IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!! The Cheshire's Blog: Movie Ratings for Idiot Parents

Friday, November 18, 2005

Movie Ratings for Idiot Parents

Movie Ratings for Idiot Parents

Attorneys General from thirty-two states have now signed a letter that cited research suggesting kids who see films depicting smoking were likelier to take up the habit. What they’re hoping to accomplish with this letter is to pressure Hollywood into placing anti-smoking ads on DVDs which depict smoking within the contents of the film.

In 1990 the tobacco companies voluntarily signed an agreement to curb tobacco advertising in films, but according to this study, smoking is just as prevalent in movies today as it was before the agreement was struck. Also, according to the study’s findings, children are thirty-eight percent more likely to try smoking after seeing a film in which it’s characters are smoking.

Ok, so here’s my question: When was the last time anyone has seen a kid’s film depicting smokers?

I have a nine year old daughter, and I have taken her to a great many matinees over the years. Like me, she loves movies. Not once – NOT ONCE – have we ever seen the Rugrats light up, Clifford the Big Red Dog bum a smoke, or even the wholly demonic Bratz gang spark a Zippo.

I’m not going to sit here and be a proponent for tobacco advertising, god knows the tobacco companies have made more than enough money off me, during my lifetime. But really, if the films that depict smokers aren’t geared toward children’s G-rated films, then it seems painfully obvious that the only movies left that would promote smoking in any way are films with PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings. R-rated films, obviously, aren’t meant for kids so that shouldn’t even be in question. And, if the kid is watching an NC-17 rated film, the kid has bigger problems than smoking; his parents should be brought up on charges of child neglect.

An NC-17 rating means “No one 17 and under admitted.” Got it? This means that if your kid is watching a movie with this sort of rating then it’s YOUR fault; not the kid’s, and certainly not the tobacco company’s. An R-rating attached to a film means the film is restricted: “Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.” PG and PG-13 ratings means that “Parental Guidance is suggested: some material may not be suitable for children”, and “Parents are strongly cautioned: some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”

These ratings are in place for a purpose, people! They are there to warn you that your kids should probably not watch these films. If you do allow your children to view the film, then it means that you need to be with them to help guide them through the movie. The dictionary defines Guidance as: “Something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action.” Therefore, a PG-rating (Parental Guidance) means that “something” is you!

If the film depicts smoking, and you are one of those whiny and wussy parents who believes that your children are mindless zombies who will immediately go out and smoke after watching a film character light up, then take them by the hand and GUIDE THEM out of the theater! Conversely, try actually TALKING with your kids about the dangers of smoking. Your children really aren’t as stupid as you think they are. Vocal communication goes a long way, and if you explain to them that just because the film’s hero happens to smoke, it doesn’t mean that they have to smoke to be a hero, then I swear to you that they will listen! Even if you think they aren’t listening to you, and are simply passing it off as just another bullshit parental warning, some part of what you tell them will stick. Then, when someone offers them a cigarette later, your voice will play like a broken record in their brains.

Truly, this whole controversy does not boil down to the big tobacco companies or Hollywood, or yet another state-mandated smoking law. What this all comes down to, and what everyone seems to be avoiding, is the parental guidance necessary to raise a child. It all comes down to responsibility for our children, and how so many of us would rather just shirk that responsibility in favor of handing it over to someone else. Blame, blame, blame. Blame it on someone else. It just couldn’t be your fault that your child smokes, could it?

I’m of the opinion that we should do away with the current ratings system altogether and instate just two film ratings. Here is my rating system:

KS-Kid Safe: Kids can safely watch this film without having to sit through foul language, violence, or scenes depicting sex or any form of drug addiction.
TR4C-Take Responsibility for your Children: Kid’s should not watch this movie because it contains scenes which depict foul language, violence, sex, or any form of drug addiction. If you allow your kids to view this film without your attendance to guide them through and explain the “dangers” involved with these scenes then you are an idiot and, quite frankly, should be forced to take some parenting classes.



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