(This is not my ususal funny entry. But I feel quite strongly about this.)

 

You Are a Moron!

 

How did that make you feel? Really . . . .

 

What’s wrong with the animated movie “Horton Hears a Who?”

 

“Horton” has a movie rating of “G.” Thus, I felt this movie to be safe for my 4 ½ year old and certainly for my 10 ½ year old to watch. It wasn’t even enjoyable for me as an adult walking down memory lane. It was not what I remembered!

 

Mayor McDodd and the Whoville town council chairman are fond of calling each other boob, moron and idiot.

 

We all agree that Dr Seuss was quite creative with his use of words—even to the point of making up words. However, to my recollection I do not recall Seuss ever throwing around words like boob, moron or idiot.

 

In one of their arguments in the movie (during which audiences can see them but not hear them) the chairman points to Mayor McDodd, then to a picture of a donkey’s rear end, with the clear implication that he sees them as one and the same.

 

Again, Seuss was imaginative with his creative license of creatures and animals. But alas, Seuss never used a “Donkey’s Ass” to refer to any of his creatures’ intelligence.

 

I am a little confused—and misguided—by the Motion Picture Association of America who rates the films we watch.

 

The MPAA has given “Horton” a “G” rating.

 

The MPAA states that a motion picture rated “G” is one that has a:

General Rating: All Ages Admitted

A G-rated motion picture 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. The G rating is not a “certificate of approval,” nor does it signify a “children’s” motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures. Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scenes or drug use are present in the motion picture.  http://www.mpaa.org/FlmRat_Ratings.asp

 

I do not think that calling someone boob, moron, idiot or Donkey’s Ass is “polite conversation.” And they certainly are not snippets. Boob is used several times. Nor do I talk to or teach my children to use such words as “common everyday expressions.” I am “offended” by the movie and by the MPAA. I do not consider this polite or respectful in adult conversation either.

 

Additionally, slapping people (especially your own son) and having a stapler bounce back on your face due to your own actions do make one look like an idiot. Did I just call someone an idiot?!

 

We all want this world to be a better place. What does such talk and behaviors get you? Loneliness or real relationships? (Just look at the way the kangaroo was treated for her one-sided narrow mindedness! She didn’t even have a real relationship with her own son.) What do we really want to teach our children? It is not just fun and games. I want to say that it is love that makes the world go round—or at least respect and kindness. I urge you to stand up for respect and real moments with others. Have you ever slowed down, looked your service person in the eye and said thank you like you really mean it?

 

The movie companies have such power. I truly believe that they do not stop and think about how they have a hand in shaping community and how people treat each other and ultimately what does make the world a better place. (Yes, there is always the question of the media reflecting culture versus culture reflecting media.)

 

What is wrong with creating a good, clean movie that parents can enjoy (and even reminisce about) with their children? Or is it not a parental duty to sit through a boring movie for the joy of your child? (Meaning the parent does not necessarily need to be entertained.) What is wrong with creating a movie that teaches good morals all-around, forgoing the bad name calling (there are some good lessons in this movie).

 

I know you are going to say that if I am so concerned either I should not let my kids watch movies or I should take the time to preview entire movies before letting my kids watch. Yes, I am a stay-at home mom. However, I have three kids to care for and play with (yes—I give my attention to my children!), a house to clean and mend, laundry, shopping, and am working to better the world community by connecting with relatives, friends, neighbors and strangers. I do not have the time to preview every movie. I am trusting the MPAA. I guess I’ll stop. We’ll stick with reading Dr Seuss.

 

Further Thoughts:

One would think that parents of “intelligent maturity” are selected to be on the CARA.

 

The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) of the MPAA

The movie rating system is a voluntary system sponsored by the MPAA and the National Association of Theater Owners. The ratings are given by a board of parents, which views each film and, after a group discussion, votes on its rating. The board uses the same criteria as any parent when deciding what is suitable – theme, language, violence, nudity, sex and drug use are among content areas considered in the decision-making process.  http://www.mpaa.org/FilmRatings.asp

 

Parents Rate the Movies

The ratings are decided by a full-time Rating Board located in Los Angeles. There are 10-13 members of the Board who serve for periods of varying length. . . . .  There are no special qualifications for Board membership, except that the members must have a shared parenthood experience, must be possessed of an intelligent maturity, (my emphasis) and most of all, have the capacity to put themselves in the role of most American parents so they can view a film and apply a rating that most parents would find suitable and helpful in aiding their decisions about their children and what movies they see. 

http://www.mpaa.org/Ratings_HowRated.asp

 

 . . . . The latest poll results show that 78% of parents with children under 13 found the ratings to be “very useful” to “fairly useful” in helping them make decisions about what movies their children see.

  

 

FYI

A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision.

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