Monday, March 13, 2006

The difference is hope

I've been thinking about that "Go Outside" post from earlier this week (scroll down and bit and you'll see a blurb about a new study claiming more violence than ever in children's television programs).

It’s just too easy to wag a finger and say, “shame, shame,” on TV for putting violence on the boob tube. Some of children’s greatest songs and nursery rhymes told violent stories:
  • Ring Around the Rosie tells the story of the Black Plague
  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is about the beheaded Mary Queen of Scots
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd was secret code to southern slaves to find the Underground Railroad

So “what’s the difference?” How is violence on TV any different from the violence then, or the world children are growing up in today?

Ella Jenkins gave me the answer. The children’s music performer and historian has a voice as deep and truthful as the history of her songs. Yet those hard time stories always carry a message of hope and understanding. That’s why her music, and music like hers, will survive.

That junk on TV won’t survive. There’s not enough hope in it. It takes hope to survive, and that’s the message I want to send, and sing, to children.

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