Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Smoking in youth-rated movies has not declined despite a pledge two years ago by Hollywood studios to encourage producers to show less “gratuitous smoking,” according to an anti-smoking group.
The American Medical Association Alliance, pointing to research that big-screen smoking leads teens to pick up the tobacco habit, called for an R rating for any movie with smoking scenes.
The head of the group that gives U.S. movies their ratings, however, said the smoke has been clearing from youth-rated movies, a result of the film industry’s sensitivity to the issue.
The alliance, the medical association’s advocacy arm, launched a summer campaign this week aimed at publicly shaming studios into making smoke-free films.
“Research has shown that one-third to one-half of all young smokers in the United States can be attributed to smoking these youth see in movies,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, head of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.
Fielding cited another study that he said “found that adolescents whose favorite movie stars smoked on screen are significantly more likely to be smokers themselves and to have a more accepting attitude toward smoking.”
The Motion Picture Association of America, the industry group that issues ratings and parental guidance for U.S. films, added smoking scenes as a factor in ratings two years ago, but Fielding said it has not made a difference.
“In all, 56 percent of the top box office movies with smoking released between May 2007 and May 2009 were youth-rated films — G, PG or PG-13,” he said.
Joan Graves, who chairs the Motion Picture Association’s movie rating committee, offered her own statistics, based on all of the 900 films rated each year, not just the top movies included in Fielding’s numbers.
The association has given no G ratings in the past two years to a movie with smoking, Graves said.
Overall, 55 percent of the movies rated in the past two years showed some smoking, but 75 percent of those with smoking scenes were given R ratings, Graves said. Twenty-one percent were rated PG-13 and the remaining 5 percent were PG, she said.
A G movie is deemed suitable for all audiences, while a PG rating is a signal to parents that a film may include some material they might consider inappropriate for children. PG-13 indicates a stronger warning that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
No one under 17 can be admitted to see an R movie without a parent or guardian.
American Medical Association Alliance President Sandi Frost used as her chief example of a movie with “gratuitous smoking” this month’s blockbuster “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which was rated PG-13 “for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.”
“Millions of children have been exposed to the main star of the film, Hugh Jackman, with a cigar in his mouth in various scenes,” Frost said. “I’m willing to bet that not one child would have enjoyed that movie or Mr. Jackman’s performance any less if he hadn’t been smoking.”
Interesting times. Back when I was a kid, people were worried we’d grow up to be racists and bigots, and this was thought of as a consequence of things we did not do…things we did not see. And so it was thought to be desirable to make us cultured. The result was a big push to get kids to socialize with other kids. Which was kinda stupid, because, being kids, we were all like “yeah he’s my friend anyway.” We didn’t see the race. The grown-ups were the ones bringing it up.
Now the push is on to make sure kids don’t experience things. The principle is the same, but now we’re thinking bigotry is desirable, if it’s bigotry against the right things. If we keep kids thinking of these vices as being alien, they’ll tap into their human instincts to think of those things as deplorable, and this will encourage them to grow up to be Good People.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The first paragraph indicates that movie content does not have a bearing on how much kids smoke. The second paragraph indicates that movie content does have this effect…based on “research.” How come, when we engage in these massive nanny-state efforts to change human behavior, and we fail, that isn’t thought of as “research” just as valid as what comes off the whiteboards of the pocket-protector Theory Boys? See, we’re valuing ideas from the egghead set over & above actual experience. This is how we get on these endless treadmills. We don’t pay attention to actual experience.
My suggestion: Stop stigmatizing smoking, drinking, et cetera. Just stop it. Yes it’s bad when kids do these things — but these are symptoms, not causes. Instead, stigmatize idleness. If there are laws on the books saying kids can’t work more than xx hours in a week if they’re under xx years old, then repeal them. Every single one. What’re we afraid of? Some Tammany Hall guy is gonna come by in the dark of some terrible night, abduct a couple hundred of our doe-eyed little waifs, and put them to work eighteen hours a day putting sweatshirts and sneakers together for Kathy Lee? Our goo-gooder liberals are supposed to have ended that problem in this country, about a hundred years ago. So if the problem is ended, let’s act like it’s ended. Let the kids do some work. Some work.
There are too many laws on the books designed to make absolutely, positively sure that nobody ever experiences — certain things. A “no” answer from a bank evaluating a home loan application. Creepy guys at work that like to stare at beautiful women. A movie with a guy riding a motorcycle with no helmet on his head. When I say “too many” laws, what I really mean is “some.”
There shouldn’t be any laws like this. Humans are much more resilient than this.
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