April 2nd 2011

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Articles from this issue:

ENERGY SECURITY: What Australia must do before the oil runs out

EDITORIAL: Nuclear panic: the first casualty is truth

China leading the way with safe nuclear energy

JAPAN: Why Japan will recover from Sendai quake-tsunami

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Water Act won't work: Harvard professor

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Gillard's line on same-sex marriage, euthanasia

EUTHANASIA: SA euthanasia bill sidesteps safeguards

DEVELOPMENT AID: Australia funding abortions in Mongolia

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Good intentions not enough to defeat Gaddafi

UNITED NATIONS: Gender diversity battle at UN women's session

CULTURE: Hollywood's war on our children

FAMILY AND CIVILISATION: The growth and decline of the Roman economy

FEMINISM: How feminism demeans women and destroys families

CINEMA: Stalin's forgotten victims remembered: Peter Weir's The Way Back (rated M)

BOOK REVIEW: Obama, the questions mount

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Hollywood's war on our children

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, April 2, 2011

The makers and promoters of popular culture have a lot to answer for. Hollywood in particular and the entertainment industry in general are keen to get all the disposable income which young people have in abundance, and they don’t really give a rip about any moral considerations.

Whole books have been written on this topic, so it is nothing new. But each new example of this still can send shivers down one’s spine.

Here are two brand new cases which should be noted. They both make for scary, even sickening reading; but we must be aware of what is happening around us, and how our children are being targeted.

The first concerns a mega-entertainment industry which for years was known for its family-friendly offerings. Sadly, however, the Walt Disney Company has moved a long way from there as of late. It has for years now featured Gay Days at its theme parks, and now we are being told there will soon be homosexual characters in its movies.

This is how one media report carries the story: “Cinderella with two step-mothers? Bambi with two dads? According to one of Disney’s veteran animators, the idea isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Andreas Deja, who is gay and has worked on Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, said Disney was open to the idea of making a family movie featuring gay characters.

“‘Is there ever going to be a family that has two dads or two mums? Time will tell,’ he said. ‘I think once they (Disney chiefs) find the right kind of story with that kind of concept, they will do it. It has to be the right kind of story and you have to find that first.’ Despite having a worldwide reputation for being staid and conservative, Disney is, surprisingly, a very progressive company.” (News.com.au, March 4, 2011).

It certainly is progressive, all right. Most Western corporations and businesses these days have bent over backwards to accommodate and promote this minority activist group. Disney is just one of many implementing a radical homosexual agenda, which of necessity also means waging war against faith and family values.

The second story is not much better. It too involves a direct assault on our children and our values. It has to do with video games, and how they are increasingly being pitched to kids while full of decidedly adult-only content.

Brent Bozell, who heads up the Media Research Center (a large media watchdog organisation in the United States), explains in a column entitled “Sex and Super Mario”: “Most parents think of video games as a child’s pursuit, especially the innocent ones. Many people who bought a Nintendo Wii video game system would consider this the most innocent of them all. They watch their children play Super Mario Bros on it, or join the family in playing tennis, golf or baseball with their little childlike ‘Mii’ characters on Wii Sports.

“I never imagined this game system would also be an orgy enabler. A new ad by the French game manufacturer Ubisoft advertises a new game for the Nintendo Wii suggestively titled We Dare, describing it as ‘a sexy, quirky party game that offers … hilarious, innovative and physical, sometimes kinky, challenges. The more friends you invite to party, the spicier the play!’

“Here we go. In a YouTube ad for the game, two young couples are shown kissing the controller together, including both girls. Graphically, the game looks simplistic and cartoonish, a typical Super Mario adventure.

“As suggestive music plays, one of the girls puts the controller in the back of her skirt and goes over one of the men’s knees for some simulated spanking time. Then the girls are spanking each other. Then the men are stripping. The ad ends with the screen going blurry and reading ‘Enter Parental Code’.

“That’s merely an invitation to join in nudity and sex, since Ubisoft isn’t really concerned about parental codes. The game just went on sale in Australia, and that country’s silly supposed self-regulators gave it a meaningless PG rating. The local ad there included couples ‘stripping to their underwear’ with ‘suggestions of pole-dancing, group sex and partner-swapping’.”

Bozell examines other similar sorts of games, then returns to the We Dare game. He writes: “An Ubisoft spokeswoman told the Melbourne Herald Sun, ‘The game is intended for an adult audience, absolutely. … Honestly, the game can also be played in a non-flirty way. It is just open for interpretation.’

“This is disingenuous. Dressing this game in a simple Super Mario scheme is like putting a sex scene in a Thomas the Tank Engine game, but declaring it’s for adults only. It’s saying you can play the game in ways Ubisoft didn’t intend. Some children who didn’t want to be prostitute-murdering drug dealers in the Grand Theft Auto games could simply goof around on their motorcycle, too. But that’s not the experience the game-makers were selling.”

He concludes with these words: “Everyone understands that every new technology will be pornified, if someone can make an Almighty Dollar from it. Someone in Austria can make brown-paper-bag video games for Charlie Sheen and his ilk.

“But if most video games are going to be made and marketed for children, major game-makers and their weak-kneed self-regulating boards should draw lines of propriety, and major retailers should lean on the Entertainment Software Rating Board to know those lines should be drawn strongly — not out of respect for parents with purchasing power, but for the children whose innocence demands protection.”

Exactly right. But most of these outfits don’t give a hoot about children or the community. And far too many politicians and regulatory bodies are allowing these corporations and businesses to get away with murder. It is now time to say enough is enough.

A war has been declared against our children. And at the moment we appear to be losing big time.

Parents especially need to be aware of what their children are being exposed to in popular culture, be it in films, DVDs, music videos, games, clothing or anything else. So much of it is simply toxic, and hazardous to our children’s health and well-being.

Being informed is the first step needed if we want to reclaim our children and our families from those who are bent on destroying them.

Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures on ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com

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