15 August, 2007

Rated C for Conspiracy

I've been listening to a radio ad of some crappy new movie ― not sure what its name was ― and generally let is pass right through the vacuum between my ears, but I did catch an end of a sentence: “...not a minute without the parents”, or something like that. I'm not sure what it was supposed to mean and even if got it right, but it anyway allowed me to discover another conspiracy. The conspiracy of movie ratings, which is vast enough to cover other media, like TV or computer games (the latter being an unfortunate side-effect, or perhaps a decoy).

See how more and more material becomes “inappropriate” for children? Like an occasional glimpse of a woman's breast might traumatize them for life? Or someone's ass kicked in a mildly brutal manner? Clearly, there are scenes and ideas that should be kept away from people under a certain age, but then again, if it isn't appropriate, then don't allow children to watch it at all. Instead, movies get a rating that does allow children to watch it but ― here's the trick ― only if a parent is with them, too. I think that is the purpose of it: instead of going alone, a child has to bring an adult with him. A very real adult who will have to a) pay for the full-price ticket and b) will consume an ungodly amount of popcorn, which isn't free, either.

Similar reason, I think, is behind the campaign for “children-safe” TV ― while it works indirectly in this case. Because after all the media storm about the “indecency” on TV, some parents are more likely to watch TV with their children, hence the more mature and profitable audience for the ads. A catch-22-type coincidence here is that people who are gullible enough to really believe in that “indecent-TV” story are perhaps especially likely to buy whatever the ads tell them. And I was wondering why o why do they show car ads during Yu-Gi-Oh!

As for the video games, I don't see an immediate benefit of overly restrictive ratings and attributing kids' behavioral problems to the games. So it is probably done to make people more comfortable to the whole idea of censorship or perhaps it has even started by itself, which would mean that enough people did in fact become comfortable enough. Either way, make sure you watch Nickelodeon, just in case the FCC may need to know about inappropriate material!

P.S. I find it especially amusing how the broadcast (i.e. the type you watch for free via a piece of a wire) TV is censored. Less is allowed there vs cable, presumably precisely because of the ability to catch a broadcast off a piece of a wire... like if the products of the public school system could think of that. The purpose must be that the children don't get a mental shock after seeing a little of something that fed most of them for months or even years, but at the same time they do allow absolutely terrifying horror movie ads to run. These ads scare me, and I have to ― I kid you not ― close my eyes while they are on.

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