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November 14, 1986 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-14
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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FILM

INTERVIEW

Y E A R B OOK

Continued from Page 10

ti-I C

Punk lovers Sid (Gary Oldman, right) and Nancy (Chloe Webb).

NL I,

Hi, Ramona here.
You may be asking yourself...
"What does the Corner Market Coffee Lady
have to say to me today?"
You'd better sit down. I just got back from
a trip de Columbia. Have they got beans!
Lima beans, baked beans, green beans, and,
yes, it's true, COFFEE BEANS.
Just imagine, Colombian coffee beans made
into espresso and cappucino - right here at the
Corner Market! To think, you and I travel the
world for such delicacies.
You now may be asking yourself - "Self, what
kind of fool am I, for travelling the world, when
all I want is at the Corner Market?"
You'd better sit down.

If you can stomach Sid &
Nancy, you'll love their film
By Kurt Serbus
SID AND NANCY, Alex Cox's
cinematic account of the love storyw
between late Sex Pistol's bassist
Sid Vicious and his equally late
girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, is a
movie that succeeds on a totally -k
unexpected level while falling short
on the points that most film
biographies aspire to. That is, it'sY
damnably good entertainment (at
least the first 80 minutes or so)
without delving very deeply intox
character or motivation.
Cox's strategy seemed to be to
merely shoot Sid and Nancy's
romance in a flashy, commercially
palatable style, and let other, less
savvy types worry the questions of
historical significance, like why
two empty, contemptible human
beings like these have been
enshrined as martyrs by an entire x
straggling counter-culture. But
then, this is Punk, the last place
you want to look for "meaning" and
"historical significance," so maybe
Cox's modus operandi is only
fitting. So what if you walk out of
the theater with absolutely no clue
as to what really went on un-
derneath Sid's spiky hairdo?
Nobody (at least nobody who Sid and Nancy director Alex Cox.

you face? What's different now?
K: I never had any constraints.
There isn't any children's television
now. Thank to government
deregulation, broadcasters have no
obligation and broadcasters in the
commercial sector aren't doing
anything for children unless they
can make money. That's why The
Captain with a bigger audience than
the morning news isn't there
-because adults bring more money
to the bottom line. That wouldn't
have happened ten years ago
because broadcasters would have
lost their licenses if they hadn't
served special audiences. Today,
with degregulation, they don't serve
any audience.
D: Can you explain deregulation?
K: Every broadcaster is licensed by
the government. Up until five years
ago if you were a broadcaster, you
went to Washington every four
years and they said, 'What have you
done for children? What have you
done for blacks? What have you
done for Hispanics? What have you
done for special audiences?' They
said, 'We're doing Captain
Kangaroo five hours a week,' and a
stamp came down and they said
here's your license, you can go
make money for the next four
years. So they were very happy to
do that. Now, you don't have to do
anything. Only the marketplace
decides what programming we do,
so as a result, we don't have any
programming in the commericial
sector-only public television does
quality programming for families.
D: How does the concern in
money-making television affect
your show?
K: The program went off in 1984
as a direct result of deregulation.
Now it's on public television
which is not really affected by that
at all.
D: What do you think network
programming? For instance, Pee
Wee Herman does a children's show
called Pee Wee's Playhouse.
K: That's on CBS on Saturday
morning. I haven't seen Pee Wee,
but you know Pee Wee, don't you?
Do you think that's a wonderful,
constructive program serving the
special needs of children? I don't
think it can be. It's a money-
maker... it's going to make very
big money. It's going to sell toys
on the toy shelf, and we're going to
make money from children. We're
the only country in the Western
world that does that.
D: How is your show different?
K:Well, did the Captain exploit
you? Did the Captain get you to
buy toys? Did Captain try to
merchandise the products? Or did
Captain care about how you felt and
the relationships you had, that sort
of thing?
D: How do you think your show
affects children?
K: I have absolutley no idea.
Children are different-how does

television affect adults? When I ask
you that, you say, 'That's
ridiculous!' There are people in
college, there are adults, there are
grandmothers, there are males, there
are females, there are people who
live in Georgia, people who live in
Alaska. People are different and
that's the way it is with children.
Sixty million children, every one of
them different from everyone else...
they're not monolithic. Various
programs affect children differently
depending on their background,
experience, and stage of de-
velopment. Only the parent knows;
let the parent make the decision.
D: Do you think that children
today are different from when you
started on television?
K: Absolutley not-they may have
greater vicarious experience through
television, greater general
knowledge of the world perhaps,
greater vocabulary, but those are
surface things, those aren't basic
things. "Who am I?" "Am I loved?"
"Am I valued?" Those are the basic
questions that children ask
themselves. They asked those in
Roman times. The child really
hasn't changed at all.
D: What about forces in society
that might make children in the
'80s different from those growing
up twenty years ago, like the threat
of nuclear war? Or isn't that
significant?
K: There aren't any studies one
way or the other. My guess would
certainly be that children today are
at least more concerned about
nuclear holocaust than children a
quater of a century ago. It's got to
be a part of concern in every child's
life.
D: You spoke at a Senate hearing
on violence in television-can you
comment on it?
K: I testified for a hearing of the
judicial committee which was
considering legislation to exempt
broadcasters from anti-trust
regulations so they could come
together and consider the effects of
televison programming, including
violent programming, on their
audience and set standards industry-
wide.
D : What's your opinion of
violence in television? Is it more
prevalent now than twenty or thirty
years ago?
K: It really doesn't matter whether
there's more or less; what matters
is, is it there and is it having an
adverse effect on viewers?
Evidentally, it does. I'm not an
expert, I'm not a child
psychologist. But most of the
studies that have been made over
the last thirty years do show a
causal link between the viewing of
television violence and aggressive
behavior in young people, for
example, and there is very little
question that most of us adults and
children are immunized to the
effects of violence from constant
television viewing. The effect of
that viewing even though it may be
vicarious is an experience, so we no
longer are shocked by violence of

any king-real life or whatever.
D: If that is the situation, what
advice do you give to parents?
K: Why are parents allowing their
children to watch violent
programming? I mean, that's the
easiest thing in the world-not to
use the television as a babysitter.
The most violent programming on
television is the news; we're not
going to suggest that television
news not be broadcast, obviously.
It's not a question of broadcaster
responsibility so much as it is a
parental responsibility not to use
television as a babysitter. Not to
allow children to view
programming that's inappropriate
for that particular child. Every child
is different. Only the parent can
decide whether a program is
appropriate viewing or not.
D: Do you think the show made an
impact on adults today who watched
as children?
K: It may have, it may not have.
Depending on the individual child
and the things that the child
watched, certainly. Every experience
the child has, every experience you
have today is shaping you in some
way. We as human beings always
are changed and altered and affected
by our experiences, and television
is certainly one of those
experiences. A child is probably
affected to a greater extent because
he is more open and more learning
than an adult. Obviously, it did
have an effect.
D: When you talk to adults who
watched your show, what do they
remember?
K: I guess they remember the same
things anybody else does. It was a
warm experience, that Captain was
their friend, that we made them feel
valued, built a high self-esteem,
that sort of thing. A child who has
a high feeling of self value can
accomplish almost anything.
Without that, even with all kinds of
other advantages, a child cannot
accomplish anything, so that's
critical. Usually if a child by the
time she is eight or ten or twelve
feels valued, that usually lasts a life
time. It's very difficult to break that
down. But it can happen, of course.
D: What other areas of interest are
you involved in besides children's
programming?
K: I have everything to do with
children, everything in the world.
Anything that is of interest to the
young people, concerns the young
people, is in my reange of interest.
When I was 19 years old, I didn't
pick children, obviously not. I was
on my way to law school. When I
became involved in children's
television, I became involved in
children's issues.
D: Such as?
K: Daycare, nutrition, medical care,
-things involving children. Think of
all the problems children have:
education, nutrition, medical care.
Children are the principle underclass
in this nation. Four out of ten of
the poor in this nation are children.
Single-parent families, homes
where both parents work outside the

home. Daycare, "latchkey children":
what do we do with children
between school and the end of the

I

& Lo b* o'%
BauSc t Lenes a"
90 O at jSfl. ..--
Co nt jgatior ---'
Exam,,ine lensstrUctior
ComPeX.Contact Len
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Tec.
Cnenient
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start-'-ip

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children's issues.
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~'i

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EQ1:d

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PAGE 6 WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 14, 1986

WEEKEND/ NOVEMBER 14, 1986

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