Monday, September 24, 2007

Kid Nation

Okay, so I'm about a week late, but I finally got around to watching this last night.
I realize there's been much controversy about this show using kids, but that specifically is not my issue with the show. No, I'd never let my own kids do it, but I can't be too surprised by the willingness of both a network and parents to want to cash in on the reality show phenomenon. I'm just too cynical, I guess, to let that get to me.
But here's my issue, and believe it or not, it's one of idealism.
The part that got me was when the adult came on and told them that they'd be assigned their jobs and their pay by how the placed in a Survivor-like challenge. The first team would get to be the "Upper Class," earning $1 and not being assigned to any jobs. The second team would be the merchants, earning fifty cents. The third team would be the cooks, earning 25 cents each, and the last place team would be the laborers, earning 10 cents each.
Why on EARTH did they create this class system with 8-14 year olds? Why didn't they let the kids themselves decide who would do what, and who would make what?
Here was a perfect opportunity to see, as the show indicates, how kids could do it better, but the grown-ups completely got in their way!
It leads me to have an even more cynical opinion of the show than I had before I saw it. This show is not attempting to perform any sort of anthropoligical study as it implies. Except maybe seeing how much idealism we can drain out of our kids before they hit puberty!

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