Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I guess violence begets violence because I'd like to run over Mator with my car

I called out sick today so I could buy myself a new keyboard. Until yesterday I hadn't realized just how crucial the space bar is. (If you, too, need proof see my last post.)

One of Junior's friends accidentally broke his Mator from Cars during a playdate, so I promised Junior a replacement the next time we were out. We stopped into the Disney store, and Junior grabbed a new one.

I was so distracted by Everett's fussing and the super-duper-uber friendly salespeople that I didn't notice until after we got home that the version of Mator Junior had chosen included machine guns strapped to his sides. Oh, and a button that makes a machine gun sound.

You're fucking kidding me, right? This is the new Mator?

What happened to this guy?

Oh right: a sequel.

Damn that Cars 2. Damn it to hell. After I saw the movie (which includes machine gun battles, torture, and bombings) I actually went and checked what a G rating stands for. In case you're wondering, like I, it means a movie "contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture."

It continues: "Depictions of violence are minimal."

I'm on the floor laughing. Seriously, I'm going to split my sides. Can you hear me?

I'm going to guess a few things here. I'm going to guess that the illustrious Rating Board is made up of:

1) 17-year-old guys who have been allowed to bring beer into the screening room

2) people who haven't interacted with a child under the age of 5 in 500 years and who have no clue what the sight of someone being tortured can actually do to a child

3) fucking idiots

Truly, I have no other explanation for why Cars 2 (and other alleged "chidren's" movies) have been given a G rating. Even stupid Ratatouille, which I bought for Junior because it seemed safe, was rife with violence. It's supposed to be about a rat who dreams of becoming a French chef! What could be more innocent than that?

On its packaging, Disney forgot to mention the homeowner who shoots up her house—in the opening scene no less—with a double-barreled shotgun to rid the place of rats.

And by "shoot up" I mean she LEVELS the place.

What really pisses me off is that up until Cars 2, Junior had had limited to no exposure to guns and the statement "I want to kill you" (thank you, Ratatouille). I'd kept him from guns not because I am a prude but because I am lucky that killing and violence have not been a part of my life, and I'd like to keep it that way for my children.

Did I expect it to last forever? No. Do I understand that playing things like Cops and Robbers, and Cowboys, and Bad Guys vs. Good Guys, and Superheroes can be part of a normal, healthy childhood and that these role-playing games can include aspects of violence? Of course.

But dammit, if G stands for Guns, Guns, and More Guns! in a movie, label it as such. Stop peddling these grotesque, malicious stories under the guise of being child friendly.

I wonder about a Rating Board that approves such apparent violence. I wonder about people who craft movies for children that feature killing sprees. I wonder why words like kill, shoot and torture need to make a home in a four-year-old's mind.

Most of all I wonder this: Just what are we trying to prepare our children for?


Pricilla said...

Deep breath.
Remember Bugs Bunny?
We all survived....

Gina said...

I think it's the inconsistency of the MPAA that makes me the most mad. Ratings are not a simple thing - the contents of the movie are one aspect, but the intended audience is another (along with others) and I think they fail to consider that - just look at the issues surrounding Bully - the very people who SHOULD see it, won't, because of the R rating.

I remember watching Stuart Little with my son when he was younger, and while it was rated PG, I was still surprised at the word damn being in it. I'm a cusser, so I wasn't offended exactly, just didn't understand why it was in there - it didn't serve the story in any way. Just dumb.

tarheelmom said...

Amen and amen

SmartBear said...

Oh sister! You know we are SO on the same page. I think we should have tried to collaborate our posts together. It could have been some kind of peaceful stand-off.
The older the boy gets, the harder this becomes. And I agree that some of it is developmentally normal. But I keep thinking about those countries where gun killings are so uncommon. A good friend of mine is married to a British doctor. He came over here to go to a trauma training and was FLOORED. He said when they get gun shot wounds there, they send them to the military hospital....that's how rare it is.
It's different than when we were kids. The line between fantasy and reality is SO blurred.
I just try and teach my kid. Guns hurt people. They are real and they hurt people so you may not use one as a toy. Sword fights, space lasers...I'll be okay with that but the guns!
And as I said before, it was the lack of creativity on Pixar's part that also got to me. Because...they are CARS. They couldn't have the do CARS stuff? Seriously.

MaryBT said...

We survived Bugs Bunny because Bugs Bunny was violent, but not gory. The violence in movies and tv now is just gory.

I took my then 3 year old to see Toy Story 3 and regretted that. It was very dark and there were parts that I know scared her.

Now my child has been exposed to firearms because that's how our family is. But we don't go around promoting gratuitous violence - the firearms in our home are to protect her and ourselves from violent criminals and the occasional rabid dog that the police won't take care of.

IF you want to watch a really good G-Movie that is really rated G, check out Gnomeo and Juliet. It was very cute with no gratuitous sex and the violence was Bugs Bunny style.

Frogs in my formula said...

I know we all survived Bugs Bunny, but at least then you knew what you were getting. My issue is with the liberties taken with what is allegedly okay for young eyes. I'm tired of being unpleasantly surprised. And really, why does a toy car have to be loaded with weapons?

Eva Gallant said...


Anonymous said...

I remember when my daughter was 10 and wanted to see The Full Monty. I thought it contained too much bad lanuage and the theme of male strippers inappropriate so rather than head on forbidding pussy-footed around and pretended I hadn't heard her request.

A week later she went to a sleep over at her friends house and the Mum selected that as the movie that the room full of 10 year old should watch.

Basically what ever your values are your child will be exposed sometime or other to something you don't approve of.

But with you all the way on this - total lack of consistancy. Argh.

Suldog said...

I agree with Pricilla, AND I agree with you.

Kids will survive pretty much anything we throw at them visually, insofar as violence is concerned. I grew up watching Tom & Jerry and The Three Stooges, but I've become a relatively peaceful and non-confrontational soul.

On the other hand, I understand your feelings. If ratings are going to be used, they should damn well be consistent with the description given for being awarded such ratings.

Came here from Everyday Goddess, by the way. Congrats on the award!

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