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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fifty Shades of Lego Bricks

My "I'm not a prude" status may be in question these days.  I'm all about live and let live, and don't judge others, etc.  I'll be happy to share my thoughts to anyone who cares to know them, but in doing so, always try to respect the opinions of others. The past few years have found me a bit more passive, and less likely to opine on subjects that used to get me all worked up.  (As evidenced by the lack of posts in my blog lately.) Every now and then something will ruffle my feathers, but the opportunities to post seem rare these days.

While doing chores this morning, I happened to hear a report on GMA about a new movie trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey.  Using Lego figures.  I didn't read the book, and I have no interest in the movie.  It wasn't the "Fifty Shades" that caught my attention, that's everywhere these days, rather it was the "Lego" part that intrigued me to listen.  After watching  it and doing a little research, I learned that the video was created by Antonio and Andrea Toscano, 'stop-motion animators', who have apparently made other YouTube movie trailers.  I suspect this one will catapult them into at least 15 minutes of YouTube fame.

If you know my grandson Corey, you probably know he is a HUGE Lego fan.  He loves the Lego movies and videos, and enjoys watching YouTube reviews that demonstrate putting together the complicated sets.   He has several of the bigger sets, but is quite content to play with random pieces, and loves collecting the 'people' figures. He could entertain himself for hours on end with a box full of plastic bricks and Lego people while watching those videos.  (Hold your judgment... he also watches 'engineering' type videos that explain how different machines work, how to build stuff, and that sort of thing.  The boy is destined for greatness, I tell you!!  I guess he inherited that from Pop, who can sit for hours and watch how things are made, and what makes them work.  A fair trade, I'd say, for a little kid-friendly entertainment.)  No doubt, the Lego videos are his favorite.  All this to say:  If he sees a Lego video  that he hasn't watched, he's gonna click on it. He can spell some of the things to do a specific search like Lego Ninjago (I know, right?!?), but sometimes he just types in Lego.  And we know what happens when you type one word into a search engine.  Not always kid-friendly. While parental controls are set on all their devices, there are things (this video included) that are evidently not tagged, as they pop right up, regardless of settings.  Their internet activities are carefully monitored, but if I walked by and saw him watching a Lego video, I wouldn't think anything unusual or inappropriate about it.  Not so much any more, I guess.

So after hearing about the new Lego movie trailer, I looked up the video on YouTube to see it for myself.  If you're a Fifty Shades fan, and a Lego fan, and you're an adult, I suppose it might be considered clever, and really benign as far as "sex scenes" go.  Really, it's just plastic figures.  Certainly the content would go over the heads of most kids Corey's age, and I doubt it would permanently scar children who may see it.  The innuendos might be noticed by an older age group - but those kids are busy watching whatever other thing might be trending right now.

My point is - WHY?  Is it really necessary to permeate sex into children's playtime?  I know, I know, it's everywhere.  And I understand parental controls, and the dangers of exposing kids to the internet.  I am not about censoring - I advocate "if you don't like it, don't watch it".  I know there are evil people in dark places who would lure innocent children into sex trafficking, child pornography, etc.  While those things are horrible and unthinkable, this is not about that.  

For some very observant kids, like Corey, I can hear the questions now:  Greemaw, why is that Lego man scowling like that?  Why is that Lego lady handcuffed?  Why is he attacking her in the elevator? Why is that Lego man laying on top of that Lego woman?

Believe me.  He much prefers Batman, Avengers, ninjas, public service figures, and superhero Lego people. As it should be for a 6-year-old kid.  I wish Antonio and Andrea would learn to play with people their own age, and leave the kids out of it.  As Mammy would say:  "It ain't fittin, it just ain't fittin. Hmph. Ain't fittin'"

There's no denying that sex is everywhere, and as adults, we have to be on guard 24/7 to keep children from accessing forms of media that are age-inappropriate.  I get that.  The responsibility is ultimately up to the parents, or other adults charged with caring for the children.  It just perturbs me that something enjoyed by countless children all over the world has become yet another tool to bring sex to the forefront of what should (IMO) be toys that promote creativity and dexterity.  And I know, I know - the video is not targeting children.  I get that too.  But I gotta agree with Mammy - I just think it ain't fittin'.

I guess next we'll see videos of Hello Kitty pole dancing or twerking.

So there you have it. I guess my prude level has indeed gone up a notch.  Funny how that happens when it involves something near and dear to your kids or grand kids.  The question I ask myself is this:  If I didn't have my own personal grandson who will  likely (accidentally) see this video, would I even be thinking about it, much less stop my chores and blog about it? Hmmmm.  Maybe being a prude isn't such a bad thing after all, if it means keeping sex out of the children's playroom.  It's already coming at them from all angles.  But, seriously?  Legos?

Rant over.

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