Well, nothing is really new with Sarah since a few days ago when I last posted. She is still having a rough time and keeps saying "Eyes bugging you." It's been a hard week. She has long stretches of time during the day when she plays fine and seems okay, but then out of the blue she will start rubbing her eyes and crying nonstop. It's pretty heartbreaking. I can't wait for this part to be done. Please pray that she will have comfort soon.
But the topic of this post is something different this time. I want to talk about TV.
When Sarah and I spend long days at the clinic, there is nearly always a television going nonstop in the corner. Typically it plays Snow White (not sure why it's almost always that one), sometimes a different Disney cartoon, and then...whatever happens to be on Nickelodeon or Disney ALL DAY LONG. Those are supposed to be kids networks, right? At home our kids are not allowed to watch TV all day like that, and they aren't allowed to watch anything we haven't previously approved, so they have never seen (at least I'm pretty sure they haven't) the programming that blares on in the corner all day. Things like Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody (did I get the spelling right on that one?), and, what's the other one...iCarly. And I had never seen them either. Normally while they are on I don't really pay any attention.
Well, one of the last times Sarah had to have a transfusion, she fell asleep in my arms, and there I was in a comfy recliner, in a different room, but still with a TV in the corner, this time a huge flat screen, pretty much right in front of my face. So iCarly came on, and I decided to really watch it and see what kind of stuff Hollywood is feeding our kids these days.
That same show came on twice in a row. The first episode was actually okay. The characters didn't seem to be bad role models or anything, the plot was cute and kind of funny in a goofy tween kind of way, and I thought, "Huh...maybe I was too quick to judge these shows. That really wasn't bad at all."
And then the next episode started. The plot began that the main character, Carly's, relatives were coming over, and they were really dorky people. They had a lot of food allergies, and they were annoying, and so terribly dorky that this very popular girl could not stand the thought of having to be around them for the couple of hours that they were going to be visiting. So she was begging her best friend and brother to stay and keep her company while they were there. At this point I was thinking, "Oh. There is going to be a twist. The dorky family is going to have changed, and her friend will end up having a crush on the cousin or something like that."
I was wrong, the family comes for the visit, and they are as nerdy as Carly said they would be. Dressed out of style, socially awkward, the boy has a cone around his neck like a dog that's been to the vet...stuff like that. The best friend takes one look at this family, turns up her nose and beats it out of there as fast as she can, and Carly is tragically left alone with them. But the thing is, this family is really nice. As friendly, smiley, kind and polite as they can be, oblivious to the fact that their cousin is looking at them like they are smelly animals. She is forced to endure the hardships of playing games with them like Duck Duck Goose for hours until they finally leave with a smile and a wave.
The sub plot in the show involves Carly's other friend who is a boy. He took up fencing unbeknownst to his mother, and when she finds out she is not happy. Of course, she is the stereotypical out of touch parent while her son is the handsome, savvy cool kid. When she tells him he has to stop fencing, he completely disrespects her and comes off as the hero who stands up to his mom.
So, I'm sorry to say that my hunch was right. I was so disgusted with this show. First of all, I was under the impression that America was becoming much more "tolerant," right? I thought the concensus was that schools and parents should teach kids to accept people as they are, no matter what. I guess what they mean is, that "cool" kids should be tolerant within reason. I mean, if people are dorky, it is totally fine to make fun of them, call them names (they did in the show), and basically think of them as unworthy scum because they look and act a little different. Never mind that they are really nice people. This was the message this TV in the corner was blaring to all the kids in the room. I sat there wondering what people would have thought if it was an African American family coming to visit or a homosexual family. But nerdy?? You guys are fair game.
And the "cool" boy talking back so boldly to his mousy, doormat mom? Why don't parents see anything wrong with this picture? I sat there wondering how many parents actually sit down and watch the garbage going into their kids' minds.
And in between episodes, and during the commercial breaks, there were little rock music videos and previews of upcoming shows. You know what they were all about? Boy/girl relationships. Really young teen girls singing and dancing--you know the kind of videos. Flirting, tight clothes, even kissing...yeah. And I am pretty sure these shows are marketed to kids my Jacob's age--like 10-12 probably? Maybe younger. Wow.
Oh my...I am sad about the world our kids are growing up in. The media pushes them to grow up so fast, be cool, like boys (or girls) disrespect authority, and still today in 2010, it is subtily or not so subtily fed to them that it is okay to look down on people who are not like you.
Heaven help us.
And suffice it to say that our kids are still not allowed to watch these kid shows. I think some of what comes on the Discovery Channel is still good...