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Not so funny anymore

I admit it, I indulge in the guilty pleasure of watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. It’s hard to believe this show has been on TV for more than 20 years. I know it’s corny and hokey and it has an overabundance of shots to the most sensitive parts of people’s anatomy, but some of the videos are truly funny and amazing. (Anything with kangaroos attacking people dressed in animal costumes has me ROTFL.) You just have to suffer through the stupid ones to get to the good ones.


I have, however, been noticing a trend at AFV that maybe I’m overfocused on. But it seems to me that more and more of the winning videos feature naked children. Oh, sure, there’s a black bar that covers what the Monty Python troupe used to term the “naughty bits,” but these videos still bug me a lot on two fronts.


First, the parents who send in these videos aren’t thinking down the line, when their kids, now older, will be totally embarrassed that all of America has seen them naked. I suppose $10,000 can ease a multitude of embarrassment, but really, what use is there in posting pictures and videos of your children undressed for all the world to see? I suppose people will say it’s perfectly innocent and kind of cute to see naked children, but that takes me to the second front that disturbs me: the pedophiles that lurk online – or maybe right down the street from you. Parents, wouldn’t it disturb you to think a pedophile somewhere is getting his or her perverted pleasure by watching a video of YOUR NAKED CHILD? In essence, when you post these videos online or send them to AFV to be shown on national television, you are acting as your child’s pornographer.


Really. Think about it. You may feel the video of little Susie running naked through the muddy meadow is cute. And the video of the little girl singing and dancing while her naked brothers mocked her in the background won the big prize on AFV. But those are the kinds of videos that you need to keep at home on your own computer, not sending them out into the world, which, like it or not, includes pedophiles who relish them. In a way, you are handing your children over to their perversity when you post those videos. And AFV is promoting it. Is that really what you want? Think about it.