August 30, 2006

ARTICLES: Tom can smack Jerry, but they can't smoke

Tom can smack Jerry, but they can't smoke

Like most of you, I was overjoyed to read that a British media regulator had censored a couple of old "Tom and Jerry" cartoons because there were scenes in which the characters smoked.

First off, I was not aware that there were such things in Britain as "media regulators." Clearly, this is something that we need more of in this country. A serious media regulator would not allow commercials involving male enhancement drugs, commercials for fast food that sound like they're using a very bad word or any ad in which women volunteer to pay for a strange man's dry cleaning.

Because these ads are just wrong.

Of course, the whole "media regulator" thing may need some tweaking before we get it just right.
British media regulators appear to believe that 50-year-old cartoons in which a cat puffs on a cigar will rot the health of young people, who would never be exposed to tobacco otherwise.
Like all good cartoon cats and mice, Tom and Jerry spent most of their time trying to kill each other in sadistically imaginative ways. Lawn mowers were applied to the cat's behind; the mouse was doused with water and thrown into the freezer; the cat was dropped into a vat of acid; you get the picture.

Scenes such as these apparently enrich the characters of our young people, while the sight of Tom puffing on a stogie drives our children into homicidal rages. Or inspires them to buy a pack of Winstons, which could be worse.

Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 11th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
Tel./Fax: +49 2365 502480
Mobile: +49 176 23107083
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