#096: Ratings

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Want to go see a movie? Check the rating first. Not what Siskel and Ebert said, but how old you have to be to watch it.

Every movie that comes out today has to be rated by some official company and then released. They watch the movie and base the rating off violence, nudity, language, adult situations, and a few other things. The limiting ages are 13, 17, and 21 basically. When you think about those ages, you have to consider that is pretty fucked up. Between 13 and 17 a teenager will hear more cuss words at school, see more nudity in real life or on regular television, will read or hear about more violence from the news or newspapers, and will encounter more ‘adult situations’ than any movie could ever release. Yet, s/he can’t go see a lot of movies because of those factors.

Using age as a factor to determine who can and can not see a movie is kind of ridiculous. Each and every person is different to begin with, and each has had a different upbringing. There are some kids that are still more mature, and more responsible than some adults that I know of. Some kids have had more sex than a lot of adults I know. What does that say? The system is bullshit. If a teenager goes into a movie and watches a drive-by, they should have enough common sense to know that it is a movie, and that in real life the stakes are real. No actors, no blanks. If they pull a trigger, they can kill someone. If they already have a gun, then odds are they have been subjected to a lot more violence than what they saw on the screen. If they don’t, current laws will stop them from getting a legitimate handgun so no worry, right?

If movies are going to be rated, it should be based on situations in the movie if anything. ‘Adult Situations’ should be the only real factor that limits who can and can’t see a movie. If the flick has tons of violence, a lot of killing, murder, etc, then they should determine the age at which people have already seen all that on TV. If it has some hot and horny sex scene with nothing out of the ordinary, they should consider what is seen on TV, pay channels, and is done in real life by a certain age.

If you are watching a movie and see someone kill someone out of self defense, and then see another movie where someone kills another just because it is fun, which movie is better? Morally, which is better? Which should kids be able to see?

Ethics and morals should be the basis for that. Ethics distinguish the person who kills for fun, from the person who kills out of self defense. Those ethics or morals are deemed good/bad by most people, and are generally accepted as one or the other(good/bad). Since there is a big difference, let that be the only method of rating a movie.

As if rating movies is bad enough, more stuff is getting the ratings. Computer/Arcade games. Recent news shows that Mortal Kombat II and Doom II will both be subjected to ratings of some kind when put on the shelf. Here you have something that isn’t even close to real life. Both are extremely violent, therefore the ratings.

Think about this one. You have a computer game with animated graphics using weapons of supreme power killing wicked creatures from the planes of hell, and nothing more. Almost nothing in the game is from real life. If a kid can’t distinguish between a computer game and real life it shouldn’t be blamed on the kid. What the hell were his/her parents doing instead of raising that kid right? They are the ones to be blamed. No one else. If some guys create the game for fun, release more because it is popular, more power to them. Let them make a living, and leave moral responsibility up to the parents. If some kid breaks a law and blames it on a movie or video game, the kid AND the parents should be punished.

The more we limit the kids, the more they will want to know. The more they will grow up wondering what is out there. In a way that is good. We need more people striving to find out what is out there, and trying to learn more. On the other hand, that kind of repression is only found in a ‘big brother’ atmosphere which we don’t need.

See any movie you want. If you have questions, ask your parents. Listen to any music you want. Don’t understand lyrics? Ask about them.

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