Sunday, July 03, 2005


All this hysteria about the terrible things kids see on the Internet is nothing but cheap sleight-of-hand to take control of a great big bundle of unregulated chaos. The Internet is not a toy, it’s a powerfully subversive technology, in some ways more dangerous than a loaded gun. It’s time adults take back the Internet and send the kids outside to play in the fresh air, time to learn to say no, folks, before the Internet is rearranged around the proverbial six-year-old child, just like it is on TV.

It’s ten o’clock at night, I’m in a hotel room watching Lewis Black one of the funniest men on the planet, a man who cheerfully peppers his wit with loads of f-words. What happens? M-Net bleeps out every second bleeping word. Why? Because a six year old might be listening? Aren’t they supposed to be in bed asleep all clean and smelling of talcum powder? Shouldn’t they be restoring their neural pathways in the Land of Nod, dreaming sweet dreams of fairies and fluffy lambs? Since when did the world get rearranged around the agenda of the six-year old kid, whether you’re owned by one of those or not?

They get the whole day for their cartoons, space epics and breathless MTV-type tweenie programmes about what’s hot and like-cool. Whatever happened to the couple of hours after bedtime when parents got to fool around, have nasty, dirty, filthy sex, and watch whatever the hell they wanted? Is it too much to ask that we adults get to hear all the bad words we were forbidden as children now that we are parents ourselves? Can we see something a bit more grown-up on a Saturday night than Free Willy? No? Well guess who pays the bleeping television license?

OK, I’m not a parent, therefore I doubly resent the tyranny of tots who should be out in dad’s workshop inventing something that’s going to pay for their higher education. Don’t they play games anymore, whatever happened to fine motor co-ordination, no wonder the swings in my local park are looking so sad even the pedophiles have gone online.

The Michael Jackson trial held far creepier stuff than most places you’d go to on the Internet but that’s alright because it’s news. The penis attached to the President of the United States was talked about at length, but uh oh, that’s news again, grotesquely hideous serial killings, massacres, war, death, famine, news all news. I see billboards all day about microwaved cats and raped 3-year-olds, but tits and bums are evil - a six year old child might see them and .... and....

Sure they’re going to have to look up photosynthesis and Garibaldi for their homework, but child filter hello. It’s a parent’s responsibility to decide what their rugrats look at, and if they’re clever enough to flummox the filter, they’ve got the maturity to deal with what they’re looking at. If they happen to catch a snatch of something horrible, well that’s life as we know it. It’s the hours and hours of unsupervised, unfocused and aimless surfing that’s harmful, don’t they have rooms to clean?

Whoever this six-year-old child is he should be in the basement practicing the guitar he simply had to have so that he can become a rock god and pay his own Telkom bill. Or else he should be working, don’t kids work anymore? What’s the use of having them if they aren’t going to chop wood for you when arthritis turns your hands into gnarled sticks?

Short people have no business elbowing you out of the way so they can chat for hours to someone who may or may not be a cute 13 year old boy. Back off midgets, it's time for mommy and daddy to have some fun.

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