To the Contrary

Despite what reviews and promotions say, Simpsons Movie is not for kids

With so much marketing of The Simpsons Movie being shown through kids' programming, I thought it might be OK to take my son to see this highly advertised movie. Being somewhat familiar with the Simpsons, I decided to read a review of the movie first. I suspected that with its PG-13 rating there might be a few off-color remarks or perhaps a few mild swear words such as was the case in the movie Spiderman. What I have since discovered is there's no comparison between the two, as far as movie content and the message.

After reading the review posted on the website www.pluggedinonline.com, it is apparent that this movie should not be targeted to kids the way it has been. Below are a few of the excerpts from the movie according to the review:

Early on, when Homer has to go to church for a funeral, he protests, "Why can't I worship the Lord in my own way, like praying like h on my deathbed?" He complains about churchgoers being "too busy talkin' to their phony-baloney God."

Homer rifles through a Bible, then discards it saying, "This book doesn't have any answers."

In a pivotal scene, Marge yells "g--d--n." Homer gives townsfolk the "finger" with both hands. Bart guzzles whiskey and gets very drunk. Otto, the school bus driver, sucks on a marijuana bong.

A revenue producer

I realize that the Simpsons, with 23 Emmy awards and $1 billion in reported revenue over the years is obviously a very popular show, and I am sure that many people will think I am being fanatical in bringing this up. I also realize this show is supposed to be about giving a good laugh and not to be taken too seriously, especially not what comes out of the mouth of Homer Simpson. But I do take making a mockery out of God very seriously.

As far as Bart getting drunk and the school bus driver smoking marijuana, D.A.R.E., a program geared toward keeping kids off of alcohol and drugs, encourages parents not to joke about alcoholism or drunken behavior. I'm thinking if parents shouldn't joke about it, a movie marketed to kids of all ages shouldn't, either.

Negative influences

My message is certainly not to condemn anyone who has taken their kids to see this movie. I simply think we need to ponder why more and more negative influences, packaged as humor, are being put out there to entice our kids.

I couldn't help but feel that there is something very wrong with a movie that advertises in the innocence of something like the "spider pig" commercials, which naturally entices kids to want to see it. The Simpsons overall have inundated our TVs and everywhere we go in promotion of the movie.

I am aware that this movie is far from being the only negative influence being put in the faces of our kids. However, I guess I have seen so much of this movie's advertising lately, they have me thinking about it, but not for the reason they hoped for.

I think the point was made best in the "Plugged In" review, which said the following: "A postscript: Thanks to Homer, D'oh is now an official part of the English language. It's in the Oxford English Dictionary. Who says entertainment doesn't affect you?"

This weekly column features opposing views from readers. These opinions are contrary to those expressed on this page or which otherwise take issue with something that appears in The Herald. All commentaries submitted become the property of The Herald and may be republished in any format.

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