Hanging out with my nephews is always a hoot. I have three nephews and one niece. Matthew is eight. And he requires an extra degree of creativity if you want to get into his world. He loves to pretend and develop elaborate stories that we act out in sort of a live TV show kind of thing. He writes down many of these stories using pictures and some words.
The other day, I decided to make up a new show while we were playing. I called it, Zook vs. Billy & Joey. The premise is that Zook, a space alien from the planet Zuron, wants to take over earth. Billy and Joey are two kids who along with their pet bird, Birdie, try to stop Zook when they discover the invasion plot. Billy and Joey use their kid powers to knock Zook’s robot ship off course, which saves the day.
Of course, Billy’s dad, Mr. Ross, is completely unaware of the danger and seems incompetent to do anything about Zook anyway. Thank God there are the two boys and the bird to protect the planet. The entire show involved a comedy of errors that luckily played into the boy’s favor while Zook passed the blame for his failures to his subordinates. (Yes, this show has adult themes… insert chuckle here).
After I was done with the pilot episode, I asked Matthew what he thought. He said, “Uncle Chaille, your show was too violent for a kid’s program. It should be more kid friendly.”
I said that most of the new cartoons were fairly violent, including many on Nickelodeon. I told Matthew that violence was part of the new formula. He said that he wasn’t sure. Did I mention that Matthew has a real tender heart? That’s one of the things I love about him.
Then I told Matthew that the real reason I picked the earth invasion scenario was to illustrate a point. I said that many kid’s shows portray adults like we are all bumbling idiots.
If you don’t believe me, just watch any cartoon TV that has been made in the last five years. If the show has parents in it, nine times out of ten they are not as cleaver as the children. Kids are the heroes who save the world. The adults do nothing, are oblivious to the real problem, or are inept. I told Matthew that this sends the wrong message to young minds, which I was drawing attention to by my ridiculous story. This reinforces the idea that kids know best not parents. It doesn’t foster good child/parent relationships.
Matthew looked at me and said, “OK, but I still think your show is too violent.”
I agreed. Maybe Zook can become a pacifist. But then that takes away one of the key aspects of any story – the struggle between good and evil.
Matthew has a point because love wins in the end. His heart captures what Jesus must have been thinking about when He told His disciples that they could not enter the kingdom of heaven unless they changed and became like little children.
A Biblical worldview understands that Jesus not Mighty Mouse is the one who can really say as He rushes to the rescue, “Here I Come to Save the Day!”