“Disney Accused by Catholic Cleric of Corrupting Children’s Minds,” was headline from The UK Telegraph that obviously caught my eye and curiosity. I grew up with all the Disney cartoon movies…and save for Snow White shacking up with a lot of dwarfs with funny names – but no funny business – I can’t think of anything corrupting about that Disney era.
In fact, moral stories were always at the center: good guys and gals were ultimately saved and rewarded; and bad guys got their comeuppance in spades. What possible problem could Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, England have with Disney?
He argues that the Disney Corporation pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture which is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion.
Whoooo. He’s got something there. These movies are wolves in grandma’s clothing? They present a dichotomy of good and bad and then market the heck out of it and make oodles of money seducing kids into buying all kinds of junk in the image of the cute – or nasty – images on the screen.
Father Jamison targets the behavior of Disney in particular, which he says is “a classic example” of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality. While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil (i.e., moral battles) he argues that this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be a good and happy family and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.
While Father Jamison makes an obviously good point…it is a matter of the free market. I don’t begrudge Disney trying to make a buck selling stuffed animals and t-shirts based upon their story characters. I do begrudge the weakness of parents saying, “Yes, dear,” each time their child yells and demands something. How ’bout instead of giving in so readily, you tell them to save up their money from putting out the trash or collecting leaves so they can buy their heart’s desire for “101 Dalmatians” plastic or stuffed dogs? The children will learn patience, and the art of saving toward a goal – actually gaining pride in earning what they desire. In fact, after they work that hard and that long, that toy may not look as nearly as interesting a use of their hard-earned change. This way, your children learn self-discipline, self-control and a real appreciation for the value of “junk,” so they can make an informed decision as to how important it really is to them.TrackBack URI
When I was a kid, I was desperate to become a Mouseketeer – wearing those mouse ears, dancing, singing, and acting in one of the weekly Disney specials. Alas, telling them of my dream in a postcard sent to them at the age of 12 got no response.
At that time in Disney’s history, children’s “things” were innocent and sweet. No more. We are now in the era of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens and now, Miley Cyrus posing for Vanity Fair topless, beneath a draped sheet, and sporting a seductive look.
It’s no surprise that little girls and boys look up to young celebrities with enthusiasm and yearning, and it’s obvious that these celebrities become instant role-models as well. My Disney role-models were talented and squeaky clean, because that was Mr. Disney’s vision. That was a good thing – or at least most families with children believed so.
Most parents of 15-year-olds are pretty upset about this inappropriate display of an adolescent in Vanity Fair, where Cyrus is exposing her body in a vulgar way and giving their own children the wrong idea of feminine modesty and self-respect.
Vanity Fair defends this travesty as beautiful, natural, and artistic. How ’bout saying the truth: they did this to sell magazines, and the best way to sell magazines is to sensationally exploit somebody or something. When it comes to exploiting children and vulgarizing their innocence, somebody ought to pull the plug on the photographer’s lights.
Apparently, former teen star Hilary Duff professed (according to Fox News) that she would never have made the mistake that Miley did by posing topless beneath a sheet. When I first heard of Duff’s statement, I got excited that someone of her celebrity would take on the elites of Manhattan and Hollywood. Well, that dimmed immediately upon reading her entire statement, which included the following:
“Everyone goes through things and takes their own path; who am I to judge decisions that she made? People are pushing you to do something, and if you want to do it, that’s your choice. It’s not what I would choose to do, but if she did, then that’s fine. That’s her choice.”
In 2008, I am shocked to read the same lame, amoral, immature and gutless rhetoric of the 1960′s. Anything one chooses to do is fine simply because it is their choice? So, there is not right and wrong? There are no obligations to standards for the sake of others and the community? All things we choose to do have value simply because we choose to them?
Take that philosophy to your standard innocent and naïve youth, and what do you get? You get the blasé determination that the best thing for little girls is an injection for a sexually transmitted disease (venereal warts) almost as soon as she reaches double digits in age! You also get Planned Parenthood aborting babies for these little girls and not reporting to the police that the fathers are adult men. You get young women so scarred and corrupted by all the “choices” they’ve made, that they can barely imagine, much less trust, the yearning for a safe, committed, happy marriage and family.
That one look of Miley over her shoulder, with her chest barely covered with a sheet is an assault on the innocence of even more young girls…just when we thought they got the idea that becoming another Britney Spears was not such a good thing.TrackBack URI