I, for one, think I have a reasonable and charming excuse; his name is Jack.
Many many things that are undeniably part of pop-culture are directed towards children. These things are also undeniably made by adults. This fact: that things made for children are made by adults, has often impressed me and made me wonder as I walk down the toy aisle at Wal-Mart of somewhere similar.
|Though it's a mixed bag, I've enjoyed me some Adventure Time.|
But showing it to my young son and daughter? This suggestion gives serious
As I gaze in dread fascination at the little plastic hammers that light up and play music and have "A, B, C," and "1, 2, 3," inscribed on them, and the humanoid dolls with giant eyes and strange shaped heads, and the robots that contort into cyber-gorillas and back again, I think about the fact that children, when they are born, are the same as children have always been since the beginning of time.
This means that children will play with sticks if you give them sticks. They will play with Lincoln Logs if you give them Lincoln Logs. And they will play with Lego-Star-Wars-Ewok-Village-Play-Sets if you give them Lego-Star-Wars-Ewok-Village-Play-Sets. Which is to say that what children play with tells you more about the people they got the toys from than it does about the children.
I've said before that pop-culture is a conversation. Saturday morning cartoons, toys, and the rest are part of that conversation. They're just the speeches that begin "Hey, kid..." and the speech is given by an adult.
Now, I'm not saying that children don't participate in this. Clearly many kids enjoy things like Lego, and I suspect and hope that many interesting and unexpected things have arisen from these means in the hands of kids. But, the contribution of a child to the great human conversation (of which pop-culture is a branch) is the kind of art that usually has little or no budget and a production time that is practically the same as, and contemporary with, its presentation.
|I imagine the inventor of Transformers coming up with them in this way:|
Robots? Cool. Cars and jets and stuff? Also cool. Robots that are also
cars and jets and stuff? Cool * Cool = Cool squared.
I mean play. Really, come to think of it, imaginative play is pretty much what pop-culture is, except children have less experience and fewer resources. When a kid pretends to be a ThunderCat, what is the difference, in real substance, between his game and what the people who drew, acted in, and broadcast ThunderCats did? They put in more hours, and used more (though not more wonderful) means than the kid. But, in the end, they're playing with images, characters, and ideas.
And, very much like play, much of pop-culture is produced with a sort of 'sense,' or 'feeling' rather than being very thoroughly worked out. Pop-culture is the casual branch of the human conversation.
So, the question I'd like to leave y'all with is this (and it really is a question):
How casual a conversation, and on what topics, do we want people having with our kids?