Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Disney? Why Nickelodeon?: Part Two

As usual, when I typed last night's blog post, there were some thoughts that didn't make it, even though I had them in my head while I was thinking out what I wanted to say.  If you haven't seen the original "Why Disney? Why Nickelodeon?" post, I would suggest that you go read it now.  It may be a bit long, but I think it'll answer some questions that many of you have probably been asking.  You read it? Okay, then, let's get going.
I'll start with what I said in the last paragraph about celebrity/show idolatry.  The Bible is pretty clear: Putting anything or anyone before God is a sin.  I mentioned that I was too busy researching my favorite media to even think about reading God's Word; what I didn't say was that, even from a secular standpoint, an obsession is bad.  Some of you may remember this story, but, for those who don't, here it is: When I was taking a computer class during the summer of 2001, my assigned seat was right next to a girl who liked Dragon Ball Z.  I couldn't have cared less about that anime cartoon, but the guy who sat on the other side was fanatical about it.  His adoration of that show was so great, it made her not like it anymore.  Even with myself, people of all ages have simply gotten annoyed because I only wanted to talk about a few topics, if not just one.  It turned away people who could have been my friends otherwise.  It got to the point where my mom told me, "You have a one-track mind!"
As I said, I don't know whether those days are past, but I think the fact that I've stuck to reading the Bible every day for well over a year is a step in the right direction.  Not only that, but many of the people I talk to frequently don't know and/or don't care about my favorite shows.  Now that I'm well-versed in various sorts of entertainment, I can talk wit them about topics that have nothing to do with Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.  That may not sound like much to you, but, compared to what I was, that's a really good start.
Here's another point: When I was a freshman in high school, the teacher of my Sunday school class decided to do something different by showing a clip from the Michael W. Smith: Worship DVD.  It started with Mr. Smith reading a verse from Psalms; then, he began performing a vocal/piano number that only had one verse and a chorus that simply repeated the phrase, "Everywhere I go, I see You." Mr. Smith would sing that line, and the live audience would repeat it; it happened several times throughout the song.  What should have been a special moment was ruined by two guys who couldn't refrain from mocking the song, and, therefore, the teacher.  No one else had any problem with it, but those two spouting off insults such as, "You could not even know this song, and know all the words to this song!", "People actually paid money to see this?", and "You actually paid money for this DVD?" I felt bad for the teacher; even he said that he was trying to do something different, and, "If this is the response I get..." He wouldn't have said that if those two guys had simply kept their mouths shut.
My point? It seems like that a few people's problems with what I do, including watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon productions, overpowers the majority of my friends and acquaintances who take no issue with it...yet, those scant few just won't let it go.  To adapt an old saying, they're the squeaky wheels who want the grease...but they're not going to get it.  Seriously, when people come up with inane standards they want me to follow, especially when it comes to taking away what I enjoy, it only makes me want to engage in the activities they disapprove of even more.  Usually, their reasoning doesn't even work; them saying ridiculous statements such as, "You're too old for that; you need to find something more appropriate for your age!" proves that they don't get me, because I am that rebel who does pretty much everything differently.  If I'm the only twenty-five-year-old who is watching Austin & Ally, so what? It's not for those people to decide.
Another point that sort of ties in with that one: I don't remember the exact situation, but a friend, who happened to have his black belt in Tae Kwon Do, once told me that I had to do as he said because he was a black belt.  (What did he want me to do? I honestly couldn't tell you.) Years later, I shared that story with another friend--who, as far as I know, had never seen that guy in her life--and she said, "Don't let people push you around like that, [Siobhan]." That's actually really good advice; unfortunately, there are people who want to "push me around like that," including by taking away what I enjoy, including my favorite entertainment.  Those "pushers" don't have the power to take it away, and I'm not going to give it to them.  The more adamant they become that I shouldn't do, like, read, watch, or listen to whatever, the more I'm going to do just what they don't want me to do.
My final statement is more on entertainment in general: Anybody who has been watching entertainment trends knows that, when it comes to offensive content, there's more of it to go around than ever before.  One need look no further than the recent Movie 43 for a perfect example of how far-gone media morality is these days.  However, there are some recent trends that discerning viewers can actually rejoice over.  The Dove Foundation reported in December 2012 that not only were there less "R" rated films, but movies they approved performed three times better at the box office than ones they didn't.  Plus, they were able to approve 18% more flicks from January to late November that year than they did during the same timeframe in 2011.  I personally noticed something that was a good sign: The DVD of We Bought a Zoo features a "family-friendly language track" that, one would assume, eliminates the profanities that caused the movie to get a "PG" rating.  One can only hope that more flicks will follow suit.  I think entertainment companies are realizing that parents and even some childless adults want more family-appropriate films, TV shows, music, games and such, and, since the one rule of business is to "go where the money is," they're at least attempting to head in that direction.  I'll just have to see how that pans out; in the meantime, I'm going to be watching sitcoms on the Disney Channel, since they're the only current ones that aren't bogged down with sex jokes, profanities, drug references, and other obscene content.  Whether you accept it or use it as grounds to attack me is your call; just remember what Matthew 12:36-37 says about the power your words have.

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