’s To Blame Essay, Research Paper
Adult Cartoons: Who’s to blame?
Over the years, cartoons have become more real and violent, which makes it harder for children to know what is real and what is Ink and Paint . The question is, are cartoons really to blame for the violent and negative behavior of children? Parents say that it is Beavis yelling fire, FIRE . Defenders of these cartoons would point the finger towards the parents. Either way, kids are imitating what they see, and something has to be done about it.
So what negative effects can an adult cartoon have on children? In 1993, a 5-year-old boy burned down the trailer he was living in, killing his 2-year-old sister. His mother, who was not home, blames MTV’s fire-loving Beavis and Butt-head cartoon characters. In another case, a fire chief cited “Beavis and Butt-head” as the reason three young girls started a fire (Cava, par 8). It is obvious that children are imitating what they are seeing. The answer should be simple, remove the adult cartoons, and the problem would stop . Yet, after a recent school bombing by two fellow students, which killed at least 15 people, one has to question at what point the parents are to blame (LaMotte and Savidge par 1).
While the parents point the finger at cartoons, defenders of these animated anarchists will point the finger back at the parents. Just because something is on television, does not mean that is should be watched by everyone. The parents should monitor their child s viewing habits, and take the time to help them understand . Even if the content is not appropriate, a child should not be watching if they can not determine the difference between right and wrong. Cedric Veilleuxx says that children should not be allowed to watch television after 11pm.
Cartoon violence is not a new thing, so something else must have changed through the years. Parents are more concerned now with what their children watch than ever before, but defenders of cartoons say that better parenting in the first place would allow children to make wiser decisions, regardless of what is shown on TV. Cartoons such as South Park and Beavis & Butthead glorify violence and death, but so did classic cartoons such as Tom & Jerry or the Looney Tunes. Years ago, you never heard of a kid hitting another kid on the head with a large mallet because he saw it on a cartoon. Patricia Fleming believes A parent should be right there watching the television with their children s until they are at least 14 or 15 years old . Michael Allen from the LA Times wrote I m sick of parents blaming television shows for their own lack of parenting skills. Yesterday s villain was The Simpsons , today s is Beavis & Butthead. What kind of parent allows a 5-year old access to matches or a lighter?
Though there are many different sides to the opinion of how relevant cartoon violence is to actual cases with children, most are divided into a defending or an attacking viewpoint. The main side that the government and media are taking is that cartoon violence is bad., and that cartoons influence children to do horrible things. To destroy property and take lives, all in the search of something cool . True, cartoons do put a small value on life and property. Such arguments have moved shows to different time slots, or cause their material to be censored or to have the show cancelled all together (Cava par 8). These arguments cause parents to ban together, taking the blame from them and putting it back on the networks and producers. After the case with the 5 year old boy burning his little sister to death, lawmakers have been trying to clean up cartoons and other children s programming, in order to prevent and control problems like this.
While most parents feel that cartoons are to blame for violence and destruction, it is easy to pass on the blame to someone else. How many people would be willing to say It is my fault , especially when it comes to their children. Parents are protective of their children, but when they use television for babysitters, or don t monitor their children s viewing, they are just as much at fault for the behavior caused by it. While it would be so simple to say I won t let my child watch that programming ; rarely do you hear those words, because parents don t monitor their children. What would you prefer, a child running around the house, or sitting quietly in front of a TV?
If parents would take the time to educate their children, the amount of violent and malicious acts would greatly decrease. Television programming has always been of some violent nature, through cartoons, the news, wrestling or fighting shows, and it shows no sign of stopping. The difference between reality and fiction can be taught at home. Maybe, if the mother of the 5-year old had been more attentive, she would not have lost her daughter. Maybe if the parents of the two boys involved in the Littleton Massacre had taken that extra minute to talk to their kids, countless lives could have been saved. Kid s are very smart these days, and it is easy to assume they know right from wrong. If parents would take the time with their children, to educate them, to tell them that Beavis or Kenny is not real, then maybe a difference can be made.