May 14, 2007

Sex! Violence! Smoking?

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From a recent press release:

"Los Angeles – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today announced that the rating system is enhancing the amount of information provided to parents on the issue of smoking in films.

In the past, illegal teen smoking has been a factor in the rating of films, alongside other parental concerns such as sex, violence and adult language. Now, all smoking will be considered and depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating."

Pardon me while I go fire up a cigarette in front of a six-year-old....or perhaps I should set fire to a flag while buildings implode around me, and guns kill thousands in real life.

I can't imagine explaining to a child how cigarettes, drinking, and all manner of non-PG behaviors show up in films from an earlier era, and ours still sanctifies violence on the small screen. Think Law & Order. CSI and its spin-offs. Any film set in the wild, wild West. Six times a day, minimum, several well before what used to be called the "family hour." Even parents on the Disney channel sleep (horrors!) in the same bed.

How will the child learn to appreciate The Thin Man? Since when did Nick and Nora become poster adults for debauchery personified?

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