Thursday, January 19, 2006

When will it finally be enough?

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
Blaming the child is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who's... to... blame...


A-yep. Courtesy of the WunderKraut, the latest in litigous nitwittery.

"Advocacy groups and parents are suing the Nickelodeon TV network and cereal maker Kellogg Co. in an effort to stop junk food marketing to kids."

...the hell?

"The plaintiffs are citing a recent report documenting the influence of marketing on what children eat. Ads aimed at kids are mostly for high-calorie, low-nutrition food and drinks, according to the government-chartered Institute of Medicine."

Lemme see, who actually buys the products? Who does it rather than put up with the whining?

"Wakefield, Massachusetts, mother Sherri Carlson said she tries her best to get her three kids to eat healthy foods. 'But then they turn on Nickelodeon and see all those enticing junk-food ads,' Carlson said. 'Adding insult to injury, we enter the grocery store and see our beloved Nick characters plastered on all those junky snacks and cereals.' "

My mother had a stock reply when I told her I wanted to eat five pounds of Reese's Pieces for breakfast - "No." If I insisted that Tommy and Gerard got to, she'd reply, "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do that?" Apparently, Ms. Carlson's reply is to buy her kids parachutes. Then again, they did finally come out with a Reese's Cereal, so maybe I'm wrong here.

" 'For over 30 years, public health advocates have urged companies to stop marketing junk food to children,' said Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. 'Even as rates of childhood obesity have soared, neither Viacom nor Kellogg has listened.' "

Hmmm. And when did Atari release the 2600? Childhood obesity is up, in part, because video games have substituted for running around outside like a banshee until darkness falls. I loved my Atari (as has been documented) but my folks rationed my time on it. What's more, they learned how to play the games themselves and it became a shared activity for us. (Mom dominated Ms. Pac Man. Dad and I were partial to River Raid.)

Prepare for the Blinding Flash of the Obvious: "A food industry-backed group defended the companies, saying the lawsuit assumes that parents can't turn off televisions, have no control over the food they buy and can't make their kids go outside to play. 'Going out on a limb here, perhaps her kids want these foods not because of ads, but because they're children,' said Dan Mindus, spokesman for the Center for Consumer Freedom."

Gee, novel idea, make kids play outdoors and spend time with them. Who knew?

"The lawsuit seeks to stop the companies from marketing junk food when 15 percent or more of the audience is 8 years old or younger. It targets not only commercials but Web sites, toy giveaways, contests and other marketing aimed at that age group."

"15% of the audience at 8 or younger..." Who the hell decides when that is? And it covers Web sites and contests? Not only can't you turn off the TV, you can't turn off the PC either?

"The majority of the food ads involving both companies were for nutrition-poor foods, CSPI said."

And have you ever tried to hide a Star Wars geegaw in a head of lettuce or a bowl of tomato soup? You're supposed to be the adults, here, why don't you think?

This is your job and not the government's. If you're truly worried about creeping fascism, guess what, this is it - the willful ceding of one's own authority and responsibility to the machinery of state. In three generations when they come to your kids' grandkids in kindergarten and say that they've scientifically assigned them jobs, salaries, living quarters, spouses, and hobbies, what will you say, beyond the brave insistence that they be permitted to choose the breed of dog they shall own?

Oh, yeah, you'll be dead - so it's not your problem. In other words, more of the same attitude out of you. What a bunch of joyless turd flickers.

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