The television show, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, began production in 1993. It was marketed for children and proved to be a very successful merchandising franchise. The show was about a group of teenagers who had the power to “morph” into super-heroes with advanced martial arts training. Their job was to defend Earth from invading alien forces.
The series was shrouded in controversy. It portrayed violence as a primary means of conflict resolution and, many argued, that as a result of the show, children were behaving more aggressively. As I recall, with all the fighting taking place, no one in the show seemed to get hurt or suffer any serious injury; however, students were getting hurt on playgrounds. Many schools banned the playing of Power Rangers.
My son was a big fan. He had the action figures, and he and his buddies would spend hours fighting evil aliens. At the time, I was still teaching high school so wasn’t really aware of the controversy and the concerns shared by elementary schools.
On the way to work one morning a child psychologist was being interviewed on a local radio station. She was being asked if she felt Power Ranger play should be banned from schools. It was an interesting interview and I decided that I should become proactive on the matter.
After work I sat down with my seven-year-old son and told him I wanted to watch an episode with him. Within a few days we did so together. Following the show I asked him what he really liked about Power Rangers. I asked him to tell me three things that could be real; ie, actually happen in life, and three things that were impossible or unlikely to occur. One of the things he admitted was that when people fight, people usually get hurt. He seemed to have things in perspective. I decided it was all right for him to continue watching the show.
I have to admit that a great fear I had was that one day he would watch Question Period from our nation’s parliament. Were he to do so, I could imagine him turning to me and asking: “Dad, why do our country’s leaders yell at each other?”; “”Why are they so rude and keep interrupting?” “Why are they so angry?”
Sorry son, I don’t have an answer.
By the way, you are banned from watching the parliamentary channel.
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