Looney Tunes Gets Bloody, Is it Too Much for Kids?

October 8, 2008

I just read about a new art exhibit called “Splatter” where Looney Tunes characters are taken to the next violent level – complete with blood and guts.

jCauty&SON copyright out of control 2008, courtesy of THE AQUARIUM

Artist James Cauty created the controversial exhibition with his 15-year-old son Harry Photo: jCauty&SON copyright out of control 2008, courtesy of THE AQUARIUM

According to the Telegraph, the exhibit claims to show your favorite Looney Tune characters in “unrelenting acts of blood and discomfort never previously witnessed on the Cartoon Network.”

The exhibit itself doesn’t bother me.  I’m all for free expression.  I don’t think my kids are mature enough to see that kind of thing yet, so I simply won’t take them.  Others are free to see the exhibit if it interests them.  The gallery even attached a parental advisory to the exhibit.  I’m fine with that.

What did upset me was a statement by artist James Cauty.

“I’m a parent myself, and if I saw pictures like that I would think of something kids would really love, because it’s no holds-barred violence.”

I find the statement terribly disturbing.  I’m a parent and I don’t want my young kids to be getting that excited about “no holds-barred violence.”

We should be teaching our children about limits, not “no holds-barred.”  We should be stressing the importance of right and wrong, not the bloodier the better.

What does it say about our society that we are encouraging our kids to get excited about violence, that blood and guts are “fun.”

I currently limit the amount of Looney Tunes cartoons my kids can watch.  They are extremely violent as is.  We have discussion after watching them about what is right and what is wrong.

I watched Looney Tunes growing up and I turned out ok.  But I was raised with a strong moral foundation.  Even so there’s a big difference between watching an anvil drop on coyote’s head and watching Jerry mutilate Tom.

There’s no way I’d let my kids into that exhibit until they were much, much older.  They need to be mature enough to understand what is “entertainment” only.  They should know why it’s really not fun when people get hurt.

But the idea that our kids are getting excited about extreme violence, that they find blood and mutilation fun, scares me.  Because too many kids are mature enough to distinguish between reality and entertainment and too many aren’t getting the moral discussions to distinguish between right and wrong.

What do you think are we as society doing too much to encourage this trend among our children that the more, bloodier violence is a good thing?  Are we setting up our children for trouble in the future?

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