As blogged previously, I don’t watch much TV. The other night I saw the show ‘Two and a half men’. It’s a comedy from the USA. Like so many other things. I was stuck by the charming, fresh faced young actor playing – I assuming – the half man.
That is, until he opened his mouth. I was then struck by the adult words and phrases being used. ‘Adult’ in this context means ‘grown up’, ‘mature’, and ’sophisticated’. Not x-rated.
It occured to me this was such an example of the objectification of youth we find demonstrated and displayed on tv so regularly. The script writers craft adult talk, and the young actor replays the words with skill and verve – but it is not a child speaking. It is the words of an adult.
I think this leads to us to the mistaken notion that children can make adult level decisions – it can be very convenient for children to make adult decisions and be all grown up. I know that the pony express was ‘manned’ by very young teens, but I also know that you shouldn’t send a boy on a man’s errand.
I wonder if this is where someone like Michael Jackson finds traction – looks like a boy – is sohisticated and sounds like a man. It’s easy to make a fetish from this kind of construct. If it sounds like an adult, it must be an adult, and therefore it’s ok.
It’s not ok.
I’ve never understood what the appeal of bonsai is – of what the mind set that produced bound feet, bubble-eye goldfish, pug dogs, or any of the other gross abnormalities produced for the delight of adults. I include in this beauty pagents for little kids.
But I’m wondering now if that’s what we’re being fed on tv – bonsai-porn – where we want full strength, miniaturised, fantasy entities constructed for our own pleasure. They never grow up, they’re cute; but they act and talk like adults. This is not supporting some sort of Peter Pan illusion, this is objectification for pleasure and profit. It’s not funny. It’s not ok.