Friday, 6 February 2009

Hornets Nest?

Have I inadvertently taken the lid off one? The comments have been pouring in and I have endeavoured to reply to them as my email inbox told me of their arrival - until I logged on this morning and found another bundle! It is pretty plain, people have enjoyed having their say on this subject, and I think it has shown what differing attitudes there are in Blogland.
Perhaps you'd all like to hold forth on your definitions of 'exploitation'? These are the ones from an online dictionary -

1. The act of employing to the greatest possible advantage: exploitation of copper deposits.
2. Utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes: exploitation of unwary consumers.
3. An advertising or a publicity program.

I found these to be rather interesting. Number one manages to hold overtones of exploiting to extinction. Fired by human greed, any naturally occurring mineral deposit is in danger of being grabbed on a first come, first served basis, which really overlaps with number two's 'selfishness'.

But the third definition needs a little more consideration. Is it intrinsically 'bad' to publicise or advertise something?

Does everyone who labelled the programme 'exploitation' really believe that either C4 or the parents/children were only motivated by greed? The wording in the second definition - 'unwary consumers'- Surely neither those who made the programme, took part in the programme or watched the programme could be described in this way?

As the parents were physically within yards of their offspring all the time, though granted out of sight, there was little chance of the children feeling 'abandoned' - and the children had been given the choice to participate at the outset. Would any party have become 'rich' as a result of taking part? I doubt it.

I wonder whether people would say the young Shirley Temple was being exploited when she made her debut in films many years ago?

Pleas take turns at mounting the soapbox today, without fighting amongst yourselves, my children! And as that's got me back to my original subject, here I go again...

New Baby

I've got a baby brother,
all brand new and in a cot,
but all he does is sleep all day,
then cry at night a lot.

I talk to him and show him toys
and hope he'll smile, you see,
but all he does is scream and shout
and wave his fists at me.

Mum says he's rather little yet,
though growing day by day,
and then, when he is older,
he will know just how to play.


  1. For me, that's a very timely poem, Jinsky.

  2. Oh, there are just some people who want to find bad in everything and will go out of their way to claim exploitation or racism or some other hideous thing. It makes them feel better about themselves. Don't let it make you feel worse.

    The worst thing is, the problems they point out actually do exist in the world, but if the problem really doesn't exist in the place where they're pointing it out, then they've made it harder for people with real problems to get help.

    OK, off of my soapbox. Sorry!

  3. I talk to him and show him toys
    and hope he'll smile, you see,
    but all he does is scream and shout
    and wave his fists at me.


  4. Yeah, what Suldawg said! I so do not respect whiners and victims who look to cry about everything. Where's the joy in that??

  5. Don't think we thought much about exploitation in Shirley temple's day, do you Jinksy? Now poor Lena Zavaroni - that was a different matter. It is one bit question - would I turn down an offer for my son/daughter if they were really interested in acting - it is not an easy decision.

  6. LOL! Hornets nests just make good topics! LOL! And I love the poem!

  7. I have a question. Just because neither the children nor the parents feel exploited does that mean they aren't? What was the purpose of all this to improve the way children were raised or to improve TV ratings? Were the selections picked to televise the one's with the most emotional appeal and therefore not typical of what was happening?
    Woops. That's three questions. Sorry.

  8. Sweet, sweet poem! I had one brother, the baby of the family, and he *did* cry a lot, as I remember. His crying caused the crabby old landlord to evict us from the apartment where we were living.

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  10. Dr John - These are surely questions that should be asked of the programme producers.
    Personally, I don't think it could be said to have been simply used to improve ratings, any more than a programme on cooking, or wildlife, or ... anything else you care to mention. There was no 'hype' leading up to it - it was simply listed in the Radio Times, as were all other programmes on Tuesday evening, and it was the viewer's choice to switch on to watch. I think the fact that children are being let down by parents who fail to teach them basic life skills is an important enough one to be brought to public notice.

  11. Your poem was a delightful return to the innocence of childhood.


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