Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Peter Pan, where are you?

Peter: Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.
Wendy: Never is an awfully long time.

Everyone remembers the story of Peter Pan, the boy that lives in Neverland, fights pirates, and vows never to grow up. He is the season of spring in human form. His tale is a great story for kids because of the amazing adventure and the message that reminds them not to grow up too quickly.

Whether you have seen the play of Peter Pan or one of the various Disney re-makes of the character, almost everyone connects with the character who displays a defiant resistance to the tyranical pirate adults in Neverland. As Michael has said on his blog before, all kids love watching youth rebellion, that's why he wrote the "Conquest Chronicles."

One may wonder (and by one I mean my one I decided to break my blog silence of finals to talk about the tale of one of my favorite characters. Well, I'll tell you why. I think that, in today's youth (at least in America), Peter Pan does not exist.

I really wonder what Mr. Barrie would have thought if he could see the types of shows on tv today. I know that I sound like some old person complaining about "those darn kids," but come are different in this age of Disney Channel and Youtube.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that kids have their own shows to watch apart from cartoons and little kid's shows. However, I really question the effects of the hidden messages within the shows.

"...children are being exposed to the virtual world at younger ages, and more frequently.... The result being Generation Z children are exposed to an environment that is heavy on stimuli, and weaker in interpersonal relationships."

I know that the argument of kids losing their imagination is old and I'm not going to talk about that because some of the new technology allows us to channel new forms of imagination.

What I am going to point out is the emphasis placed on labels and brands.

I can't speak for everyone around my age, but I really don't think I cared about fashion and pop music as much as "Generation @" or "Generation Z', as some people call them.

Why in the world are Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, and other Disney slaves attempting to break out of the Disney bubble and into the real world of music? Because the barrier between kid world and adult world is being shattered.

Kids seem to care more and more about what they wear and what songs they are listening to than ever before. What ever happened to sweaters with a puppy on them or Ninja Turtle shoes? These wonderful clothes are replaced by Limited Too and other places focusing only on Generation Z because they know who is buying.

Now this isn't all the kids fault, I mean, the kids didn't decide to push weird trends through the tv at themselves. The other generations are to blame. My own generation started down this slippery slope and is passing it onto the youth below them. We shouldn't forget that the Baby Boomers and Generation X also have their own issues.

To get back to the reason for this rant, Peter Pan seems to have disappeared. Children are being encouraged to grow up too quickly and are blindly leaving their best years behind.

I feel that, because I am about to reach an important age in my life, I have the right to bestow wisdom upon those younger than me.

My advice to these kids is to reject these Disney and Nickelodeon tricks. Go ahead kids, go outside and wear some good ol' sweat shirts..well, not right now, it's a little warm. Forget about the Jonas Brothers and make up your own music, or make up your own radio show!

Kids! Don't let the evil pirates (adults controlling entertainment) ruin your childhood. Get out there and just be kids! Have sword fights, pretend you are a ninja, or make a fort.

More quotes from Peter Pan:

John: [upon meeting Peter] You offend reason, sir.
Michael: Mm-hmm.
John: [sees Peter lift into the air] I should like to offend it with you
Story Narrator: But I was never to see Peter Pan again. Now I tell his story to my children and they will tell it to their children, and so it will go on - for all children grow up... Except one.

(These are from the 2003 movie version.)

PS. I know that all kids aren't like this, so don't be insulted if you aren't :)


The Never Fairy said...

Nicely said. It's also "alarming" how old/mature teenagers look these days... sigh.

Peter Pan hasn't entirely gone away though... :)
and you can find him in a new adventure based on Barrie's idea for more.
Click my name to see.


Silverstride said...

I do believe in fairies, I do I do!

I'm not saying that he has disappeared from my life. My biggest concern is that he is not as important in the lives of those younger than me.

I think that one of the greatest gifts we can give to the Z Generation is Peter Pan, and the idea that they don't need to worry about "adult problems" like what to wear, so early in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Peter Pan will always live in the hearts of many. Hopefully the Disney and Nick creations will not hold on.