February 21 2005

The New York Times > Arts > Television > ‘Simpsons’ Animates Gay Nuptials, and a Debate

The New York Times > Arts > Television > ‘Simpsons’ Animates Gay Nuptials, and a Debate

So The Simpsons talked about gay marriage….what is the problem here? As far as I can see, none. No matter how you view the subject of gay marriage, the issue was handled pretty deftly I thought. The episode ran with a parental advisory and I didn’t see anything in the episode that seemed that offensive.

Enter the Parents Television Council, those self-appointed watchdogs of all things television. These are the same folks who reportedly account for around 99% of all complaints to the FCC. They take offense at everything, but quite frankly I take offense at them. Check out the quote from the article at the top:

L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Parents Television Council, criticized “The Simpsons” for addressing the issue of gay marriage, though he cautioned that he had not seen the episode.

Hold the phone…he is complaining about something he had not even seen? Wow…that takes some mighty large brass ones. He goes on to say:

“I’d rather them not do it at all,” he added. “You’ve got a show watched by millions of children. Do children need to have gay marriage thrust in their faces as an issue? Why can’t we just entertain them?”

Um…again, you had not seen the episode. There WAS a parental advisory run before the episode and during all advertisments for the show that I personally saw.

The problem I have with groups like the PTC is that in their view NO ONE should see this material. They believe they are helping parents out so that they can let their child watch any show.

And there is a fatal flaw in this country today. No one wants to take responsibility for their children. They all want society as a whole to raise their child and they want to be troubled as little as possible. When I had my retail store open I constantly had parents drop their kids off at my store while they ran their errands. They would leave the kid at our place, give them no money and they would come back in an hour or two to get them. I was turned into a free babysitting service, which I never did appreciate. Why not take the kid with you? Why not teach them how to behave in public? Why not teach them not to run around? Oh that’s right…because it would inconvenience you. Silly me.

So now parents even expect the television their kids watch to be monitored by OTHER people. Here’s a radical idea, how about instead of sheltering your kids from all these “harmful” subjects, you instead have an honest to goodness sit down talk with them and answer any questions they may have on the subject? I know, again…silly me.

Hiding a child in the closet and shielding them from subjects does not work. It makes them more curious and more apt to try or experiment with the things they think are taboo to them. I will be blunt folks, I drank WAY more alcohol when I was under 21 than I did after I turned 21. I also started smoking when I was 16 and got up to almost 2 packs a day. (I quit several years ago) Both were things that were “taboo”, and that just made me more interested in them.

Folks, I don’t want to tell you how to raise your kids, that would make me no better than the PTC if I did. All I would hope is that maybe, just maybe, we could see a swing back to the actual parents taking back over the raising of their children. Then maybe I could watch The Simpsons without all the hoopla.

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