Okay, I try to be a level headed, loving guy, who’s as kind as possible but occasionally I hear something that is so ludicrous that I feel like I have to comment on it, especially when it relates to the arts. I heard one just the other day on a commercial for the Chappaquiddick movie. I was fine with all of it. I like movies that explore historical events, but then it got to the end and they were listing the rating and why the movie received it and one of the items listed was “historical smoking.” Really? Historical SMOKING?!? Really?!?

Now please don’t get me wrong, I do not smoke. I do not like smoking. I think smoking is a pretty nasty, dangerous habit and I wish everyone would quit, but this is what they’re worried about?!? They actually think they have to warn us about smoking in the movie. Like some kid is going to watch this movie (will any kid watch this movie?) and say, “I think I’m going to start smoking because I really want to be like that cool senator who got drunk and drove his car off a bridge killing the young woman who was riding with him and then didn’t report it for ten hours. yeah, I wanna be like that guy. Quick gimme a Marlboro.” Do we really think that’s what is going to happen? Oh yes please protect our kids from historical smoking.

Again, I DO NOT want kids to smoke, but what about all the other stuff we bombard them with every day.The stuff about which no one says a word. Forget the movies where at least there is a rating system responsible parent can use. What about just good old network prime time TV? There’s all matter of sexuality, graphic violence, drug abuse, alcoholism and a whole host of other stuff we ought to be a lot more incensed about goes virtually unnoticed, but please, oh please, protect them from historical smoking, because clearly that is the biggest problem we face. This shows me how completely out of touch so much of our media is and it leads me to two major conclusions. First and foremost, good parenting is more essential than it has ever been in our history. Secondly, those of us with a creative bent have got to get to work creating something better. They’re so out of touch that the only real choice we have is to do it ourselves.

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