One vital lack of required information to today’s youth (0-15 years old, as of now) is a more nuanced timeline. I think it’s up to parents and caregivers to educate the young about why a grainy black-and-white movie is just as good as last week’s blockbuster. One might start by noting the child is still fascinated by bright sparkly colors and whether they “like” it or not has no effect on its value.
Media Education really should be a required course for parents and grandparents and children. Each group has its own lessons to learn!
We’re becoming a more adult society. Acknowledging history is crucial. Learning to enjoy movies and books and music in their own context as well as the current context is a great way of enriching the experience! Look how deeply we comics fans can enjoy a well-made cape movie or TV show! We know decades of history and alternate tellings and have opinions about which are “canon” or not! What we “like” and “dislike” is based on a mountain of reading, viewing and thinking experience.
Each of the above groups reacts to media with a crude knee-jerk response, “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. How have we allowed this? Some form of nutty self-appreciation? Trophies for everybody? Artificially inflated self-esteem? Whatever, the reality needs to strike that unless you have something better to cite than a Babinski reflex, shut up. We don’t care. Just pay your money at the box office, buy the album, buy the comic then shut up. I have no fear of saying this here, 'cause these sorts do not read! Especially long wordy posts. They do not realize they denigrate themselves and sound really stupid. I’m sure that is not their intent! But getting to a certain age - say, 13 - one is expected to be able to express thoughts and feelings with some measure of eloquence. If it is not there, what exists is a Problem. School and/or parents have free-ranged a child without proper training as to thought and language. Here’s a kid (or adult, or likely a grandparent with obsolete information) needing some education.
It is tremendous fun to educate kids this way! My “Li’l sis” - my best friend’s sister born when we were 14, shows superb knowledge of music due in large part to Mom and Tim and my influences on her when she was a baby, and now she’s a pro singer with her own band. I know good and well where she got her country roots and love of John Fogerty! Yours truly! Classic rock, me and Tim and Neil and everybody else who got their hands on the radio or stereo. Broadway music? It’s not my fault! Syrupy romantic tunes? Hey, she’s a woman, through and through. Deep blues with a bayou groove? Dear ol’ Uncle Miqque again. Maybe she was a wee kid who slept with the radio on and Maybe it was during the summer I had a late night blues show on the 15-watt college AM station and Maybe she heard some of it and Maybe it later influenced listening selections, I don’t know. When one is a parent, one can pick out influences and traits pretty well in an offspring. The occasional visiting friend is probably not much of an influence, but decades later we rediscovered how much of our mutual musical tastes and such were decidedly in synch.
And, yeah, that is a trend of mine. My pastor has noted that I much prefer to “plant seeds” rather than “preach”. Okay, on occasion because circumstances demanded it I’ve preached from the pulpit with Official Approval. Would NOT like to do so on a regular basis! I guess this has always been a tendency of mine. After I got degrees and such was when I started being accused of “playing games” because it was the same deal, sharing my influences and things I enjoyed and valued, but sounded awkward and manipulative because I was learning psychology on a much deeper level, and there were definite plateaus between Knowing What I Was Doing and Not Having A Clue About What I Was Doing. That type of self-doubt needs to be common in wannabe clinicians, so it can be examined and dealt with.
It does go that deep. Media and entertainment has become a dominant feature of “the first-world lifestyle”. We use it as babysitters, so that repetitive stuff just drills its way into those happy little heads without any guidance at all. Except, maybe, a parent going ballistic if there is a word like “shit” uttered, which will forever ruin little baby-boo.
Since media has become that important, it has become equally important that parents and any caregivers or teachers provide realistic guidance to this big part of children’s lives.
And, as always, it seems, I’ve run on forever. Dang.