Newest Review: ... frightening and the text could disturb and corrupt fragile minds. Lord help, those poor mites who've read beyond their reading age, S... more
Chronicles of Barmier
Member Name: 1st2thebar
Advantages: A bid to stop the cretins from publishing more balderdash
Disadvantages: Stunts children's education, intellect, natural curiosity to learn
Should children's books have age certifications or ratings?
Call me traditional, but I'm sure that the medium of film and video gaming requires an age certificate to correctly protect children from grotesque virtual graphics and reality - eerr, books contain words, should we fear words? Maybe children's brains should be scanned to see how active their imagination is and when the data is confirmed, stamp a bar-coded reading age on their heads. Repeat every year accordingly. Arguably, this'll work if children were manufactured products, but they're not. They have varying imaginations that mature at differing rates. Book certification is a step into the direction of cloning children, so they talk, walk in unison, their intellect oppressed until they reach the next birthday, or school year. Will we see 'reading age 10' stamped on a fourteen year old? You might as well if this facade spins into the classroom like 'Hurricane Sandy'; leaving a trail of devastation behind, literary speaking. Oh, and who called it child protection? Quite frankly the book certifications could bolster 'Grange Hill' school antics, whereby bullying via 'reading age' would manifest itself in playgrounds and around lockers. Snatching books from the white knuckled clutches of the illiterate pupil, desperate to keep their reading age under the thumb - and when it is discovered; the pupil cowers under the embarrassment and ridicule of his/her peers. All because words are so terribly frightening and the text could disturb and corrupt fragile minds. Lord help, those poor mites who've read beyond their reading age, Stephen King's 'Misery'. They'll surely be off gallivanting in blizzards looking for a stranded writer - Yeah, they'll be definitely doin that, won't vey? Doh!
Many children's books already have a reading age guideline via the summary on the reverse of the book - legislation fiends should take note, it is a big giveaway. Books have small print on the reverse; usually it states the level of graphic material. It has always been the case, which is more than I can say about the Bible - blood curdling barbarianism in full-flow in the name of our Christian Lord. Obviously, those who feel that protection from the word is necessary must feel they're of greater importance than our Lord. Naturally, if the formal age restrictions are implemented, the advanced 'reading age pupils' will have their progression oppressed. According to the corridor of power our children's education is waning compared to their Singapore counterparts; by 2015, the ability gap is allegedly set to close. Thanks to added robust measures in UK's education system, apparently - therefore, if this type of educational legislation comes into fruition - those who've reading talents inadvertently wouldn't be able to brandish them, be proud of their achievements, or get educated, and could lose interest altogether. After just seen the best Olympic Games ever, whereby talent is rewarded and the joys of competition brought to the fore, it pains me to witness this sort of ludicrous hypocrisy exists in an Olympic year. "Praps I, for a moment believed in the heavenly concept of building on the success of the Olympics. Introduce a legacy that'll feed into all walks of British life, anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it; unless of course you're seven and have a reading age of eleven!" Competition is being undermined under the deranged file of child protection; this is another example of governance slipping into our ideology and it defies logic. Teens notoriously have an appetite for mystical and prurient content - no educational legislation can dull down hormonal urges, and certainly by certificating books, simulates waving a red rag to a bull. Glamourising this content via a film certification system won't stifle curiosity, it'll inflame it.
'Never the twain shall meet'. This idiom should be law, if books / movies / games are subjected to collective classified treatment. They're oceans apart - therefore not comparable. It isn't as if age classification stops teenagers from viewing cert 18 media either! Nor is such material even security coded. 'T'internet' is no different. The stark reality is; the onus purely rests on the child savvy parent and not governing bodies - only they would know what is acceptable for their child, not the likes of an Ofqual bureaucrat, or a disgruntled writer who has thrown a typewriter at an age restriction premise and has got some much needed publicity in the meantime. Now, if a barman from Basingstoke did the same thing, I hasten a guess that the impact wouldn't have touched the free papers, let alone catch the Beeb's imagination and turn it into possible legislation - "OMG" (Oh Mighty Gove) - any politically correct tinkering of the educational system is abhorred - they say too much tinkering makes you blind - perhaps too blind to visualise the educational oppression which comes with, children's books having age certifications or ratings? I fear if a governing body claims heed of creating a reading book listing, which is dependent on a reading age certificate - a window of regulatory opportunity will appear; opened wide enough for age restrictions to take centre stage in schools and libraries. Give regulation an inch and they'll take a mile. Dahl and Blyton's books could be removed from children's bookshelves on grounds of: underage driving, breaking curfews, child and animal cruelty, and child neglect - to name a few. Yet these writers have been educationally instrumental for generations. Books are essential in reflecting valid and exciting analogies that helps with everyday life experiences / and unlocking imaginations. Restricting such a rich vein of information indefinitely will open up a gargantuan void in young lives; it won't be filled.
Children need a form of escapism from the doldrums of the school curriculum and reports of generations paying for our debt crisis. I much prefer them to escape in an adult book than escape into an uncertain world where vile predators lay in wait in dark alleyways - be afraid of reality, not words in a book.
Summary: Lets hope it is just a case of 'Wind in the Willows!'