Ok. It's been a little while, I don't dispute that. I think that sometimes my brain needs to hibernate a little and the last few weeks have been packed with family visits, deadlines at the office and a weekend excursion to the Oregon Coast. All good stuff.
I got an iPad for my birthday a few weeks back and Miles and I have been using it for bedtime stories and the like. It's phenomenal for stuff like that. In fact, he may use it more than I do. I bought the Dinopedia from National Geographic Kids for him and it's incredible. There are over 1,000 dinosaurs in it and it's full of videos, over-enthusiastic narration and...well...there's no other way to put this, but...graphic illustrations. Really graphic. I mean, the circle-of-life is one thing, but there is a line for a four year old.
Miles: "Daddy, what's your favorite dinosaur?"
Me: "Hmmm. Velociraptors are pretty awesome."
Miles: "Can we learn more about them?"
Me: "Sure...let's just flip to them...here we are...wow*. Ok. Um...how 'bout we look at some plant eaters?"
*It was at this point where I realized the talented illustrated for this National Geographic KIDS application had probably served a lengthy sentence at Gotham's Arkham Asylum (and probably on one of those floors were you weren't allowed sharp objects). A nest of velociraptor chicks hatching from their eggs is peaceful enough. But the artist decided to have one of the adult raptors eating one of the hatchling's brain as blood trickled down it's lifeless eye. Lovely. I was one of a billion boys who's first exposure to female breasts was through National Geographic (thank you, ladies of the Congo). And I'm pretty sure this same institution gave my son his first legitimate night terror.
This is was shortly before I sent Rachel to Gamestop to pick up a copy of Lego Rock Band (the tamer little brother to the bully that is Rock Band 2). It's not that I don't enjoy Rock Band 2. I love the songs and Miles does too. And I get the whole anti-establishment Rock & Roll vibe. I just decided my kid didn't need a high score on Joan Jett anthem. Miles rocking out is one thing -- Miles belting out: "I don't give a damn about my bad reputation"...not so charming.
I'm not one for censorship. I tend to believe that TV will show what the public wants. And if those movies and shows want to curse, blow things up, have shoot-outs in the street or explicit love scenes, they have every right to do so. I also tend to roll my eyes at parental watchdog groups that picket or boycott the entertainment industry. Responsibility falls on parents to select and ensure their children choose appropriate entertainment (be it movies, TV shows, video games or books). It's also 2011. We live in a world where our TVs, iPads and virtually every device can restrict content with a simple password. It's just up to us parents to utilize it.
Wow...soapbox moment. Didn't see that coming. And now, while my kids nap...I will enjoy another episode of The Wire on this rainy day.