generation. Seriously wrong.

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