By Tim Cavanaugh
You'd think the essentials of safety have by now been absorbed by all movie viewers: If there's an explosion, just walk or jump toward the camera and you'll be fine. Don't get killed in virtual reality or you'll die in real life. Don't show anybody pictures of your wife and kids unless you're the hero and you're rescuing them or avenging their deaths. And if your enemy's lying dead on the ground, for God's sake don't walk up and lean over the body.
But a new test screening card from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Hollywood is still not up to government safety code on seat belts, bike helmets and proper boating safety.
Results of a CDC study on how safety is presented in G and PG movies, penned by epidemiologist Jon Eric Tongren, will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics. The report does not appear to be online. Early reviews say Hollywood's onscreen safety performance is getting better, but still needs to show improvement:
In the 2003 Christmas movie "Elf", for example, actor Will Ferrell gets knocked down by a taxi while crossing the street. He gets back up without a scratch, but at least he was was walking in a crosswalk.
Tongren said the scene minimizes the accident's dangers and may give young children a false sense of safety.
Two years later, in the 2005 comedy "Yours, Mine and Ours," about a family with 18 children, the youngsters wore life-jackets during a boat trip, but their parents did not.
BusinessWeek wheels in a pediatrician to explain how you can raise green-threat-level kids in a yellow-alert culture:
[Dr. Barbara] Gaines said, "If you're watching a movie with your child and there's a major scene where someone didn't buckle up, give your kid a nudge, and say something like, 'Uh-oh, what did that guy forget to do?'"
It would be redundant to point out that these reports (CDC has put out two previous ones) are as asinine and philistine as anything put out by Will Hays' office, so I'll just point out that these reports are as asinine and philistine as anything put out by Will Hays' office. But because the report takes on easy targets like Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus (proud upholders of hillbilly accents in this boring monoculture), rather than requiring Tallulah Bankhead to put panties on or something classy like that, the liberals eat it up.
By Tim Cavanaugh