We love to be tickled. Humor has been a great ingredient for happiness, even taking a higher seat in the arena of cures than drugs – laughter is the BEST medicine, remember? Ask anyone who’s in love what makes them love, you’ll hear a common answer; he makes me laugh! If you’ve been looking for love but aren’t so lucky, maybe you should evaluate your sense of humor – or lack of it.
No one knows that better than the film industry, especially the one whose target audience are children. While many producers have come up with films and animations to make our children laugh, we need to wake up to the realization that they also have an agenda. And it’s not an agenda for good or godliness. Far from it.
Zawadi, who is three and a half now, has taken to cartoons and movies like duck to water. Like me, she loves a good story. For her, it’s not just about motion pictures, she wants to know all the characters’ names. She wants to know what they represent – are they good or bad; are they pretty like mommy or not 😊. She’ll see a writing and ask what it means. She’ll hear a new word and ask what it means. Every cartoon or movie she watches speaks to her in a way.
One day while watching Despicable Me 2, I hear Mr. K calling out to me; he rewinds the film and pauses. I stare at the screen in disbelief. Right there in front of me is a cup. In bold red letters, it’s inscribed the words, “I LOVE EVIL”. The character then walks into a building. Right on op of the building, in bold letters is written, “BANK OF EVIL”.
The ‘art’ in the ‘bank of evil’ is another story altogether. Sculptures of people being crushed by huge poles line the isle. Zawadi sees one and screams. That is when despicable meets my ‘shift-delete’ prowess.
I may not know the full story and agenda of Despicable Me, but the title itself is despicable. It’s good to note that ‘wicked’ is a synonym for ‘despicable’. So, Wicked Me…? But this is not a critique for the film, but a call for us as parents to be vigilant on what we allow our children to consume. Because to them, the line between the real and the fictitious is so blurred that they can’t tell the difference.
Do your kids have nightmares? Are they constantly screaming in their sleep? Well, it could be that Captain Underpants and Professor Poopypants they have been watching! Casting spells, magic, hypnosis, vampires and so on have been made to look ‘normal’. The evil there in is so subtle and I dare say, beautiful, that we don’t stop to question the values being instilled in our children.
Let’s take Sofia the First, for instance. Who doesn’t love Sofia? Even I love Sofia! Village girl turned princess, a girl with a golden heart. She’s adorable. But Sofia’s teachers are all witches. She wears an amulet that enables her to talk to and understand animals. If you think ‘amulet’ sounds cool, just check out it’s synonym. Juju. Yeah, juju!
I’ll not even talk about Vampirina! She whose bed is a coffin and feeds on flesh! Riswa!
Talking of cool, one of Mr. K’s students told him that she doesn’t like the devil, she just loves his stuff. The devil’s stuff is cool. Her words. I was mortified when he told me that. Is that he true picture of what our kids really think? That the devil’s stuff is cool? Who gave them that idea? Who decides what’s cool and what’s not?
Do you have an agenda for you kids? Because if you don’t, someone else already has. There is a person in this world who wakes up, takes a luke-warm shower, eats his oats and eggs breakfast, brushes his teeth, rushes to beat the traffic jam and sits on a rotating chair ready to fulfil the company goals and mission statement – DESTROY CHILDREN!
I admit, that’s a little melodramatic, but it’s the truth! What values do you want to see engraved in your children? What reality do you want them to see? What truth do you want them to believe beyond any reasonable and unreasonable doubt? What do you want them to be when they grow up? This is a character and morals, not career question.
The bible tells us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 peter 5:8.
Let it not be our children. Be vigilant.