I don't think bad production values or silly plotting are threats to civilization as we know it. I mean, thank the Lord we grew up with brilliant, enlightened characters like Speedy Gonzalez, Wally & the Beave, and those apostles of nonviolence, Moe, Larry & Curly.

Sure, these new shows are pretty dumb. I'd rather Jesse were studying molecular biology, I suppose. But I'd rather emphasize the better elements of what he's attracted to, than deprive him of a way to feel strong. I'd rather he look up to Zack the Power Ranger, despite the awful typecasting, than laugh at Step'N'Fetchit, and if I had a young daughter I'd rather she play with Trini than with Barbie.

I recall an educator saying that he'd prefer to see kids reading comix than not reading at all. I'm sure the concentration and love Jes applies to Power Rangers will someday transfer to more serious concerns. I recall John Lennon saying that if he saw another artist wearing green socks, he might try green socks for awhile. Who among us hasn't followed trends for awhile, hasn't learned from a guilty pleasure, hasn't laughed at a stupid joke?

I think there's a danger in becoming too alarmist, censorious and even snobbish. I once saw a quote, I think it was attibuted to Socrates, that the younger generation is going to hell.

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