13 Aug 2012
Getting both sides of the story
Jemimah was watching an inane cartoon over the weekend, and I kept catching snippets of it as I passed in and out of the room. It is the video above, but it really is vacuous, and the ending isn't there, so I wouldn't bother watching if I were you. I haven't.
Anyhow, I gathered from the snippets I did see that the polar ice caps were melting through the actions of the originally sounding Dr Death and that Iron Man needed Iceman to step in and freeze everything up again to stop everyone drowning. Iceman was unaware of the disaster because he was having a hissy fit and had locked himself in a room because everybody was wanting him to freeze things in the hot weather and he couldn't be bothered helping.
Around the same time as all this is happening, a dill of an adult named Flatman is lecturing at a conference on Global Warming. During his lecture my daughter and all the other kids watching are treated to the current theories about greenhouse gasses and how they trap the heat from the sun. Flatman disagrees with all of them, believing instead that Mr Sun is just being mean.
Throughout the rest of the programme as the water rises higher and higher, we hear Flatman droning on incessantly. "The water won't rise any higher. There is no such thing as Global Warming."
Ironically, in the cartoon, Flatman is right. It is not Global Warming that is causing the water to rise; it is Dr Death. If he doesn't get to a higher place, though, he's still going to drown.
The real question is this: Is there such a thing as Global Warming?
I don't need to tell you my beliefs. They're irrelevant here, and I'm not all that well read on the latest theories and evidence. All I will say is that many people, including many Christians, do not believe the current theories and wonder whether the current rise in temperature might not be merely a part of normal a cyclical rise and fall of temperatures over the ages. Many Christians believe that Global Warming is a form of idolatry, placing our planet higher to the God who made it. All of us, I'm sure, believe that God is in control and that this is all part of his great plan.
This cartoon, though, portrayed all those who don't believe in Global Warning to be cranks like Flatman, lacking in knowledge and insight.
According to this cartoon, Global Warning is a fact.
Sound familiar? Evolution is taught as a fact on Australian children's television too, as well as in her schools. It's not. Evolution is just a theory too.
I really resent my daughter being taught theory as fact. To me it smacks of 1984 and telescreen brainwashing. Is this cartoon entertainment or subliminal indoctrination? I really begin to wonder.
All of us have a worldview, and many of us would like to share our beliefs with our kids. Is that indoctrination or brainwashing as well? I'd like to think that in my case it is not, because I don't just teach my daughter one side of the argument - I teach her both. Most homeschoolers I know are the same. My daughter knows far more about the theories of evolution than I knew at Primary School. On the other hand, she also knows the Creation side of the argument and understands what makes the two different. As she watches telly she can hear the Evolution mindset being presented, and she knows which bits she agrees with and which she doesn't.
After this weekend she knows a bit more about the theory of Global Warning. Not much more, because as I said I need to read up on it before I can teach it to her, but enough to know that there are Christians on both sides of the argument and that she needs to beware of what is being presented as fact.
I find that sad. I find it sad that my ten year old can't relax and watch a bit of inane but age appropriate telly without being brainwashed and having her Christian worldview challenged. And I find myself wondering why the scriptwriters felt a need to write it in the first place.
Am I unreasonable? Have you too found examples like this on children's television, or in modern children's literature? Is it okay to politicise children's media? Do you think that like Flathead we are misinformed and plain wrong if we don't agree with the commonly held theories? What is your opinion on this topic?
Education? Entertainment? Indoctrination? Brainwashing?
Come and talk to me.