Feed on

Well, it’s a good thing I recently read Po Bronson on children and violent television. And it’s an even better thing that my friend Beth posted in the comments about her sweet boys watching some dodgy stuff. Because two weeks ago Simon’s Papaw turned on the TV when Tom and Jerry were on and the boy is enraptured by them.

He hasn’t seen it since, but he’s asked for it. And he’s told me about the cat being blue and cross. Hasn’t mentioned the mouse much at all. And about a week ago he told Matt about the cat (or was it the mouse?) going “into the basement” where there was “a red man who was very cross.” I kid you not. I can only imagine that Tom or Jerry one was catapulted straight to hell and met the devil.

So I’m torn. On the one hand, the literature and a good friend’s personal experience both verify that this kind of stuff is OK. And heaven knows I laughed out loud at the few snippets I found on Hulu. On the other hand, I can’t imagine running across a more violent kids cartoon if I tried.

Or, as Matt observed, some of the joy has been sapped from “The Itchy and Scratchy Show” on The Simpsons now that he realizes that Bart and Lisa’s not-so-innocent pleasure is no more violent than the program on which it was based. To Tom and Jerry or not to Tom and Jerry? THAT is the question. My brain says yes. My heart says no. And my gut is sneaking it on Hulu and cracking up.

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