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Posts tagged ‘Spigel’

The Sedentary Life

An article from Time by staff writer Alice Park focuses on the physical health effects of kids’ television viewing. The article summarizes the findings of researchers from the US and Spain who studied inactivity in 111 children ranging from 3 to 8 years old. The researchers found that of television, Internet and video games, television is the worst for kids. They found that kids who watch excessive television are more likely to have higher blood pressure, even if they’re at a healthy weight.

Kid watching TV on the couch, eating potato chips (click for source)

What makes television worse than other sedentary activities? The findings suggest that kids watching television are likely to be eating unhealthy snacks, which could explain the rise in blood pressure. They also note that watching television right before bed stimulates kids’ minds and keeps them up. This lack of sleep affects metabolism and can cause weight gain.

While the main concerns of parents about television in the 1950s was the morality and emotional effects of television, rather than its physical effects. Family values were also central to television rhetoric. “In advice literature of the period, mass media became a central focus of concern as experts told parents how to control and regulate media in ways that promoted family values,” writes Spigel in “Seducing the Innocent.” Spigel and modern parents have similar concerns, however, when it comes to turning off the tube. Concern for kids with the “telebugeye” came about along with concerns for kids “habits of hygiene, nutrition and decorum” (p. 147). Parents have feared the effects on kids’ television-viewing habits since television’s invention, but now they have there is evidence of how detrimental “vegging out” in front of the TV can be.

For a post on the same article, please see Mira’s blog post.

Spongebob Squarepants

While watching the Kukla, Fran, and Ollie clip in Monday’s class, I could not help but think of a contemporary children’s show that adults enjoy watching. I am speaking of Spongebob Squarepants. First aired in 1999 on Nickelodeon, Spongebob Squarepants has enjoyed mass success for the past thirteen years. While it was obviously marketed for children, it has been a very popular show for people of all ages. It has aired on both MTV and Spike TV, which are intended for more adult and young adult audiences. I still enjoy Spongebob on occasion, and I find jokes in old episodes that I did not understand enough to get when I watched the show at nine years old.  Of course, that is not a suprise, since the creator, Stephen Hillenburg, and a lot of the people behind the scenes were involved with Rocko’s Modern Life. Rocko’s Modern Life is an older Nickelodeon cartoon that is notorious for it’s provocative jokes that were geared towards the adult crowd. The clip I included is a short YouTube compilation of 10 more adult jokes in Spongebob Squarepants. Adult Jokes in Spongebob Squarepants. The compilation was put together by YouTube user maishah123 in January of 2010.  When I thought of Spigel’s “transgression of generational roles,” I thought of this show immediately. First of all, there is a large adult following of Spongebob. There is also adult content integrated into the writing.  There is even, at times, an adult figure in the show.  My association of Spongebob Squarepants with the ideas conveyed by Spigel helped me to grasp those ideas.