Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Talk is Cheap and so is Life

I heard a sermon once where the priest said that we have an ambivalent attitude toward children. On the one hand we indulge them and on the other hand we exploit them. How right he was.

The BBC has a new reality tv series where teenagers- 16-19 are given real, live babies to care for as an experiment.Then they are given a child under ten and finally a teenager.I suppose this exercise is necessary because the concept of brothers and sisters is so foreign to the Brits. And we're not much better.

From the article:

Local authority officials were so concerned about the 'very real risk' of physical and psychological damage to the children that they urged the BBC to cancel the series.

In one episode a ten-year-old goes without food for a day during what the BBC describes as a 'unique social experiment'.

On another occasion a baby had to be removed from the care of one couple as their relationship fell apart.

Relationship? What kind of a "relationship" do children aged 16-19 have anyway? Certainly it is devoid of commitment which is supposed to be the basis of a relationship. And why ever didn't law enforcement get involved and charge the parents and production company with child labor, or neglect or something?


Yet the corporation ignored formal protests, refused to allow social workers on the set to monitor filming, and has been accused of cynically putting babies and children at risk for the sake of entertainment. The BBC insists it has taken 'extraordinary' steps to ensure the safety of the children and claimed it had worked with one specialist charity to ensure the series was handled with 'sensitivity'.

You can almost guarantee that where there is self proclaimed sensitivity there is absolutely no common sense. It's the ying and the yang in that regard.

It features five teenage sets of 'parents' who are moved into a street of empty houses on the edge of Norwich.

After caring for their baby, the teenage couples are subsequently given a toddler to look after for three days, then a child under ten and finally a teenager. Up to 25 children - aged between six months and 14 years old - were used in the programme.

Used is definitely the word! The company has also produced "Gay Muslims" so obviously they are known for their serious and thoughtful documentaries.

What I wonder is whatever happened to the concept of babysitting? I suspect that with the birth dearth in Europe babies are so rare that some had to be scrounged up to give the teen "parents" a chance to get a good look at them. Why not put some babies in the zoo where anyone could watch them at anytime.

What can I say? Kinsey would be very proud.

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