I've been dithering over posting because I've got a couple of different* things on my mind. The first is all about entertainment and how it's making me into a cranky grandma. Since I've been writing over at Culture Brats I've been stepping up my media absorption (natch) and there are some related trends that just send me over the edge. But you (meaning me) don't realize how much those trends send you over the edge until you're ranting and raving over another video of kids partying until you're (again me) throwing walnuts at the screen, you know?
In a nutshell (ha ha, I'm a funny old person), I really don't like all the shows about being famous that are aimed at kids. Reality TV has changed the whole definition of being "famous" (i.e. you don't have to have talent or achievement to be a celebrity, you just need to be on TV or the Internet, preferably with temperament issues) and I think when those shows were aimed at adults it was OK, because adults have the perspective to understand what they're watching. But there are more and more shows about kids being famous, or their parents being rich, or being both, and even if the messages of the show are wholesome (such as, famous people are regular kids, too!) the kids still get handed a lot, if not everything, rather than working. All I can think when I see these shows pop up is, "Is this what we're teaching our kids to expect? No wonder there's so many entitlement issues."
Because, for me, the American dream is about working hard to achieve your dreams and building a good life. NOT "I wish I was rich so I wouldn't have to do anything." And yes, I DO think there are a lot of entitlement issues out there.
The sad thing is we are at a point in our economic history where lots of people DID work hard to build a good life and they've lost it or are struggling. But is it a good solution to teach our children to rely on a fantasy of becoming famous? What's happening to the idea of work ethic? Or even simply the idea of being famous because you achieved something special? Like curing a disease or going to the moon?
I've always thought that our obsession with celebrities and the rich took an unhealthy turn a long time ago. But it really makes me angry when I see the same obsession purposely aimed at children, indoctrinating them, teaching them to expect that lifestyle is normal and/or expected. I know it's always been out there but it just seems to be getting more out of control. Sure, there was the Monkees and the Partridge Family when I was a kid... but that was two shows! Now there's iCarly, Hannah Montana (of course), I'm With the Band, Gigantic (launching soon!), Gossip Girl, etc. not even mentioning the plethora of teen reality shows.
Basically, I'm just not sure any of these programs that show the lifestyle of the rich and famous (even if the themes within the episodes are positives) are sending the right message to our younger generations.
(Now excuse me, I must shuffle off in my houseslippers to buy more ribbon candy.)
What do you think about these shows? Harmless or harmful?
- the weirdgirl
*The second thing I've been doing is building a robot. You can see where the subjects don't mesh.