“I don’t know why they watch this stuff! It’s terrible!”
That’s what the sweet little ol’ lady next to me on the plane just told me, referring to her grandkids’ movie choices. Funny, she answered her own question in the next minute. Why do they “watch this stuff?” They watched it because she let them.
Today’s media is growing increasingly raunchy, and many parents (and grandparents) are simply giving up and pleading ignorant.
“Ignorant” is an interesting word if you think about it. It conveys “uninformed,” but the word more accurately suggests the fact that we are actually “ignoring” the painful truth.
The conversation with this lady started with her complaining about the movies her grandkids had just seen. I asked her, “Oh. Did you go and see a movie with your grandkids?”
“Yes. I took my grandkids to our local theatre. My grandson wanted to see that Transformers film. I didn’t want to see that movie, it looked terrible! So I went into another theater to see something else with my grand daughter… she’s 13. It was terrible too. I can’t remember what is was called. It was about some teachers that weren’t good?”
“Yes.” She wagged her head disapprovingly. “I didn’t know it would be so bad.
I couldn’t help myself from prodding a little deeper. “Did you look at the rating? It was Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.” (yeah… I really said that)
“Well, yes,” she said, dismissing my question. “But I don’t know what all those ratings mean. And by the time I realized it, my granddaughter had already seen most of it.”
It’s amazing how a woman who has lived on this planet for 60+ years doesn’t know what “sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use” means. And was the poster really that misleading, with the “EAT ME” sign and that slogan, She doesn’t give an ‘F’?
We talked a while longer and I showed her how to look up movies on www.IMDB.com and click on the “parents guide.”
So why do young people keep watching “this stuff?” Because adults keep making it, marketing it to kids, and then allowing them to watch it. The raunchy stuff is among their favorites (Check out the Teen Choice Awards winners this year—movies like No Strings Attached, Hangover II, Bad Teacher, etc.)
Adults are the gatekeepers here… and these gates are open wide.