What's appropriate for kids?

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Post by Coheteboy » Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:40 pm

You know, after thinking about it... I don't really watch movies anymore with children in mind. I go in thinking about my parents. I ask myself if this is a movie that my parents can enjoy WITH me in the same room...or if it's even something they could enjoy at all?

I know it sounds silly, but I somehow feel responsible for protecting my parents from watching crappy movies. They don't have the passion for film that I do, so they don't keep up to date with what's good and what's bad. I personally like the occasional immoral comedy romp, but we all know that's not good for anybody but teens and college students... and adults who wish they were still college students. But my point is this: I don't want my parents thinking that movies have become such trash. I don't even want that argument to take place. They are right to think that there is garbage out there, but there's also a lot of good stuff too.

So whether it be making content for kids, I'd like to make sure it's good for the conservative grown-ups as well. Thank God for Pixar.

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Post by househatke » Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:18 pm

You're a cool guy, Marco.

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Post by Clank » Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:43 pm

Kazu wrote:Clank, it sounds like you have some really cool parents. You should count yourself lucky, and thank them. :D
Hehe :D I agree.

This is a really good thread, by the way.

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Post by Ganter » Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:18 pm

These are great replies~ I agree with most everything said here. Kids are far smarter than they're given credit for. They know what's out there at a young age, but unless these things are put into context rather than random sex and violence there is a risk of misinterpretation. Daisy Kutter doesn't talk down to its audience, and kids, as well as adults, can pick up on that immediately, so beyond the attraction of the gorgeous artwork I can see how the kids would find it intriguing~

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Post by Eric » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:08 am

I was brought up by a really strict (Irish) mother, and a down to earth (French) dad. I was fortunate enough to have a balance, but now that I am older, I see the roads that stem from both parties. All I can tell you is what I know on a personal level, and I by no means generalise this to the masses.

I have a strong belief that if kids aren’t sensitised with truth, and are censored away from things deemed “corruptible”, they might rebel and over indulge in those things later in life and a snowball effect occurs, causing immense damage to themselves and the people around them. This I have lived so I know it’s a possibility.

Kids have to be told the truth all the time as tactfully as possible without destroying their beautiful innocence. That’s what boy/girl relationships in junior high are for. :lol:

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Post by E » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:59 am

Kazu wrote: My parents raised me that way, where I could basically do or see whatever I wanted, but they were there to make sure to guide me.
My folks were that exact way. I guess when they realized I wasnt one of those kids that had to try everything/say everything they saw and heard they got less and less panicy about what my busy little mind was taking in.
Mothos wrote:To shield a child from larger social issues can be a dangerous thing.
Agreed. Its confusing enough to be a kid, period
I'm with Finnegan(and Chuck), write for yourself. That's how I write, I just write for myself and see where that takes me, sometimes it's great for kids, sometimes I would be scared to let my Mother read what comes out of my head!
I do this too, but I often catch myself in the midset of "what if grannie wants to see what her baby has been doing at school?" or "will I look back at this and be embarrassed(by more than the art) when my kids find it, having contradicted myself thru my own teaching?"

Heh, not ALL the time do I think like this, but with all the "big stuff" i try to pop off, i try to make it so everybody can enjoy with little question to weather or not the kiddies should partake.

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Post by shojogirl » Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:44 pm

I've been mulling this over for some time, and I've reached the conclusion that kids may be exposed to a lot of things, but I'd rather not have them seeing really brutal or creepy movies until they've reached the age of 10 (or preferrably 12) and especially not without someone to hold onto when they get scared.

I grew up without a TV and I'm glad for it and plan to raise my kids (if I have any) without one. I won't keep them from anything and you can't really hide stuff from kids anyway, but I'd rather have my children have a childhood like mine, open but sheltered all the same. Maybe that won't be possible in the future, but I'd like to try.

I got my first ideas of sex from comics actually, and from books. Maybe I'm already painting a golden glow on my past, but I remember kids as being more innocent back then, children for real, not just in body. I don't think it's necessarily better today.

I just don't think kids have to know about *everything* that is going on in the adult world - they're kids! Ideally supposed to live a life of carelessness, protected, sheltered, free to do what they want but guided all the same, raised by loving parents. Should it not be like that?
Should five year olds use words like fuck and cunt and know what they mean? Should they know what it looks like to shoot a human being? What dead people look like? Should they grow afraid of irrational monsters, created by the film industry, rather than creations of their own minds?
It's sad if they do, ideally they shouldn't.

I guess what I am really trying to say is: exposure yes, but not at any price and not everything all at once. Discovery is fun. And when you then have parents that you can take your discoveries home to, spread them out on the dinner table and talk about them, that's a good thing.
I wish ...

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Post by Monk » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:00 pm

Wow. Good answer, shojo. I go back and forth whether or not I would have been (or whether all kids would be) better off without TV. Sometimes it stifles the mind, sometimes it stimulates it. I think more often than not my parents' relaxed attitude about TV and exposure in general helped foster my creativity.

Of course it's also possible that if I hadn't been watching cartoons all those hours when I was a little kid I might be making them nowadays, but who can say?

I got my sex education from books, too, reading things like Stranger in a Strange Land when I was still in middle school :wink:

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Post by Nick Fagerlund » Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:06 pm

Man, I don't know how I would have gotten through my preteen years without books that were patently inappropriate for my age.

I side with the 'The Kids are All Right' contingent. My friends and I were pretty canny 10-year-olds, and it'd be unfair to assume the current generations can't hold their own with the us-that-was. Were. You know. (Actually, I think that sort of unfairness is directly to blame for a lot of the humiliations and indignities kids have to go through in the school system and out in the community - a lot of people just aren't willing to give the next generation the dignity and leeway that they would have expected.)

I think one of the more interesting subthreads this discussion has spawned is the interplay of content and morality. While I agree with the idea that a 'good' moral stance in a work can lower the perceived density or effect of 'mature' content, I really don't think that the morality of a work should act as a limiter on how much sex or violence one feels justified in tossing in, or that one should feel compelled to keep to a certain moral standard in the first place. Artists aren't babysitters, after all, and one of the most noble effects a book can have on a young person is to shock them out of the casual assumptions of their parents' and elders' morality. (See: Youth in Revolt, a shamelessly and joyfully dirty adventure in which anything is justified if it helps the protagonist get the girl, and which was a big part of my starting to think for myself.)

Corollary to that, I'd like to mention the idea of deliberate subversion in lit for kids and preteens. I'm of the opinion that a decent chunk of the morality education in the public schools (and elsewhere) is inhumane and misleading (specifically, consider the cases of DARE and abstinence-only sex miseducation), and art might be one of the best weapons against it. I also support the cultivation of a healthy distrust of authority. Does this undermine my thesis that writers aren't babysitters and shouldn't preach? I dunno. Really, I see these effects as more of a negative morality, telling people to decide things for themselves and not to let the bastards get them down.

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The Beauty of Reality

Post by Arcanica » Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:23 am

Comics and cartoons automatically appeal to kids--we as a society found that to be quite a problem when South Park and Beavis and Butthead came out.

I agree with some of the other posters that said early exposure lends to creating a generation of strangely perverted and immature children. I saw so many of my friends' siblings become little punks with salacious jokes and porn addictions. =_=

I just cannot develop a good reason to censor Flight or any of Kazu's work, of all things.

Sometimes those ordinarily taboo things add a quality of beauty to a work. That "strange" bath scene in "My Neighbor Totoro" was censored in the American dub, but shows how culturally ignorant and inflexible we can be. But wasn't it a beautiful (and funny) scene?

Or that unforgettable "I put one drop of pee on you" scene in Craig Thompson's "Blankets?"

While taboo images in the form of South Park can have some detrimental effects on the youth, leaving out a greater scope of reality can only lead to narrow understanding and a bland book.

I appreciate Kazu for raising the question--it shows sensitivity towards all audiences, and a sense of responsibility for one's work. ^_^

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Post by John » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:53 pm

What effect does media (tv, comic books, novels, porno, etc.) have on kids? Who knows?

Here's my question: how can kids go from being delightful and curious to being total a-holes who cut me off on the freeway, then give me the finger? Huh? What comic book taught them that one?

Someone will always take something the wrong way, and some people are just plain maniacs - let's never lose sight of these truths.

By the way, "Youth In Revolt" is really a lot of fun.

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Not to be stereotypically paranoid or anything

Post by Marc Valles » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:15 pm

Well, I'm always paranoid, so my only advice is to keep in mind, or have your lawyers keep in mind, America's stupid tendency to regard comics as a children's genre, automatically.

Case in Texas comes to mind. Too lazy to Google. Prosecutor argued that comics/cartoons were for kids. Comic experts were brought in for the defense. I'm sure they mentioned manga marketing. Judge was stupid, though. Sentence handed down.

Sorry to be paranoid and all. The kids can take it.

It's the parents you have to worry about.

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Post by Kazu » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:39 pm

Well, well, well. Welcome to the forum, Mr. Valles! :D

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