Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Death of Parental Responsibility

"I think the industry needs to do more to address parents' concerns," Martin said. "You can always turn the television off and … block the channels you don't want. But why should you have to?"
-Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin

In the wake of hearings on Cable television and "Decency" (whatever the hell that means...probably it means not using the word "hell") I have decided that the concept of parental responsibility is becoming as outmoded as eight-track tapes or the comedy stylings of Abbot and Costello.

Apparently, the "V-chip" is not enough. Cable television is in danger of being policed by the FCC in the same way that our public broadcasters are.

This strikes me as spectacularly wrong-headed for two reasons. First, cable television is a luxury that is paid for, not available to the public. You invite cable into your home. It doesn't barg in and start drinking by itself in the living room.

Second, this is yet-another example of how people in this country do not want to parent, and would prefer that the government do it for them. Instead of taking the initiative to program your tv to block objectionable programming, or to simply parent, and punish your children for watching television you've denied them, we want the government to step in.

Ludicrous. Fucking ludicrous, for that matter (May as well curse while I have the chance - government regulation of the internet is on its way). It's not even that I care particularly about cable. It's my visceral reaction to this sort of weak-kneeded absentee parenting that provokes me to type out a half-assed post on a personal blog. PARENT YOUR KIDS! Take reponsibility for raising your family, and stop insisting that the government do it for you.

Parenting requires sacrifices, judgement, and some form of backbone. Grow one, tell your kid she isn't allowed to watch the Sopranos, explain why in a way she'll understand, and deal with her accordingly if she does it anyway. That's parenting.

These sorts of proposals are babysitting, and they are not the same thing.


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...


At 11:08 AM, Blogger codemorse said...


What's next? Government regulation over what books we can have in our houses?

After all, some kid might stumble onto a little Salman Rushdie or Clive Barker and SCAR HIS MIND FOREVER.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Hey I read Books of Blood and look what a lunatic I became. It could happen.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger codemorse said...


You make a good point there.

I'll be over in a few minutes to remove any objectionable literature from your home. Of course, I'll be deciding what's objectionable.

So if you've got any Robert James Waller, look out.


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