Having just woken up from the mid-90s, British Prime Minister David Cameron has cited a 17-year-old blah-troversy to commission a study on the dangers of exposing our youngsters to mature themes on TV. The morally depraved, nearly two-decades old example he used? Why none other than the vanilla-flavored lesbian smooch from British soap Brookside (pictured).
Now to be fair, Cameron doesn’t want such questionable material banned from TV altogether; he’s no enemy of gorgeous lip-locked women! The study proposes that a simple broadcast ban on inappropriate content like gay kissing before the salacious hour of 9pm would take steps to protect our youth from having to grapple with soul-perplexing queer love.
Mr. Cameron has apparently never heard of DVR. Or the Internet for that matter. The very premise that kids stand to be “protected” from any sort of content by slapping a bed time on it shows a total lack of understanding how young people consume media these days. The only thing TGIF means to someone under the age of 18 is the promise of cheese, grease and more pimples. Cameron need look no further than these pics of Kate Middleton’s younger, cross-dressing brother, James, to see the kind of imagery floating readily around the web for any young person to enjoy, er, consume.
But the shockingly out-dated approach goes further than to timestamp Cameron’s collegiate endeavors, when “new media” was nowhere to be found on any elective sheet. Far more worrisome is that in the year 2011 there are still powerful entities that view representations of queer love as taboo, not worthy of inclusion in the development of young minds, in the construction of new thinkers. And we’re not just talking fringe loonies like Victoria Jackson, but those filling democratically elected national positions. What message does it send the young girl whose heart leaps at this image when her respected leader publicly flags it in the “other” category, only fit for those who fully comprehend subversion?
Kids inevitably dig around subjects that may lie above their levels of complex comprehension. And for that, parents should have control over exposure to things like internet porn and graphic violence. A lesbian kiss does not land remotely close to this realm, and any random sampling of a 6-9pm block of TV will yield countless examples of straight borderline soft-core porn, of violence that if witnessed in real life would require trauma therapy. So please, can we move away from the gay kiss controversy? Pretty soon you’re going to tell me “the Rachel” is back.