Friday, September 26, 2008

Overt Parent

Overt Parent: noun. Any parent who clearly shows how being a parent shapes their attitude, even when other people find it strange or irritating.

Every year, around Halloween, one of our local theme parks has a big celebration. And, every year, they run commercials for that celebration, but the commercials are grisly. I mean, really ghastly. I'm talking about guy tied to a bed as spikes fall from above him to impale him. Yes, that was in one of their commercials. You'd think you'd see these commercials at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, but no. We're talking like 3pm during family-friendly shows.

Now, I believe in free speech. If they want to make their commercials as horrifying as possible, well, that's their choice, and they no doubt want to make them very scary because it's a Halloween celebration. But to put them on during times when young children are not yet in bed, and during very tame shows? That one has me baffled.

So here's where I become just a little more annoying. After a few years of these commercials, Husband (who is pretty liberal but also is not a big fan of scrambling for the remote to change the channel when these commercials come on), suggested I file a complaint with the FCC. I'm not really one to file complaints of that sort, but...I did.

I told the FCC all about the commercials and that I just didn't like the fact that they aired so early in the day. The reply I received, though courteous and not condescending at all, explained that the company has free speech and they couldn't do anything unless more people complained, and I let the matter drop.

You see where I am an overt parent? Some people would tell me to just get over it. Others will probably totally understand, especially if they live in my area and have also dove for the remote to change the channel when these commercials come on (yes, they are that gruesome).

To me, and I know some will disagree, it's a matter of common courteousy , like not using foul language in a mixed group or not smoking in someone else's house. But...somehow, I really don't think they considered who would be watching during the times their commercials aired. I just wish they would.

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