giovedì, gennaio 04, 2007

Free Will-y

Had a talk with my analyst last night about advertising to children. Does anybody in the English-speaking world, besides me, him, and Mr. N's girlfriend, still think that's wrong? It's been fucking getting me down, I suppose in combination with new little media stinks about free will and the absence thereof but mostly because of the increased pro-telepissing spin at work.

Well, blah blah - I believe for all intents and purposes we have free will, in the sense that we may have fewer reactions and choices than we think we do, but that we can still make decisions about them. But I'm also starting to believe - and this is no doubt a symptom of working at a job that promotes advertising by promoting its (still principal) vehicle - that people, especially children, can be trained out of believing they have free will. That they can be trained to believe impulses equal decisions and that the impulses that make you a consumptive member of consumer society are the ones you pay attention to above the others.

So, too much child-directed crap at work, including spin articles about how great it is that children still watch so much telepissing. And how great that younger children watch more than older children, who still watch alot. And that computers aren't a real risk, because older kids use them socially in a multi-task type way while watching telepissing. Argh.

Anyways, my analyst made me feel better about my own prospects as a human, aunt, and (when something breaks) mother by telling me it's awful et cetera but smart imaginative kids will still be smart imaginative kids. He also sent me this - well, he sent me the Times text but Disney is now desperate enough to retain market share that it reprints criticism to look progressive-like, which I have to admit I find endearing, especially when it's free to read and the New York Times archive isn't.

Anyways again, that was followed with a phone conversation with my brother offering me a job nannying his kids until I leave if I manage to get myself sacked at work. If I could get sacked, you see, what he could afford to pay me and my EI payments would about equal what I get now. And it would let me spend lots of time with the kids before I left, enough probably for us to get royally sick of each other, which would be perfect. So now I really want to get sacked but I'm thinking of just quitting outright and finding a way to flesh out my income, if I can't get EI, by teaching in the evenings at Figaro's old agency. I'll need to talk to my brother about it again and see if it's practical. And get in touch with the labour board, which in my lethargy I have not yet done.

So much to fucking do . . . I need to write a list of it all today, which I will, after I finish and publish that Goya review.

10 commenti:

Masonic Boom ha detto...

I'm under the impression that in the UK, there certainly are laws about *what* you can advertise to children (Enforced quite rigorously before the Watershed) though there is unlikely to be an outright ban on non-BBC stations.

The ban is mostly about food, though, I believe.

It's interesting, though, with our two major channels being entirely non commercial. You'd think that this might produce better quality programming - in the past this was certainly true - but not so much any more. Also this brings into question the whole remit of the BBC itself... entertain and/or inform and all that.

Though that said, the last time I was in Woolies, I went in the toy aisle by mistake and found all this Dr. Who merchandise. And my first reaction was "OH WOW!!! I WISH I'D HAD A ROBOT K-9 TOY WHEN I WAS A KID!!!" but it was replaced almost immediately afterwards by this sense of loss - that here, this icon of my childhood has become about product placement as much as any commercial programming.

I would agree a bit with your shrink - but I'd modify it to "smart intelligent parents usually raise smart intelligent kids". I think it's placing too much of the imperative on the television (which is, as we all know, a moneymaking business as much as anything else) and not enough on the parents.

I know, when I was a child, television was not on all the time - I had to reason with my parents to be allowed to watch things. The moment I was a teenager, and had my own telly, all that went out the window and I subsisted on the most enourmous junk, because I'd never had it before. But in middle age, the sensibleness of my childhood persevered.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

The EU just passed some decent blanket law about product placement and advertising to children - I don't know if it will be any stricter than what you had in Britain before and no doubt toymakers will dodge out of it in terms of toys based on trademarked television characters, but it's a good deal stricter than what we have here and much, much stricter, of course, than the States.

I'm thinking I'll keep television shit-canned in my house forevah. I'm concerned that if I have kids they'll go snaky for it in adolescence like you did, but I can't handle the alternative.

Sugarplum ha detto...

We were limited as kids by the fact that my mother refused to get cable. I think it was a good move and to this day I feel guilty if I so much as turn the TV on when the sun is shining. I think her method of programming me worked quite well and will practice similar methods using only TVO and DVDs instead of channels with commercials.

The Disney article is interesting. I never realized how much princess there was out there but I think it might have a lot to do with the only child spoiled brat syndrome and not anti-feminism. My man was teaching a JK class this semester and they were playing a game with the kids as birds and he said to this little girl, "You're a duck." and she said, "No, I'm a princess." He reiterated, "No. You're a duck." I don't know what that did to that little girl's spoiled brat syndrome but he quite enjoyed the exchange and the confused look on her face.

As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing wrong with a little girl being a princess as long as she is also willing to be a duck sometimes.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah. Cable ist verboten. I can't fool myself into thinking I won't have a TV to watch DVDs or whatever future generations watch recorded material on, of course, which means non-cable stations as soon as da brats and Figaro, if he fathers them, figures out how to work an antenna.

Masonic Boom ha detto...

Thing is, I've talked to people who grew up with *no* television, and they always figured a way around it - going over to a friend's house, etc. I think it's much better for a child's development to have it, but have it filtered. Helps to learn moderation, as outright denial encourages binging when they finally have access to it.

Thing I'm concerned about with kids (even though I'm too old to have them now) is more internet access than television.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah - at least if they find a way around it, they're speaking to other kids and stuff. I don't know. I guess I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

The naughty internet worries me too. A girlf of a friend is looking into regulation of kid's ads on it, which seems like such a daunting mountain of a task. Another bridge to cross, probably by lying to my children by saying playing with keyboards makes your palms hairy, or something.

Sugarplum ha detto...

I think the problem parents face now a days (and it is one they can be blamed for) is that kids have too much privacy. My sister and her husband are building a four bedroom monster of a house and yet she is bunking the three boys in the same room. I think this is a wise move. The bedroom, then, is a place to sleep and play but most of the play occurs in family areas such as the living room where parents know exactly what is going on. How do you jerk-off to internet porn when you share a room with your brother? Of course my sister's kids are children and that isn't the issue yet but as long as parents and siblings are directly involved in most of the activities that happen in the home I think it is easier to regulate what goes in and on in the home.

Of course you can't regulate what happens when kids go to their friends homes but kids only spend a small percentage of their times at their friends homes then they go home and digest it in the comfort of their own space.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Privacy is sticky - kids need it (I did) and I think they need it respected by their parents and each other, if only so they learn how to not fucking infringe on my privacy. But then involvement is so important. Who knows how parents resolve all this garbage.

Jiri ha detto...

Check this out. it's not about advertising to kids but about kids and screens - be it the TV ones or the computer ones.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Holy fuck, Jiri, I'm linking that in the body . . .