There has been on ongoing debate since the beginning of television whether art mimics life or whether life mimics art.
The early television censors took no chances. Couples slept in twin beds and women wore pajamas. Well, the men also wore pajamas. The point is women couldn’t wear anything provocative in the bedroom. Early television couples had twin beds, women were unprovocative, yet TV children were somehow conceived.
In the 1970’s, popular actors and actresses stood against what they saw as unreasonable and unrealistic censorship. They won. Less censorship began to take effect. Cable TV found its footing.
During the 1990’s, censors relaxed their oversight even more. Men’s bare bottoms were allowed on network TV. Many church groups rallied to try and shut down nudity on television, beginning another war with Hollywood. Hollywood won the battle; church groups lost the war.
I am not educated enough in entertainment history to cite studies or research projects regarding the positive or adverse effects of less censorship for television. I have my opinion, but my opinion doesn’t make it fact. I will quote my daddy and say that ever since Rhett Butler had the freedom to say he didn’t give a damn in the movie Gone with the Wind, clean entertainment took a hit.
Fast forward to today’s television. Unless you are willing to boycott TV all together, there isn’t much luck at trying to watch only non-controversial shows. News is more graphic. Television talk shows lack respect for authority. While I might agree some authority doesn’t deserve respect, I am concerned about the bigger picture. Comedy lost its simplistic innocence allowing upbeat laughter as opposed to veiled social statements.
Of course FOX News made the decision to swing far right in hopes of appearing fair and balanced. I’m not convinced their decision is a) honest, or b) healthy.
My concern is what shows like the FOX network’s The Gifted is doing to young minds in America. The police and any governmental authority are the bad guys in this series. I find that disturbing.
I guess I know and love too many police officers to think that a sci-fi preteen television show pitting law enforcement against teenagers is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the teens and young adults in The Gifted are mutants. I also know children may or may not differentiate good guys from bad guys while the imagination is in play. I’m not convinced making cops the bad guys in a teen series is a good idea. Again, just my opinion. It doesn’t make it fact.
My heart continues to hurt for my grandchildren. They will not know what it feels like to feel safe. TV news blows that hope out of the water. Today’s kids have been brought up by a media who tells them you can sleep with anyone you want to sleep with, as many as you want to sleep with at one time, and it’s perfectly okay. Marriage is an option. Religion is unnecessary. Morality is self-defined. In this world, unless you are a devout Christian, the bible is obsolete. Still, it remains on the best seller list across the globe.
In the end, we lose any sense of respect for any form of traditional thought or law and order. Recently, our President tweeted his distaste for our justice system. I’m not sure our all-out attack on wholesomeness is a gift to anyone.