Channel 300 is E junior.Channel 310, Cartoon Network. My five year old is all day long channel toggling between the two. So, its either 300 or 310.Like most homes with children in this age group, and yes, with one television set, we don’t get to see any other channel here. So, we are watching or more appropriately have been tuned to have these cartoon channels play in the backdrop of our apartment all day, without consciously realising that there is something playing at all.
Stop. It’s time we started watching too.Not just watching, its time we started listening to the meaningful conversations characters are often engaged in.Just for one hour,I decided to stop and pay attention to the television baby sitting I had casually allowed my child into.
Hey, whats your dad good at? I think he’s only good at embarrassing me!
And he kissed me, but it was a dream.
One man stole another man’s girl,it was the ultimate betrayal.
If you want to be a real boy, you gotta be cool.
Dude where were you, I was so hungry.I was considering eating you.
Just a few lines, I happened to hear in the one hour. I can assure you, our children hear so much, much more. Why is cartoon network not child friendly?
1. The race to acceptance.
Jake and Finn face great acceptance issues. One of the two always wants to be accepted and faces emotional breakdown in the event of being neglected. Most characters are always trying to fit in, beyond all limits to feel accepted.
2. Stupid is just another word like apple.
I should have guessed when my little fellow told me last night, “Umma can you please put off that stupid song”
A brown parent, constantly trying to fit into being a little less conservative and of this generation, I feigned surprise. ‘No, Yaani, Don’t you speak like that.” “Oh ok” he said blank and it was over there.
But, why shouldn’t the word be just as ordinary as apple or orange or ball or cat.Every character calls the other ‘stupid’ at the slightest conduct of foolishness.
3. Cartoon characters have to look weird to be a piece of animation.
It amuses me how not one of the characters who appear on the channel have a body, face or appearance that in the least resembles some living creature. The animation always moulds some with large heads and big bodies.Some others with extra long hands and legs.Some are made in a jelly like substance and others even weirder.It has come to be that if something needs to look cartoon, it has to be absolutely deformed .Gum ball, Jake and Finn or even the superhero Ben 10 relays more of out- of- the- world animations.
I ve heard it so many times now.If you chose to complete it with “what the hell”, or “what the heck” or still worse, its all upto you.But “what the…,” is an absolutely ok term to use and appear cool with.
5.Getting pregnant and making proud revelations.
Of course, isn’t is it completely cartoon material to declare pregnancy?It doesn’t end there. “I m pregnant” and the face of the other is puzzled, scared and confused.
6.Kiss, kiss and more kissing.
Having grown up in a time when I had to look around or feign a cough or look down at my toes, when an uncomfortable scene would unfold on TV in the presence of my parents, it is getting hard to sit with my son and watch the same.I guess I haven’t changed. I felt uneasy then, I feel uneasy now.Most of us have gone through the queasiness of the sanitary napkin ad or the intense kissing on screen when sitting with the wrong group of people, but, Hey, Stop, Grow Up. Its on Cartoon Network all the time- some intense kissing.
The ultimate goal is, to look cool.Talk cool. Walk cool. Act cool. Or Do not have friends.
Leaving aside the poor quality of vocabulary or the wrong conduct of the characters,in this one hour, I realise that my son is watching so much more than I had expected of a cartoon channel to show him and design in part his idea of right and wrong, good and bad.
Stop.Watch.You need to know what they watch all the time.