The GPs, Ps, PGs and Rs



I've been a big time video consumer for about 9 years now. Yes, since I was 10. I started renting VHS tapes one day when my cousin, Matthew, and I found ourselves in utter boredom while at my grandparents' place in the city. I could still remember the titles: Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Ghosbusters, Casper, Men in Black, and all the disaster-creature movies with giant snakes, sharks from hell and jillions of roaches creeping out of the toilet bowl.

I've been a good girl. Before I turned thirteen, I always looked for the shiny stickers on video cases with ratings on them. GPs and PGs and PG-13s and Rs. Of course I didn't rent those with PG-13s and Rs. It was the time when they still put those things on vids so parents could watch out what their children are watching.

When I reached high school, and thirteen too, and the web was already very much a part of life, my first destination was CARA - The Classification and Ratings Administration. www.filmratings.com. A really simple, minimalistic site that has all the ratings of almost any film after 1968, and the reasons for them too.

Rejoice for PG-13s -- it was time for a wider selection of films. I felt like a big girl. If I really wanted to watch Rs, I made sure it was an R only for language or drug content or some violence. Even Rs like this disturbed me. Like I wanted to murder Hitler all over again, with my own hands. It was that bad.
And I also wrote about the torture and inhumanity of World War II death camps for my high school term paper. The starvation, the malevolent medical experiments, the gruesome manual labor, the burnt corpses -- I knew them all. I was that interested.

Of course when I turned 18, I could pretty much watch anything. But really, I still felt like 18 is too young an age to be allowed to watch explicit material. If it's harmful for children, isn't also harmful for adults? It might even be more so for them.

But the dilemma many of the best movies like The Godfather Part I and II and Pulp Fiction are Rs. So I say there are bad Rs and there are good Rs. The reason I already stated. These two films are of course good Rs. Bad Rs are like Alexander Payne's Election (1999) which almost made Time Magazine's 100 all-time movies but I thought was a ridiculous, nonsensical film.

So anyway, my whole point is, after a lot of rambling, is that they should still put those shiny little ratings stickers on videos. Though some DVDs have ratings on them, it's so small, who would bother looking for that? What's the use of all that fuss in security in movie houses when don't regulate purchase and lending of vids? It's stupid.

But then again, it would entail extra effort. Pirated discs are sold off the streets to anyone who has P50 to P80.

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