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Bullying promoted by Cutthroat Kitchen

Soap box warning!

It is a known fact I am not a fan of reality TV. Being a teacher and mother  of 2 young adults, I have seen the negative effects of such programs on the outlook and behavior of children who have grown up watching them. Children born in the late 80’s and early 90’s were raised on reality TV.  Despite all my parenting skills and lectures as a teacher, celebrities and TV shows still have a higher impact on children’s perception of acceptable behavior in the world. Reality shows are based upon putting others down, bullying, sabotage, rudeness, and countless other inappropriate behavior. Yes, I know, such antics sell and bring masses of money to these shows and advertisers. They also bring on behaviors  which cause great social problems and violence.

There was one area of Reality TV which seemed immune to the negative behaviors, cooking shows. Yes, there are time limits and surprise last-minute ingredients but over all, these shows were wholesome and fun to watch. But, then came Cutthroat Kitchen.  I’m a Georgia girl so of course I am a huge fan of Alton Brown. I love his practical creative twists on cooking. But, Cutthroat Kitchen totally blew me away.  I watched as contestants bought their wins by sabotaging others. On the flip side, I saw others overcoming adversity despite the odds. I mean really, who can make pancakes or was it muffins, without a bowl? There are some MacGyver moments happening in the kitchen there. WHY? WHY? Must the last of the wholesome reality shows move into the dark world of bullying? Why do people love watching folks plot evil plans to try to secure a win? ALTON, WHY DID YOU STOOP TO SUCH?

What shows like Cutthroat Kitchen are teaching kids and young adults is that money can buy you wins and fame. Not always but it can really put a dent in your competition. This transfers in to the watchers reality. So a kid is in a school competition, he/she has the means to sabotage another competitor to win, why not? He/she sees it happen on the Bachelor, Survivor, and plenty of other shows. A child raised in the best of situations can and often still is  influenced by TV can impact decisions above most other influences. I see it daily. I also see it in the workplace.

Alton, I am disappointed. I know it is all about ratings and in some way teaching others to be creative but I am still disappointed. My greater disappointment is how our lives have been impacted by the sudden draw to negative behaviors being glorified on TV. What happened to promoting the positive and the good?

We all know TV is rarely monitored by parents. Youngsters the age of 4 are watching shows like the Kardashians, and Orange is the New Black. They are learning to laugh at others pain and misfortune on Tosh O., Rob & Big, and Jackass. They are also trying to recreate such stunts resulting in severe injuries or worse. They are also picking up the rude and very inappropriate behaviors at a very young age resulting in serious consequences.

The lyrics, “Children will Listen,” from Into the Woods, the Broadway Play and movie, could not say it any better.

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
To learn what to be
Careful before you say “Listen to me”
Children will listen
Read more: Into The Woods – Children Will Listen Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sometimes it just has to be said.

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Fill the page… will you pass this challenge?

“Fill the page.” Those were the only words spoken by the professor in the first assignment in my first master’s class. In front of me was one of those manila drawing sheets of paper I remember so well from my elementary school years. Surrounding the paper were an assortment of creative goodies I was told I would need for the class. Of course being at artsy sort I went a wee bit over board. I had colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks and a bottle of glue, PostIt notes in assorted colors and patterns, a regular pencil. markers, and  my beloved gummed eraser. Oh. MY. GOSH. So many decisions and no clue what he wants!

If you asked a child back in 1968 to fill a manila sheet of paper, the child would not hesitate. In fact, the child might jump right to coloring and drawing before ever being told what to do. Creativity and excitement of the manila piece of paper and coloring tools was an invitation to indulge in a fantasy moment of wonder. Asking a child in 2015 to do the same assignment anxiety and an endless string of questions will flow. What happened over time?

It is a sad fact that individualism and creativity has been stifled. As adults we have become a society of pleasers, followers, and suck ups. Our ability to creative and dream without judgment or guidance is a thing of the past. And we wonder, why are so many people frustrated and cannot seem to make decisions.

Manila paper is a thing of the past. Very few adults and fewer children than in the past, have drawing tools such as crayons and markers. But you can draw  with anything, even a stick in the dirt if you must. I challenge you to “fill the page.” Discover what is hiding in that creative mind of yours that so wants to come out and play upon the paper. This is a wonderful exercise if you are at a roadblock in your job or life. It might help if you turn on some music to encourage your creativeness to flow upon the paper. You will never know until you try. Stop by the store and grab some crayons or markers. As an adult, there are no rules. You can even buy those scented ones if you want.

I would love to see your “fill the page” challenge results.

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