“In addition to the sexual content on the show involving cast members as young as 15, PTC counted 42 depictions and references to drugs and alcohol in the premiere episode,” the group — which has called the show “the most dangerous program ever for children” — wrote in a letter to the government organizations. “It is clear that Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of [several anti-child pornography laws].” – The Hollywood Reporter
Before I flame the living hell out of the Parents Television Council for apparently forgetting what it’s like to be an adolescent in an ever evolving adult’s world, let’s take a stroll down the “ABC Legal Drinking Age” memory lane.
In 1934, the original ABC Act stated that the legal age for purchase, possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage was 21 years of age. Until 1974 of course when the Legal Drinking Age (LDA) for beer was lowered from 21 to 18 in most states due to the legal voting age being changed to 18 as well. At least that’s the official written reasoning for the sudden change in alcohol philosophy. Some maintain that the legal drinking age was dropped at this time in consideration for 18 year old boys being drafted into the war.
In 1981, the LDA for beer remained at 18 for on-premises consumption and raised to 19 for off-premises consumption in some states, and during 1983 the LDA was raised to 19 years old for all sales of beer.
1985 brought about legislature that made persons born on or after July 1, 1966 will able to purchase beer, wine and liquor on and after their 21st birthday. Persons born before July 1, 1966 were given the privilege to purchase, possess and consume beer. Then, in 1987 the LDA was finally raised back to 21 for all alcoholic beverages.
During this same span of 53 years, in which 6 different changes were made to the National Legal Drinking Age, I would bet my life savings that a grand percentage of under-aged teens were consuming alcohol. In fact, I would bet more than my life savings that a member, if not many more, of the Parents Television Council has consumed alcohol while under the National Legal Drinking Age.
Now, if teens were consuming alcohol while under the National Legal Drinking Age during periods of time when TELEVISION WAS NOT INVENTED…I would be forced to assume TELEVISION was not their motive for consuming alcohol. Therefore, given that the human species has not drastically evolved since 1934, I can also state that TELEVISION HAS NEVER BEEN THE FACTUAL REASON BEHIND UNDER-AGED CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL.
We’ll leave that point made for just a moment while I now address the Parents Television Council’s stance on the use of drugs on MTV’s “Skins”. I’m sure most of the readers here, who coherently remember the 1980′s, can remember a PSA starring Clint Eastwood regarding the dangers of smoking crack-cocaine. This was a very clear and well shot public service notice. Others followed depicting eggs splattered in cooking pans, glasses being shattered, and a slew of other very creative metaphors for how drugs supposedly effect the human brain and body. Today, drug-free branding such as the “Above the Influence” campaign has continued the attempt to deter drug use in public media.
Monthly drug use has declined by almost 50 percent from highs in 1979 of up to twenty-five million down to an estimated 12.8 million Americans. Despite the dramatic drop, more than a third of all Americans twelve and older have tried an illicit drug. How can this be? In most states, all narcotics are both illegal and have education programs in place to deter their use. Yet they are still purchased and experimented with by a third of all Americans twelve and older. What is even more astonishing, is that none of these statistics have any correlation to an MTV TELEVISION SERIES.
Here’s a shot of sensibility to the straight edged parents of America. What PSA’s of kids running around having fun in seemingly “drug-free” environments don’t do, is actually show kids what it’s like to be a part of the drug world at it’s worst. Therefore, you simply create more of a curiosity factor for them to feed into and for dealers to feed off of. Want to show a kid why they shouldn’t snort coke at parties with their friends who look like they are having the greatest time ever? Why don’t you show them the surgery a cocaine addict has to endure in order to close the hole burned through the cartilage which separates their nasal passages?
If anything, “Skins” could be used to teach a lesson to teens about drugs more effectively than any other attempt made to date. Why? Simply because you address the actual motives for doing illegal narcotics instead of acting like they don’t exist. There’s no need to go into “sex” after making this point, because it rides the same fucking wave.
MTV’s “Skins” makes a great attempt to blow all the fairy tales about teen life out of the picture. Middle School and High School in America are not places where children and adolescents hold hands while singing “Kumbaya” all day. Most of the time, students in these establishments are doing everything within their power to experience things which they are told are “not to be experienced” at their age. If you think otherwise, you’re a simpleton without the intelligence level to hold any public office.
Want to effectively educate the youth of America on the possible dangers of sex, alcohol and illegal narcotics? Try explaining it to them on their level without sugar coating and omitting shit. Otherwise, FUCK YOU!
I really hope someone from the Parents Television Council reads this and has anything close to a rational epiphany on what they are doing for 8 hours a day.
…and I don’t have to cite documented legal action in US History. That shit is COMMON KNOWLEDGE.