Autumn Terror   5 comments

Fall is here!!!

As much as fall creeps into Florida. Unfortunately we are deprived of the nicer aspects of fall… but still Starbucks is selling Pumpkin spice so it must be fall. Plus the grocery stores are selling those yummy cinnamon brooms so it smells like fall. If it sells and smells like fall I’ll call fall! Generally my favorite time of year.

I also know it is fall because I now need to go on my annual television boycott/remote control vigil. Not my favorite time of year.

Every year between mid September and the end of October I will be safely watching a warm fuzzy child appropriate (but adult program) or some innocuous day time television program and suddenly (and without warning) there are disturbing and scary images on my television.

I’m not sure if the rest of the country is inundated with commercials for Busch Gardens Hallowscream and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights but we sure are. At least one commercial out of every break seems to have a blood dripping clown, zombies, people with shattered faces grabbing unsuspecting victims and people running in terror. Oh and screaming… a lot of screaming.  They frighten me so I sure as heck don’t want my two year old to watch them.

They would have terrified me up until the age of 8, at least. Yeah sure, I may have been a sheltered child but I was a CHILD and I shouldn’t have to be exposed to that sort of thing.

These commercials used to irritate me during the fall season. I don’t like them. I don’t want to see them. But because they are commercials there seems to be no avoiding them. I also hate the giant billboards that are in the same vein and the signs everywhere… but that’s another issue.

However, now that I have a child they make me angry. Very angry.

It’s not fair that I have no control over them. This isn’t like “Well if you don’t like it change the channel”…. they pop up usually BEFORE you can change the channel. And besides the kids channels they are EVERYWHERE.

I try to limit her television viewing period and when she does watch TV it is usually a DVD, something from the DVR or on a kids channel so she is safe. But God forbid I want to watch something while she is playing in the room. Yesterday my grandmother was over and wanted to watch The Chew and The Doctors…. there was a scary commercial nearly every single break. Thank goodness LA was sleeping. But what if she hadn’t been?

And how do I avoid all those billboards….? Don’t drive down the road?

Ok, so I can avoid the billboards or hope/assume my child won’t see them as we zoom past… it is the commercials I really object to.

Don’t these things have ratings? Shouldn’t they be confined to evening television? After 8 at the very latest?

There are ratings for television programs but it seems any terrifying 60 second ad is allowed on at any time of the day. It’s not fair and it is something I dread every year. I think it’s very irresponsible of Busch Gardens and Universal to put them out to be shown during the day time at all. I think it’s more irresponsible for stations to air them at all times of the day. If they were on in the evening I personally would still hate them but I’m a grown up I can deal.  Children don’t have the same abilities to deal with scariness.

We are always talking in this country about loss of innocence and children growing up too fast. About desensitization and violence. Um, hello? We are showing commercials that some adults find disturbing when any child could see it on accident. And there is no way (short of not watching any channel other than Disney/Sprout/etc) to avoid them. If there is please tell me how?!

Right now LA is dealing with night terrors. I can’t help wondering in the back of my mind if it has started because of something she has seen on these commercials, signs, posters or statues that are put out in the fall. I know that they would have given me night mares when I was a child.

I don’t know what to do. Contact the stations? The parks themselves? Up until recently I thought I was the only one who dreaded this time of the year for any television watching… but apparently I’m not.

Look I get that Halloween is a fun time for a lot of people. And I may even be in the minority because while I love the imaginative dress up aspect of Halloween I hate the open grave, rotting faces, jump out and say “boo” aspect of the holiday. People love it… great. But I don’t want it forced on me and I really don’t want it thrust on my child. I think the commercials are disturbing enough as is but if you are safely watching “Dancing with the Starts” to suddenly see people being chased by zombies or pulled into open graves is not the program I signed on to watch. It’s not fair to us adults who are forced/tricked into seeing it but it’s absolutely irresponsible to have it on when children could see it. There should be a time limit or certain station so that parents can do what we can to shelter our children from it.

I’m honestly shocked that they haven’t been sued yet for causing nightmares or distress etc. This is such a litigious society and this actually seems like something that could cause children trauma or at least some unnecessary fear.

Usually I’m a shrug “Well just avoid it if you don’t like it” sort of person”… but I have no idea how to successfully avoid all of this. Every year it is absolutely everywhere. I truly hate it.

Every year I’m disappointed in both Busch Gardens and Universal Studios…. these are supposed to be family friendly places. I think it’s great/fine that they do this. Awesome… if it’s fun for you then have a great time. I object to how they advertise it.

So anyway… that is my fall pet peeve.



Posted October 4, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood

5 responses to “Autumn Terror

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  1. I agree 100%. I always try to distract N during the commercials, but for some reason she’s drawn to them. I hate it because they are terrifying.

  2. netflix

    • Netflix is great for letting her watch TV… and when she watches TV it’s usually a non issue. However, when I want to watch television we have a problem. Sure I can watch a lot on Netflix as well but what if I want to watch the news? Or something on prime time? Or my grandmother is over to help me and wants to watch The Doctors or something…. ? That is the issue.

  3. You’ve read my mind! A friend sent me a link to your blog, knowing that this entry was right up my alley, and she knows me all too well! I have practically quoted some of your statements in past years and also dread this time of year for these exact reasons. You aren’t alone. I honestly don’t “hate” many things in life and specifically try to not even use the word, even “lightly” in conversation… I reserve it for instances like this because these things I too HATE! (I actually “politely commented” to a manager at our Publix one year that I thought the decor was inappropriate… turns out it was not Halloween related at all, but was a pirate for the Bucs, oops, but it was a scary looking pirate to say the least.) I honestly hadn’t even thought about the commercials from the perspective of a parent yet… I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old and besides the kids’ shows we let them watch we just happen to not be a family that has the TV on much before they go to bed, but you make a great point and I’m sure if you’re a stay at home Mom (my husband and I both work during the day with the kids in preschool) there are times just as you described that you’re perfectly legitimately watching something that should be appropriate for children in the room, until these awful images are thrust in front of them. I have however experienced times in stores and other public places with my 5 year old over the years that he’s had to quickly look away and be comforted. (His birthday is actually this month and every year I end up making a last minute trip to the local party store… you can imagine the fun of that with costumes and decorations all around… I leave him home!) I too am not sure what to do about this… my husband’s theory is that there just aren’t enough consumers who literally won’t patronize stores or buy tickets to theme parks, etc., to make an impact, otherwise these businesses would have to change their marketing techniques. He’s right unfortunately, it’s all about making money. So I guess us parents are just left to fend for ourselves in protecting the images and memories that go into our children’s brains, and our own for that matter. All that said, no, you are definitely not alone! It’s nice to know that I’m not either in my vehement hatred for these things. Thank you for sharing =) Alysia S.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one!
      I get that some people find it really fun and enjoy a good scare. I may sound old fashioned in saying that I think children should be protected from this stuff. If you are an adult or teenager or even a child who is into that sort of thing and the parents are ok…. great! But people used to take children and families into consideration and now because of money it’s totally ignored. It’s a shame and it makes me hate at least one month of my favorite season… and I always have to feel on guard 😦
      Thank you for your post!

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