Christmas and kidploitation

Brian
Brian Jones
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I've never subscribed to the notion that Christmas is for kids. Lights, beauty, joy and goodwill can be universally enjoyed, no matter which generation you're a member of - and, no, I'm not referring to the detestable concept of "kids of all ages."

Kids can have their own type of Christmas. Adults, too, can have theirs. The latter will likely involve comparatively more amounts of wine and rum, as it probably should.

I've never subscribed to the notion that Christmas is for kids. Lights, beauty, joy and goodwill can be universally enjoyed, no matter which generation you're a member of - and, no, I'm not referring to the detestable concept of "kids of all ages."

Kids can have their own type of Christmas. Adults, too, can have theirs. The latter will likely involve comparatively more amounts of wine and rum, as it probably should.

I don't recall the date that it started to happen, but kid culture and their parents' culture are becoming combined, and it's not always beneficial to either generation.

We were watching TV a week or so before Christmas, when Mr. T. came on the screen, screeching loudly about some new computer game he is apparently in. Well, it looked like Mr. T. It might actually have been a computer-generated image. I wasn't sure whether Older Boy knew who he was, so I said, "He was in a TV show when I was a teenager."

This is a highly offensive trend that has been building for years. The entertainment czars - mostly those who make movies - have been remaking, recycling, repackaging and rehashing things that adults knew and supposedly loved when they were young, in a wildly successful attempt to sell them all over again.

The world didn't really need movie versions of "The Flintstones," "The Brady Bunch" or "Bewitched," or a whole slew of other circa 1970s TV shows that have been "adapted" so Hollywood can cash in on nostalgic adults dragging their kids to see them.

There's no rational reason any kid born after 1990 - or in any year, come to think of it - should have a smidgen of interest in the obnoxious Mr. T. or the various brats in the Brady clan. Parents who foist pap like this on their children are being suckered by the sneaky manipulations of the captains of the entertainment industry.

Like many adults of a certain age, I retain a fondness for 1970s-era music and movies. But it's horrifying that so much of it is being pushed onto new generations who weren't even close to being born when the stuff was produced. Think teenagers on "Canadian Idol" singing April Wine songs. Responsible adults should refuse to be a party to this kind of cruelty.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge consumer of classic rock radio. It's always on in the car. The kids don't like it, but it's my car and I control the dial. They cringe when Creedence Clearwater Revival comes on. Younger Boy's favourite band is Green Day. This is as it should be. (And, I must admit, Green Day is pretty good.)

Adults should exercise extreme caution when foisting bits of their childhood and/or youth upon their own children. This is especially true regarding movies and TV shows.

There are some exceptions, of course. Bugs Bunny seems to be ageless, and is as funny and relevant now as he was half a century or so ago. In our house, the original 1960s version of "The Planet of the Apes" proved so popular last year that I wrapped the whole series and put it under the tree.

I've never liked Japanese manga, in either the screen or print format. The vast majority of it is pointlessly violent, always involving a fight or battle for the mere sake of it.

Comics and graphic novels have an enduring appeal, obviously. My favourites were Classics Illustrated - "A Tale of Two Cities," " Les Miserables" and other famous novels produced in comic format. Amazingly, a few years ago they started being reissued. Mind you, the 25-cent issues have been replaced with a $10 price tag. Occasionally, some things from the 1970s are worth bringing back. But only some.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by e-mail at bjones@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Hollywood

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  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Brian, you obviously have 'waaaayyy' too much time on your hands .... Then again, so do I for actually reading and commenting on your article... So with that being said, I'm going back to enjoying the Christmas holidays instead.

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Brian, you obviously have 'waaaayyy' too much time on your hands .... Then again, so do I for actually reading and commenting on your article... So with that being said, I'm going back to enjoying the Christmas holidays instead.