Ok so I'm really worried by this- someone tell me I'm not crazy, PLEASE!!
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

I'm watching a documentary and it's all about the media and marketing industries targeting children.
I knew that this happened, I'm not naieve but does anyone else thinking that a 12 year old girl dressing like a 16 year old, or a 16 year old dressing like they're in their 20's wrong? Am I the only one who is scared about how the verse is turning out? Children being told that they need certain products, that they need to grow up faster than what they are supposed to.

The documentary said that soon children will be spending almost a trillion dollars a year- that essentially these children are being targeted and that they are coercing their parents into spending large amounts of money essentially on go-se. I knew that this happened, but I just can't believe that people are profiting off children's insecurities and needs like this.
This worries me: these poor children are being manipulated, brain washed even and then the fact that parents are giving in are just as bad- if I had asked for a $200 anything at 8 years old I would only be getting that for my birthday or Christmas. I know that this is "a sign of the times" but we can't use that as an excuse can we? I know that kids yell loud, I know they throw tantrums- my brothers are at the delicate ages of 6 and 9- but we can't just say it's a sign of the times, or that they throw tantrums until we give in.

Am I going mad? Is this something that I shouldn't be caring about? But then I can't not care about it because I have little brothers and I want children one day- I don't want my daughter or son to dress like the idiots they have on TV passing as role models.

But then what do you do when your child is getting bullied because they have the wrong pair of shoes- that happened to my brother earlier this year, a kid in his class even told him that Santa didn't like him because he got crap presents. I know that I shouldn't be worried but this REALLY SCARES ME!!
Apparently they even have marketing awards called The Golden Marble those awards basically reward successful marketing campaigns aimed towards children.

I don't know why I wrote all of this, it's just upsetting for me to see the 'verse going under like this, it never used to be this way, and don't get me wrong but there are the beautiful points, I guess this just makes me angry.


Tuesday, May 9, 2006 5:42 PM


Definitely not crazy... I'm 19 and i've never dressed like kids are dressing now. I guess it's just how I was raised. My parents aren't really that strict they're just keeping me and my sibilings safe. Skimpy clothes were never allowed until we could buy them ourselves which in this family was around 17 because we were allowed to get jobs then, but even then we had to get approval from Mom. Make-up was not allowed to be worn until 16 and that was only eye liner and face powder.

My sister just turned 16 and my parents are fighting a losing battle. At 13 my sister would go to school in one set of clothes then her friends gave her another set and put make-up on her. She would always throw tantrums in the store but my parents never gave into them. They are really strong parents but I don't think they are going to be able to win this battle with my sister. She is only 16 and wants to grow up too fast.

"What do you suppose that makes us?"
"Big damn heros, sir"
"Ain't we just"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 7:43 AM


You're not nuts.

I still swear to THIS day I know when the change occured. When I was a Junior in HS the in 1995 the seniors had their own eating area if they wanted...
I came back to our usual spot where we had eaten each day for 3 years and some freshmen were sitting there. I said something like "Erm, can you scoot one down so we can sit?" (there were 4 of us and to fit she had to move one over to a free seat) And she had a nasty little attitude and rolled her eyes and finally moved over.
I'm not kidding when I say we were probably the nicest upeerclassmen on campus should could have run into and we just wanted to sit. I looked back on that a couple years later and realized we NEVER sassed anyone older than us like that. It just wasn't done. Then I knew...that was the first generation that fell to this.

A couple years later in college we were walking around the GAP. In the girl's section were little leather miniskirts. My friend and I looked at each other and wondered....who let them make that size? Who dresses their kid in that?

Well now we know.

It's not just you. When I was 16 only ten years ago I dressed like a 16 yr old. Not like my 21 yr old sister. Those were her age appropriate things and I had mine. That was that. My parents were not strict raising us. We learned by watching them. Please and thank you were not formalities. It was just what you said. And you said it. Ya didn't whine about having to say it. Then when I was old enough to understand why people should be thanked and such it meant that much more.

I dunno what is going to happen to us.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 5:36 PM


You're not crazy. I teach middle school (ages 11 to 13) and what I see on a day to day basis scares me. The dress code is an issue every single day (even when temps are nearing freezing), but what is even worse is how some parents show up at school! And then, talk about teaching personal responsibility? This is a daily conversation at our school among teachers. The students feel so entitled and see no reason to achieve. It's really sad.

I do a lesson about shrinking the world population down to 100 and figuring out how many are white, non-white, living in poverty, literate, college educated, who has access to clean's an eye opener for students who have 8 televisions in a household of 4! I have a student who believes it's his parents duty to buy him his first new car and thinks I'm crazy b/c I won't let my kids have a TV or computer in their room.

And don't get me started on these new online sites like Kids don't know how to be safe and responsible online and parents are clueless!

We lived overseas for our kids first three years and they hardly saw a commercial. Within two months of being back in the states, my son knew every product being advertised on children's channels (and we limit his TV!) Makes me seriously consider returning to the overseas life...

I could go on and on...but I won't b/c I have high blood pressure and this isn't good for me!

As a teacher I try to do my part at school and at home, but most days it feels like a losing battle.

Sorry to end on a down note.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:01 PM


You aren't crazy and it's right to be disturbed.

But it comes down to not doing as much together anymore. We're all so busy and in a hurry. We've got to make time and not be so materialistic.

I've got to say I'm pretty strict about the stuff my little guy watches and I discuss the ads we see...particularly the materialistic ones. We end up watching the mostly non-commercial stations here in OZ, that is the ABC & SBS.

The fact that he reads books for fun, is always a source of amazement to his friends, who'd rather be playing on the Playstation or Computer. This is a sad commentary on life.

The only thing we can do is to work against it, each in our own small way, and trust to luck.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 3:17 PM


Hey shinytalent,

You're not crazy. Or, if you are, I'm crazy along with you. :) And it's always a good thing to be on the same boat with you.

I'm really glad you expressed this. Because I feel quite the same way. 12 year old girls, going to school in belly-button outfits, quite frankly looking more like little trollops than little children. As distasteful as it's disturbing. Not to clog up your blog with my River stuff, but this is really part of why I get so upset over fanfic messing with River in the same fashion. And I'm really not all that rigid. I guess, like you, I just want the 'verse to make sense on at least an elementary level. Which means: children are children, and adults are adults. I like our 'verse. In reality, though, adults behave like children, and the children are wannabee adults. Reality's broken. Contradictions, false logistics--it doesn't make sense.

As for children getting everything they want these days, it's true, unfortunately. The sadder part of the story, alas, is that we, as Western societies, have become so engrossed in the fulfillment of our material needs. And yet, at the same time, we are emptier than ever. And THAT is monumentally sad, because we beget an entire generation of children who are told, and believing, that better, and more expensive, stuff will make them happier; and, in the meantime they're hopelessly confused, because they're poorer than ever.

That is why I love our 'verse. It's about people who believe that something "more" is not of the material. As our beloved Captain explained so well to our not-so beloved Saffron: That's 'cause I got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other and ain't always looking for the advantage. There's good people in the 'verse. Not many, Lord knows, but you only need a few.

You, shinytalent, are one of the few. :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 12:00 PM


No you're not crazy.

For corps. profit is what they go after and ethics, not so much.

The world is going to hell in a hand-basket. The only think that we can do is go against what the corps what us to do, and instead, do something reasonable.

Hopefully the ride won't be that bumpy.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 10:19 AM


I gonna try not to rant too much on this but I promise nothing. You are not crazy. I agree with youcompletely.
I was the kid with the stained second and third hand clothes because that's what we could afford. I got a lot of crap from the other kids for that. Kids can be some of the cruelest people in the world. I didn't get anything I wanted just because I threw a tantrum (and I was a champion tantrum thrower, and I did get spanked) but my parents did thier best to give me what I needed. Love, some discipline, food and shelter, and wing for my soul.
My parents also watched TV WITH me Cybersnark and we talked about it and played games together. If I showed an interest in art or singing or books (which I did in all of them) They encouraged me. They didn't just say "Oh you're amazing honey" they found me places to learn.
I also had chores and I worked with them often (they were landscapers). I earned my rewards.
I babysit a lot and I'm disturbed by how much of this I don't see in the parents I work for. In school, the piont isn't to learn its to get the grade so you can get a "good job" someday. Ther're either given anything they want to "make them happy" or forced to become little adults and do entirely for themselves. And I am terrified of elementary schoolers wearing sexy little outfits that I wasn't allowed to wear untill I was at least 15.
Something is very wrong and I'm very much afraid that it will get worse before it gets better.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 9:50 AM


I don't think you're crazy but I think a whole lot of people "out there" are. I spend a lot of my time at work watching full-grown adults throw tantrums when there's something they don't want to do, and most of the time management backs down. Management (at least in my company) has become the same as those parents mentioned above: they don't want to confront anyone; they don't want to have strict rules that might make someone unhappy; they think that if everybody's happy, then everyone will work hard. I've got news for them: it ain't happening. People still goof off just as much as they did before and they aren't really happier; management just dreams that they are.

I just don't understand.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 8:19 AM


You are not crazy! Kids, and adults, these days are unbelievable! They refuse to take any responsibility for themselves, or their kids. Too many people either don't pay attention to their kids, and just let them run wild, or they are more concerned with "being a friend" to their children than being a parent. Kids have their own friends, they need parents. We have become a society where everyone feels they are "special" and the rules shouldn't apply to them. They are "victims", nothing is their fault, and the whole world is supposed to stand on its head to cater to them. What a bunch of crap! People need to be held more responsible for their own actions, as well as for the actions of their kids. But, a lot of people feel the same way we do. I even saw an article where some of the schools are fining parents if their kids skip school, act up in class, or aren't doing the work. It's sad it's had to come to that, and the parents are throwing a fit, but you can bet those kids are straightening up.

Just my 2 cents. I, too, am sorry for the rant, but you really hit on one of my pet peeves. We, as a nation, need to get this crap under control. Parents don't seem to realize they aren't doing their kids any favors. With my job, you would be amazed at the number of people that call, furious with us because of something their kids have done, and actually have the gall to say "I'm not responsible for what my kids do." Oh, yeah, then who is? America needs a wake up call in a big way.


Wednesday, March 8, 2006 5:53 AM


I'm there with you.

It's scary the things I see parents doing (or not doing) with their kids. There's a few kids in the homework centres where I work that just don't know how to finish anything; they just stop when they hit something difficult or boring, and then expect to be rewarded. The concept of cleaning up after yourself just isn't there.

I am at times amazed by how ~good~ my own parents were in hindsight. Dad used to watch TV with me --actually sit in the room when I was watching cartoons (and occasionally let me stay up to watch more "grownup" shows, like Knight Rider or Magnum, P.I. with him). They also got me interested in reading; toys and games I had to earn, but any book I pointed to, they'd get for me, even if it was way above my level --it just made me want to read better so I could read them.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 5:28 AM


I know i've posted a rant like this before but I started working part time age 16 in a bookstore and fulltime during any holiday after that. I worked in the childrens' section mostly and it was heartbreaking some days.

Full tantrums from young children who want toys, games etc but never books. Parents who would dump their kids for hours at a time (i'm serious by the way, we sometimes had to call security to come fetch the kids because no-one came back for them). Children asking for one book have been told in no uncertain terms that they have 'a' book at home and they can't possibly want another.

I've been sworn at and spoken to like I was 3 years old by the parents. I've also worked as hard as possible to help them and found that the words please and thank-you are clearly obsolete.

One woman ranted at me and actually yelled in my face because her 12 year old daughter had been given some book vouchers and the mother just wanted to exchange them for the cash value. The daughter meanwhile just sulked. She had been given £60 of vouchers by her grandparents for Christmas and all I could think was how lucky she was.

I was understandably shocked when I first encountered this behaviour but have spent the last few years deliberately encouraging politeness particularly in young children. Whilst volunteering at a local school I paid special attention to thanking children that held open doors for me or said thank-you.

If I have children, manners will be the first and last thing I teach them regardless of academic ability.

Sorry for the rant but it really is something I feel strongly about.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:45 AM


I've always found advertising really creepy. It's creating a nation of people who are basically unhappy with themselves, cause we're constantly told there's so much we're supposed to have and to be, and we can't possibly be OK without it. It's ridiculus.

My favorite example is a friend of mine, grad student at MIT, super smart beautiful girl and excellent athlete, talking about how her eating disorder was ruining her ability to run marathons. Then she spends all her time reading some fashion magazine (you know the type - makeup, tight outfits, skinny models and diet plans) and she never saw the problem there.

It's VERY scary.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 4:44 AM


Yes, and children's responsibilities are lessening more and more.

I speak to the neighbors and my five year old is unique on this street in that he has a television in his room. (An old one, of couse) BUT he is also unique in that he cleans his room (sometimes), takes care of his dog, takes out recyclables and trash, 'babysits' his little sister while mommy's indisposed for all of a few minutes, and puts his dishes in the sink.

Where does that get to be unusual?!?

I was in the classroom chatting with a few of my second graders at the time and told them what my son did for chores. He was four at the time and had the same chores he does now (minus the babysitting). These second graders were astounded! NEVER had they heard a kid with so much to do.

There was a time when an eighth grade education was rare, and yet they had vocabularies far exceeding ours now. My grandmother is one of them. She ran a household of 14 children and a husband on a measly city firefighter's pay. She is an intelligent woman but never went to high school. But she READS.

Hard work and dedication are falling to the wayside as we're making exceptions for children who already have too much in the way of material things. Most parents from my experience don't want their children to earn anything. They're taking that, "I never got that as a child, so my children will be spared that," way too far.

There has to be a sense of self-responsibility and a commitment to those outside of yourself. I have been seeing that less and less. Things are so self-centered that even parents are expecting too much of children academic-wise and not enforcing moral values or work ethics that expand beyond school.

Even something so simple as getting homework done just for the sake of doing it I've seen argued over. Most parents that I've come in contact with want their children to advance with little or no fuss. But that isn't how children learn. They rebel. They push buttons. Just because a child is being stubborn and ornery does not mean they need ritalin.

Look at those silly Supernanny shows. Not only are we letting the children get away with this, but most parents are clueless as to how to go about correcting it. They see their kids as small adults, and they're NOT. They don't understand things they way we do, because they don't have the experiences they way we do. And much as we'd like to share that with them, they're not ready for everything that's thrown at them.

Even something so simple as a schedule. Kids thrive on the expected. Unknowns are usually scary and stress inducing. Too many commitments to sports and after-school programs toss kids off their schedule. I've always found that sticking to schedules is the best way to go about my day and I've gotten the best results letting my child know what to expect from what's coming up. And sometimes, we discuss it and I ask him to try and imagine what's coming up so that he's preparing himself, learning a stress-reducing way of transitioning from one activity to the next.

Sorry for the ramble. Being in a teaching position it's difficult watching certain things. I've seen children who haven't been bathed in two weeks, children sent to school for days in the same outfits that are stained with food. I've also seen children try to wiggle their way out of perfectly legitimate assignments because they felt they were too special to do it and got mom and dad to come in and browbeat the principal without even consulting the teacher first! I've also seen children whose parents both work and once school is done, spend perhaps an hour of their time together a day.

It is such a sad, disturbing thing.

I'd love to see a day when one parent can stay at home with the children. I'd love to see a day when children can grow up as innocently and as responsibly as possible, are given the finest education regardless of social or economic class, and given all the love and support they need while still being given the freedom of experience.

It's good to dream...

Wednesday, March 8, 2006 3:37 AM


Yeah, I'm generally a little freaked out when I go to the mall these days... I'm too old to be noticing that these girls are too young to be dressing like that. I'm sure it's the same with boys, but it's been jeans and t-shirts for us ever since I was a wee one. (Just now they cost like $80+ dollars so that they can look "worn" and distressed... Though I guess that was going on when I was in school, not that it was terribly long ago :)

...And am I the only one that finds the sight of a 12-year-old in full Goth regalia a little... hilarious/ disturbing? ;p

So no, you're not crazy. (Or at least not from this :)


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