Some days the stupidity exhibited by highly educated people astounds me.
Professor of medicine Stanton Glantz co-authored a study of films with characters that smoked and found that 80% of PG-13 films and 50% of G and PG films had some form of tobacco use. He seems to feel that this is unacceptable so he wants the MPAA to slap any movie that has smoking in it with an automatic R-rating with the only exception being for films that depict historical figures who were known to smoke.
“No one is saying there should never be any smoking in the movies,” Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said Tuesday at a press conference at Hollywood High School. “What we’re simply asking for is that smoking be treated by Hollywood as seriously as it treats offensive language.”
He’d like to see more PG-13 movies that feature smoking like “Matchstick Men,” “Seabiscuit” and the Oscar-winning “Chicago” ח get slapped with an R rating.
Since R-rated films typically earn less money because they are not open to most teenagers, Glantz said he hoped such a policy would discourage filmmakers from depicting unnecessary smoking, such as the nicotine-addicted worm aliens in “Men in Black.”
‘Cause you just know that if kids see alien worms from another planet engaging in smoking that they’re gonna decide they should smoke too. And if kids start smoking because of alien worms how much longer before you think they’ll take up the worm’s other bad habits like bursting through people’s chests in a shower of blood?
OK, I’m being silly, but I just can’t stand this kind of stupid thinking. How soon after this stupid idea will it be before Professor Glantz wants any film depicting characters eating fast food slapped with an R-rating because too many teens are obese from consuming too much fast food? Same stupid logic applied to a different health problem. Show someone eating at McDonald’s, get an automatic R-rating. That is unless it’s a historical figure, say former President Clinton, eating the burger.
Fuck it, let’s go all the way and restrict anyone under the age of 18 from watching any movie short of The Care Bears Love Everybody so they won’t be exposed to fictional characters engaging in activities that are harmful to their health because trying to teach our kids the concept of “personal responsibility” is just too much fuckin’ work.
The thinking here seems to be along the lines of it’s not the kid’s fault they were dumb enough to take up smoking or “car surfing” or setting themselves on fire if they saw it in a movie. Kids are complete and total morons we have no hope of instilling good sense into, let alone personal responsibility, so we should shield them from any movie or TV show that depicts any activity that might be considered “bad for them” out of fear they’ll immediately take it upon themselves to replicate it.
If you decide to smoke you will have health problems in the long run and you will have no one to blame for your lack of sense other than yourself. If you car surf you will eventually get injured and/or possibly killed and you will have no one to blame but yourself. If you douse your pants with gasoline and then strike a match you are likely to end up in the burn ward of your local hospital and you will have no one to blame for your incredible stupidity other than yourself.
Do it if you want to, but have the balls to own up to your lack of brains once it finally bites you in the ass.
Was going to write about this sooner, but forgot to until I stumbled across it again on Solonor’s site who summed up everything I just said in two words and I accept responsibility for having too big a mouth to stop at two words.
Update: It would seem that ***Dave wrote about this on Tuesday and I somehow managed to completely overlook it. Which could be bad for me seeing as his entry sounds a lot like what I wrote right down to the bad joke about kids imitating the stupid aliens in MIB and how the next step will be punishing movies showing fast food consumption. I don’t want him accusing me of plagiarism so I thought I should link back to his article as well.