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I can't wait to grow up
May 11, 2011 4:32 AM   Subscribe


 
possibly distressing == distressing
posted by the noob at 4:34 AM on May 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Agreed, the noob. Use of the word "possibly" here is either superfluous or misleading. No pun intended, but that's one hard-hitting PSA.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:47 AM on May 11, 2011


Domestic violence is awful and this is an arresting and disturbing spot, but neither of those really seems to add up to a metafilter post. I'm sure the intent was good but I'm not sure why this is here with this presentation.
posted by cashman at 5:01 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because it's an interesting and well executed use of the medium?

Also it's from reddit
posted by the noob at 5:10 AM on May 11, 2011


Wow! That's really powerful. I am absolutely going to stop hitting my kid from now on.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:15 AM on May 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought this was very well put together. It's rare that you see an ad depicting children showing their right to dignity. The little boy is a fantastic actor.
posted by Phalene at 5:16 AM on May 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


The little boy is a fantastic actor.

I'm hoping that it's a kid who looks very young for his age and expertly shot to suggest greater youth-- I can't imagine that a small child could be subjected to that even in the context of acting. His diction suggests that's the case, too.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:37 AM on May 11, 2011


I am absolutely going to stop hitting my kid from now on.
posted by Mayor Curley

Your re-election platform?
posted by ShutterBun at 5:38 AM on May 11, 2011


Jesus. Where's my fucking unicorn chaser?
posted by clvrmnky at 5:50 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am absolutely going to stop hitting my kid from now on.
Great! I'll send you a link to a PSA about "Missing the Point" for you to watch, later.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:53 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


That video packed a punch.

When I was a kid, there was a boy down the street who often picked fights with others. More tthan once I came with a split lip or a shiner thanks to Jeffrey. He was basically a good kid, but had violent moments.

We moved to another city when I was seven, and forty years later returned for a neighborhood reunion. Jeff wasn't there but I asked an old neighbor about him.

"Poor Jeff. We'd listen to him screaming at night when his Dad beat him." I was speechless. "Of course," the neighbor continued, "back in the 60s, that was considered nobody else's business."

At the end of that video, the boy had the same look Jeff had.

BTW Jeffrey is now a pediatric cardiologist.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:54 AM on May 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Also it's from reddit
posted by dosterm at 6:04 AM on May 11, 2011


Great! I'll send you a link to a PSA about "Missing the Point" for you to watch, later

In Mayor Curley's defense, the video did seem to take the viewpoint of "this is what happens when (other) people abuse their kids." By speaking directly to the viewer, the child is essentially telling "us" not to hit our kids, which is of course the goal. But since "we" would never dream of abusing our kids, the message is redundant.

In short, if we have to teach people that bashing their kids is wrong, they're beyond reach. While this was certainly an attention-getting ad, it might have been more instructive to illustrate some less visceral forms of child abuse (neglect, etc.) and equating them with the beatings.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:25 AM on May 11, 2011


This ad might make a bit more sense in context; the ISPCC is campaigning for a referendum on the rights of children. The ad is addressed to voters; he can't wait to "have the right to be kept safe..." etc - the viewer, as a voter, is being asked to put those rights in place, now.

The dry facts of the campaign are in this pdf.
posted by tiny crocodile at 6:35 AM on May 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Great! I'll send you a link to a PSA about "Missing the Point" for you to watch, later.

No, I almost have the point. I'm just trying to narrow it down:

"Child abuse is absolutely terrible" or

"Administering a severe beating to your child is currently legal in the Republic of Ireland and this must be rectified."
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:44 AM on May 11, 2011


@Mayor Curly, how about:

"Child abuse is an endemic problem that has many contributing factors and just as many societal effects. Inasmuch as any PSA can help by raising awareness or garnering political support, sometimes it can be effective to use strong imagery to state what appears to be an obvious point while actually using the narrative to tell a different story. For instance, while it may be true that most of us would never abuse our child in the same manner, it is possible that we might not want to be quite so aware of similar sorts of abuse in our own neighbourhoods, and within our own circle of society. By using the first-person narrative, and placing the action in an everyday setting, we can suggest that such abuse is not limited to some imaginary other, but is actually a contemporary and common problem evenb among our own demographic."

Or, you know, one can make a PSA with strong imagery and let your viewers figure it out.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:53 AM on May 11, 2011


Here is the official site for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), if anyone is interested. "The ISPCC receives less than 10% government funding relying on the generous support of the public and companies to help fund our services." I kicked a few bucks their way.
posted by misha at 7:00 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is not lawful to severely beat your child in Ireland.

The problem is that the Irish constitution (enacted in 1937) enshrines and promises to protect rights of the marital family rather than the rights of its individual members.

This is causing some serious philosophical and practical difficulties; for example, specifically because of this constitutional provision, it is almost impossible for an Irish child of married parents to be adopted without the parents' consent, no matter how abusive or neglectful those parents are. This means abused children may be trapped in care or in short-term fostering. It also means that the children of married parents might be treated differently than the children of unmarried parents.

So this ad is specifically saying: this kid needs his rights enshrined in the Constitution. That's why it ends with the line "I can't wait". It's actually a pretty sophisticated ad; not just a shocker.

I know this is more detail on the minutiae of Irish constitutional law than most mefites need, but you did ask what the point of the ad was. This the point.
posted by tiny crocodile at 7:01 AM on May 11, 2011 [20 favorites]


This*is* the point. Stupid fingers.
posted by tiny crocodile at 7:04 AM on May 11, 2011


I know this is more detail on the minutiae of Irish constitutional law than most mefites need...

Not at all. It's very insightful, gives actual context to the video and certainly illustrates its significance.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:48 AM on May 11, 2011


For instance, while it may be true that most of us would never abuse our child in the same manner, it is possible that we might not want to be quite so aware of similar sorts of abuse in our own neighbourhoods, and within our own circle of society ... a contemporary and common problem even among our own demographic.

The notion of this as anti-abuse PSA has been explained away, but lets examine the idea of it as one because I remember anti-abuse PSAs in my childhood.

This spot, were it intended for this hypothetical use, would do nothing to prevent child abuse. First, any amoral sadist inclined to beat his own children is not going to be moved by the plight of a fictional child on television. Second, I don't know how one becomes more aware of child abuse by watching this outside of the reminder of its existence. I am already inclined to contact the authorities were I to suspect that a child or spouse is being abused, as I know my friends and strongly suspect my neighbors are. That's what decent people do. Indecent people don't step up because the TV tells them to. There is no suggestion in the ad that other people are aware of the abuse and ignoring it.

An ad showing others willfully ignoring the abuse would be a different story, in a "don't be the person who sits on something like this" vein. PSAs are generally only effective at reminding people about harmful things that they might not be aware that they are doing or do not want to face, and then only so far. There was a radio spot when I was younger that featured a boozy-sounding mother giving cruel put-downs to an implied child with the reminder that "words can hurt too." I don't think that it would curb the behavior of someone like the drunk viper in the radio ad, but it was hard to listen to and probably encouraged some generally decent parents to not speak rashly when they were exasperated. So net gain.

You can't directly curb disgusting behavior like child abuse with a PSA because you can't cure narcissism with television. For the purpose it was designed for, I'll bet this ad is effective. Were it a public service spot, it would be worthless.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:18 AM on May 11, 2011


I think we do need to talk about how it's not moral to hit your children -- and that you shouldn't, and you shouldn't stand by when others do. As the story above shows and as others I know have lived through, it's only one generation since neighbors and teachers would ignore child abuse as being "none-of-their-business". Only PSAs like these and constantly shaming and prosecuting perpetrators can change things and keep them changed.

that said, thank you very much for the additional information as to how this relates to the Irish constitution and the specific legal background to the PSA.
posted by jb at 8:48 AM on May 11, 2011


This isn't really a PSA though, it is an ad seeking donations to the ISPCC, hence the "Please Donate Now" at the end.
posted by Elmore at 8:54 AM on May 11, 2011


I was (and still am) really freaked out by an anti-child-abuse billboard I saw once, in rural western North Carolina. It had a picture of a red hot electric stove burner, and the slogan "Stoves are for cooking." and then under that in small letters something like "Coalition to End Child Abuse." All I could think was, seriously, people have to be told not to intentionally burn their kids? Enough people that someone decided this was an important thing to put on a billboard? The world is much worse than I'd thought.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:33 AM on May 11, 2011


Okay, crying now. This hit waaaay too close to home. I got roughed up knocked around like that fairly regularly, although not usually as severe as this depiction. I remember thinking, "I can't wait to grow up ... so I'll be big enough to hit you back."

My parents are immigrants from Ireland and, quite frankly, my experience was not unusual for other kids growing up in my mostly-irish neighborhood. The prevailing attitude in our community was that children were little savages that needed to have civilization beaten into them. Seeing an adult lay into a kid in public was an everyday occurrence. It wasn't that our parents were monsters; it's just that between the treatment they received at the hands of their parents AND teachers (ask an elderly irish person how the nuns & priests treated children - it's horrifying). This sort of violence was pervasive, institutionalized and was what all they knew.

I think the point of this ad is to remind parent-age adults in Ireland about how terrifying it was to be so small and so terrorized by the people who were supposed to protect you.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:13 AM on May 11, 2011


Anyone who thinks that PSA is aimed at getting parents to stop beating their children is indeed missing the point. It is a fund-raising campaign. It is designed to get you to close your fist around your credit card and the nearest telephone. It is transparent in that endeavour as it directly solicits you to "join the fight for children's rights" with donation information at the end.

It is crucial that they run hard-hitting funding campaigns, which they do consistently, because they get virtually no government funding, are constantly running out of money, and are only able to staff their help line half-time.

So if you want to cry, cry because half the kids who ring never get their call for help answered. Literally.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:30 PM on May 11, 2011


ask an elderly irish person how the nuns & priests treated children

Not even that elderly. My Dad and my Irish/Italian Catholic uncles and aunts always gather around and tell horror stories about going to Catholic School in New York's outer boroughs, and this was in the 50's and 60's.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on May 11, 2011


You don't need to ask grandparents. These schools operated in the Republic until the 1970s; legislative investigation focused on abuses that took place from 1963 onward.

Ironically, the ISPCC (who made this ad) sent thousands of children to the residential schools well into the 1960s.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:32 PM on May 11, 2011


I know this is more detail on the minutiae of Irish constitutional law than most mefites need...

If Metafilter isn't for learning minutiae about foreign countries and what's going on there, I don't see much point in staying. Because otherwise, there's basically no porn, and I can get an internet argument just about anywhere else.

Srsly, I think this is a pretty solid post because I learned something about Irish culture and law today. I presume the fact that the "marital family" rather than the individual citizen having rights enshrined in the Constitution is an artifact of the Catholic Church's influence on Irish society. Has the Church taken a stand on the issue?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:04 AM on May 12, 2011


The Catholic Church wielded a huge amount of influence in Ireland at the time the Constitution was enacted; Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was rumoured to have drafted it himself, and the whole thing was submitted to the Vatican for review before being presented to the Irish people. Interestingly, the Vatican withheld comment; but the level of deference to their views in post-Independence Ireland cannot be underestimated.

Now, the credibility of the church generally, and particularly relating to child protection, is in tatters. Currently, the Catholic hierarchy is treading very softly around the referendum - I think this is the strongest statement they have made on it. However the rightwing laity (now very much a minority) is supposedly gearing up to oppose any referendum on the issue, at least according to the Irish Times last year.

In some ways this is par for the course; the Church always derived its power from the laity, with whom they worked hand in glove. For example, the ISPCC itself was (as Darlingbri pointed out) hugely implicated in the wholesale abuse of children through the system of industrial schools which were run by the Church, often for profit (previously on metafilter). Who was the patron of the ISPCC from 1956 onwards? Archbishhop John Charles McQuaid.

On the other hand the kind of views the Church used to regularly espouse are now becoming confined to fringe fundamentalists. The mainstream Irish Catholic Church is quite chastened now - for example our new Minister for Education - who is an atheist, incidentally - is moving to take hundreds of schools out of church control - and the Church is not only co-operating with that process but publicly supporting it. The country is not the priest-ridden backwater it used to be.

It looks now as if any referendum on the rights of the child will easily pass, but many of the problems disadvantaged children face in Ireland have feck-all to do with the Constitution - the social services are underfunded, services for children with mental health issues are totally deficient, and young offenders are being detained in completely unsuitable conditions. The passing of the referendum will mark a symbolic break not so much with the Church itself as with the traditional view of children and their place in society which the Church used to promote.
posted by tiny crocodile at 4:11 AM on May 13, 2011


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