So I went bicycle riding with beststephi's family this weekend. Afterwards we had dinner at Kings Family Restaurant. While having dinner, Steph's sister-in-law informed me that they had taken the kids to see March of the Penguins. She said the kids liked it, but she was upset because they showed a Rated PG movie (Tim Burton's Corpse Bride). Her feeling was that only G rated previews should be shown during a G rated movie, since there are kids in the audience.
I tried to point out to her, that actually almost all movie previews are G rated. Movie previews are actually rated by the MPAA just like the movies they represent. When you see a trailer, and it starts with the little green screen that says "the following preview has been approved for all audiences, this film is rated whatever" that is your notice that the MPAA has rated the preview such that they think that its even appropriate for a three year old. If they don't approve of the trailer, it instead starts with a red screen that "the following preview is restricted has been deemded inapproriate for younger audiences. This film is rated whatever." She basically poopoo'd the concept, saying it was stupid because who gets to decide what the trailer is rated. I again pointed out that it was THE SAME PEOPLE WHO RATE THE FILMS!
The thing that really got me really upset was her excuse that she ended up making. She said that this was wrong because as a parent "what was she supposed to do? Keep the kids outside the theater until the previews were over?"
Excuse me for a moment...
YES, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO FUCKING DO!!!
This is the same reason I always get upset about people wanting to rip Howard Stern off the radio, or people trying to censor comic books or say that its wrong to show a little boobie during halftime at the superbowl or that you can't have some good old fashioned gay bashing, woman beating and iraqi sympathizers in good old monday night rasslin'. You know why I defend those things? Its not because I like them. Its because I'm a reasonable fucking person, and I know that things that I don't like, someone else probably does, and letting those people like them really doesn't affect my life all that much.
You know what I don't like? I don't like Monty Python. Don't really care for Dr. Who or the Rocky Horror Picture either. And I fucking hate the movie Dumb and Dumber. And you know how I avoid all of those things? I fucking watch something else.
I hate the assumption that just because something is Rated G, its got to be for children. G doesn't mean "for kids." It means "We don't think its objectionable to kids." The crux of Amy's argument was that since it was a G rated movie, and Corpse Bride is "for adults," the preview shouldn't be shown. Ok, first of all, I dispute that March of the Penguins is a kids movie. Granted, I haven't seen it yet, but its a fucking documentary. This is the same argument you hear for banning violent and sexual comic books, because they are "for kids" since they are comics. Second I think like many people she doesn't understand the meaning of PG. PG doesn't mean that kids can't come to the movie. In fact, PG movies are intended for children. The idea is that PG movies are movies parents are supposed to see with their kids, as opposed to G rated movies, which kids can see alone. R and PG-13 are the levels where kids shouldn't be there. And finally these are all just guidelines. The MPAA ratings are not a law. There is nothing binding about them whatsoever. It is simply by voluntary observation by the movie industry and the theater industry that the ratings mean anything whatsoever. In reality, if a 3 year old has the funds and wherewithal to buy a ticket to buy an R-rated DVD, the law won't do anything to stop her.
I was really shocked that my sister-in-law had this stance. This is a woman who won't allow her children (6 and 3) to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons. She has very specific ideas of what is and isn't appropriate for her children. Her kids don't really watch TV, they watch one of the same six or seven parental approved videos every night. If this the the case, I don't see why she would ever trust the MPAA or the theater at all. And really, that's the way it should be. I have my idea of what is and isn't appropriate, she has hers. The MPAA has theirs. The final decision for the individual kids is the responsibility of the parents. No one can force her to let her kids see previews for PG rated movies, so she shouldn't be able to deny that of other people.
So yes, she should take her kids out of the theater during the previews if she's concerned about it.
And don't let me get started on her stance with her kids and video games (the next topic of the evening).
I would like to point out that this is basically the entire reason I hate freedom right there. You see, in America, free as it is, people are allowed to have opinions that contradict the greater good. In a better nation there would be civil liberties given to the people by the divine decree of the benevolent dictator. There is but one man infallible enough to be that dictator. And that man is Dr. Victor von Doom. Unfortunately, doomworld, as great as he may be, is fictional, and therefore incapable of ruling you people with the iron fist, so I think its best that i do it. And in my world, where I am king there are going to be some changes. I'm not saying there won't be any freedom. In fact, there's going to be mandatory freedoms. But there are going to be mandatory obligations as well. In exchange for your freedoms, you are obligated not to be stupid. So please, next time you go to the polls, vote Maverick for Ruler. Really, it is for the best.