Kid Nation

September 29, 2007 at 8:56 am (frightening things, injustice) (, , , )

CBS’ new reality show is about what happens when 40 kids between the ages of 8 and 15 are dumped in a ghost town in New Mexico to “try to fix their forefathers’ mistakes and build a new town that works,” with no direction from anyone but the producers of the show, who are of course completely indoctrinated into the cults of capitalism, class, and consumerism.

The first task assigned the kids?

In the very first episode, the children were directed to form four armies for color war. And they did. They were told that victory would determine their class status. And it did. In a scenario Karl Marx couldn’t have made up, the winners of the war were dubbed “upper class,” the runners-up were labeled “merchants,” then “cooks,” and finally “laborers.”

The little capitalists were allowed to use their very unequal paychecks for very unequal chores to pay for goodies at the town store. The producers did everything but deny the lower income children their health coverage.

I hope these kids grow up to be anti-capitalist revolutionaries. I really do.

Before it premiered, “Kid Nation” itself was charged with endangering the children by violating child labor laws and even child abuse laws. Indeed, the consent form that the parents signed is as creepy as the ones you don’t read before you go into surgery. Even creepier was the scene when two homesick children cried and not one adult had the impulse to drop a camera and offer comfort.

Nevertheless, the real trouble in Bonanza is not that the cast of mini-survivors was exposed to “serious bodily injury, illness or death.” It’s that the children urged to build a better town (read “world”) than their forefathers were manipulated into the copycat media culture.


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