Archive for Kids Politics

the CLEAR Act explained in under 3 minutes

The Clear Act – a piece of climate change legislation clearly explained in 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Pretty impressive stuff from Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins

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I Heart Fizzy’s Lunch Lab

Dave Schlafman, Heartwood animator-director, is also the creator of Fizzy’s Lunch Lab and he and his partner Evan Sussman have a bunch of new episodes on the web including a love letter music video called Give Your Heart a Valentine. Check it.

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who’s outspending whom?

Great summary by Kate Sheppard in Grist about how dirty energy is outspending the Greens by better than 7-to-1:

“…businesses in the energy and natural resources sector as a whole spent $102.7 million…”

“… clean-energy businesses spent $14.4 million…”

“Environmental groups have spent even less—just $4.7 million so far in 2009. The biggest spender among green groups was the Environmental Defense Action Fund, which laid out $300,000.”

Ok. We’re getting our asses stomped. On the other hand, here’s the box office for some major motion pictures with Green themes:

eco film box office

Arguably, this is a form of lobbying for our issues.  Problem is, kids don’t vote. On the other hand, kids are increasingly annoying their parents into Green action.   On the other other hand, a lot of movies with Green themes are benders of consumption and banality mixed with a single Green cocktail. Hmmm.

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Silver lining to Gallup’s global warming poll?

Gallup out with a new poll on American attitudes about global warming.

Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated.

But the kids are alright:

The views of 18- to 29-year-olds, the age group generally most concerned about global warming and most likely to say the problem is underestimated, didn’t change.

Deniers and professional skeptics take a toll

Deniers and professional skeptics take a toll

But, I don’t think we really have time to wait 20 years till the 18-29’s are in charge of policy, now do we.

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Can kids cartoons be political without being propaganda?

I’ve gotten into an interesting discussion about this at Lose the Label, a student activist community. You can check out the thread here.

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Wall-E merchandising

I liked Wall-E a lot, but I was thrown for a loop when the kids and I walked into the theater and were offered one of these:

The merchandising associated with a movie about consumerism seems to have been lost on some. Harry Knowles rhapsodized in April:

2008’s Winner for Genius, Box Office, Merchandize and old fashioned heart goes to Andrew Stanton and WALL*E. That’s just how in love I am with every iota of everything that I’ve seen from this film.

In fairness, maybe he didn’t know what the movie was about at the time.

But with the launch of the movie, a jeremiad against a consumer culture that turns Planet Earth into an giant uninhabitable waste dump, some folks are calling out the movie for the hypocrisy of a merchandising campaign at odds with its message. I found Devin Faraci at CHUD to be particularly thoughtful on this:

I couldn’t help but mull over the irony of this huge, branding-obsessed, merchandise-spewing corporation releasing a movie where consumers are shown to be giant fat babies essentially taking orders from advertising (with this being portrayed as a negative thing. I’m sure Bob Iger sees most of his customers like that and loves it). When I got to the Four Seasons hotel the next day, the site of the junket for the film, and saw an entire room dedicated to showing off the marketing tie-ins, I lost the sense of irony and began to think what I was seeing was flat out hypocrisy.

there will be no Happy Meal tie-ins for this film that decries lazy living and junk food eating. But that doesn’t change the fact that the film, which opens on a post-apocalyptic Earth submerged in its own garbage, will itself generate enough junky toys to build a couple of the trash skyscrapers that Wall-E himself constructs while vainly trying to clean up the planet.

I’ve had people on the message boards tell me that this doesn’t matter, that the message is all that matters. But just saying something is pointless – which is actually another theme of the film. The movie ends up with the idea that sometimes you have to make hard decisions, sacrifice comfort and easy living to do the right thing, to make things better. To, quite literally, save the Earth. This is an inspiring message… that is immediately undercut by walking out of a movie theater into a world crammed full of landfill-choking plastic Wall-E crapola. It’s amazing to think that this summer children will get the following message:

Hey kids! The Earth is important, and we should protect it. Remember this by buying lots of bad for the environment Wall-E plastic objects! Also, it’s bad to sit around and eat poorly – you should enjoy the world around you! You can remember this by buying the Wall-E video game, or any of the Wall-E action figures! And also, following advertising is for suckers, and you should have an independent mind. Prove how independent you are with your new Wall-E clothes!

The truth is that Wall-E feels like a really well-made stop smoking ad starring Joe Camel.

As always, feel free to check out our take on Green kids media:


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Go-Girl TV show about 15 year old mayor

Kids and politics news. Go-Girl, a Canadian live-animation mix, is about a 15 year old girl who unexpectedly becomes mayor when her class project succeeds beyond her wildest imagination.

The series follows Becky and her enthusiastic group of friends as they balance family, high school, relationships, and politics. A strong online and web component is being developed as an organic outgrowth of the series, offering a portal where teens and tweens are encouraged to make a difference and have their voices heard while providing them with an enhanced television experience.

The producers say the show will feature strong interactive components. And actors seeking roles are being encouraged to post their auditions to YouTube.

I’m really curious to see how this works out!

From TV-eh? via Cynopsis Kids.


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