By Tom Stark, 03/03/12
Parkersburg, WV – Not too many years ago, you could turn on the TV and see a show that was rated PG or the equivalent in the television rating system and know that you would not be subjected to sex scenes, homosexuality, teenage trash-talking, and questionable relationships between teens living under the same roof.
Nickolodeon is a cable network that was originally targeting young children and, for the most part, presented reasonably decent kids programs that parents could count on to be relatively safe. Now, one of its offspring, TeenNick, has begun expanding the “envelope” of acceptability and exploding the definition of socially acceptable programming with the new season of “Degrassi.”
Degrassi can simply be described as a continuing series concerning the sex life of high school kids with occasional references to homosexual sex, indecent sex, locker-room sex talk, and now, relationships between step-brother and step-sister living under the same roof. Average, every day activities seem to always take a back seat. A recent article by Lauren Thompson from the Culture and Media Institute describes some of the goings on during the new season’s offerings. If you thought things were in the gutter last season, they are surely in the sewer now. Thompson’s insightful description of the general trend gives you some idea:
“‘Degrassi’ has a history of mocking traditional values, especially when it comes to sex. This was clearly shown when Clare determined if she was emotionally ready to commit incest by merely taking a quiz out of a magazine.”
The networks are constantly complaining about censorship while at the same time claiming that their programming simply reflects the popular state of society. At the same time they vehemently disclaim any suggestion that they have any influence on shaping societal norms to begin with.
Now I am not naïve enough to believe that there aren’t instances of sexually active teens in our country. All one has to look at is the teen pregnancy rate to know that there is far too much of it already, but feeding our kids a steady diet of glamorized and glorified sexual activity through the conduit of our TVs is the horse leading the cart, not a media window showing us what society has become.
Hollywood’s efforts are targeting the family – its destruction, its marginalization, and making it superfluous to our society. Add to that the fact that pushing controversial practices such as homosexual behavior, incest, and perverted practices are all part of what TV writers do because that is what makes them stand out in their industry. Terms like “cutting edge,” “edgy,” “controversial” are often used to hype these kinds of shows and encourage young and impressionable viewers to watch and keep watching.
Nathan Cherry provided a similar take on another “edgy” series called “Glee” back in November 2011. If you re-read that one, the trend line does not seem to be going in the right direction.
The only solution to this kind of programming is lots of very vocal parents and concerned citizens who are not afraid to make some waves with the cable companies that force subscribers to include this kind of programming in their “basic package” of channels (usually because these shows and networks cannot stand on their own as a viable commodity). There is also an opportunity to strike back against such activities on your TV through advertisers who react quickly to public outcries that involve a respectable number of consumers.
Don’t under-estimate your power here. Pressure can be brought to bear to stop such trash from entering our homes. You and I know that rating systems and V-chips are easily circumvented and offer more comfort to the producers of such trash and spineless politicians than parents of teens and pre-teens. What networks and cable systems respond to is advertising dollars and subscriber dollars.
Vote with your dollars when you decide whether to renew your cable subscription, when you choose products, and vote at the polls electing leaders who will use their office to clean up the filth that has permeated our society and return us to the days when Parental Guidance was not required when your kids turned on the TV. There are a lot of things from the “good ol’ days” that would still be good if they were still followed today!
About Nathan Cherry
Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.