"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Monday, July 23, 2012

A dark night in Aurora

I didn't come out of my hole to write about the horrific shooting of the past few days. There's enough being written in main-stream and social media, and our hearts weep for all those innocent victims. 

The incident, however, did bring to light bad parental behavior that is all too common these days: 

What the heck are parents thinking taking young children to a midnight movie that is rated PG-13? News reports indicate there were numerous young children under age 13 in the audience.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, here's the definition of PG-13:

"PG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous."

So the parents are strongly cautioned about the content of the film, but they think their child can handle it. (Maybe, but most small children probably can't or shouldn't.)

This was a MIDNIGHT show on a week night.  Why weren't these kids in bed getting a good night's sleep?

Oh, Mom and Dad couldn't get a baby sitter and they really wanted to see this movie?  Then they should go see it another time when they CAN get a sitter. The priorities should be children first, movie second.

Even if this horrible tragedy had not occurred, one wonders what the effect the movie alone would have had on those children attending. Rating systems are in place so that parents can make good judgments about what their children are exposed to.  There are times when we can't keep the evil of life from entering their lives, but as parents we have a responsibility to protect their innocence as long as possible.  Taking young children to a PG-13 or R rated movie at midnight or any other time is a violation of parental responsibility.