I know I’ve mentioned Six Feet Under more than a couple of times lately, but this is kind of a new thought.
Many of the people that I know and consider my friends would easily fit into the description of white, middle class, conservative, Christian families. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for so many parents of these households. They have clear ideas of what they believe and what kind of life they are hoping to establish for themselves and their kids. Particularly and appropriately, they are concerned with the movies/tv shows/video games/books their kids take in, and are even very careful about the media they take in themselves.
This, in itself, seems very positive to me. I think it’s very important for parents protect the innocence of their children’s hearts and minds as long as possible. There are plenty of scary things in this world, there’s no reason for children to face them any sooner than necessary. I sometimes find myself questioning the stringency of the filter enforced by some of these parents, but that’s really not any of my business or at least a topic better suited to its own blog.
What has struck me lately is how skewed the individuals’ filter can be. TV & Movies containing themes and shots of nudity, overt sexuality, homosexuality, cursing and foul language, and sometimes even hints of fantasy like Harry Potter or anything related to Dungeons & Dragons are categorically dismissed and/or berated and condemned. At least they’re abstained from. However, near-nudity (like in fear factor), greed, self-centeredness, deception, backstabbing, scheming (like in the Apprentice and just about every other reality show), self-loathing and pre-occupation with outward beauty (as in extreme makeover or the Swan) literal violence (like in Jackass or viva la bamm) are rarely, if ever questioned.
I am very perplexed. I don’t want anybody who may read this to feel like I’m attacking their behavior. It is just so odd to me to know that a number of people I know couldn’t even get through a single episode of six feet under for moral reasons. These same individuals would probably feel that I was, at best, walking a thin-line on the edge of slippery slope for embracing a show like Six Feet Under or a movie like Magnolia or American Beauty. But, how do I deal with the fact I have a hard time dealing with shows like Fear Factor, The Apprentice, or Jackass for moral but different reasons?