The “Kids Choice Awards” Winners Clean?

Posted on: 04/1/08 8:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Miley, Avril, The Jonas Brothers… do these names mean anything to you? Because they mean a lot to our young kids & tweens.

If any of you have young kids that watch TV, last weekend you probably noticed that Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards were on Saturday (If you were watching Sponge Bob, you were given glimpses of the Awards at every break).

I’m torn when it comes to these awards. On one side of the spectrum I’m relieved that most of the winners selected are pretty innocent, as today’s culture goes (I’ll list the major winners in a minute and make a few comments). But on the other side of the coin, I’m NOT a big fan of this show. Two reasons:

  1. It’s a bunch of kids trying to grow up WAY too fast (little girls trying to be hoochies and boys copping the attitude of rock stars!) 
  2. As innocent as this content is, compared to its older sibling, The Teen Choice Awards (Every year I write an article about these awards as well)… the Kid’s Choice Awards still will award celebrities that are far from positive role models for questionable content.

Right now if you click on the Kid’s Choice Awards web site you will hear the live performance of Naked Brothers Band singing “I Don’t Want to Go to School.” (Hey kids, you can have a bad attitude and a hit band before you even hit puberty!) Watching this concert gave me a flashback of Pinocchio’s trip to “Pleasure Island.” (Remember the land where the kids ran free and were allowed to do everything they wanted?)

But I’ll admit, I was pleased with the actual awards they gave out. Some years I’ve cringed at some of the recipients, but this year, with a couple exceptions, they were a pretty clean lot.

Here’s a glimpse of a few of the winners:

Favorite:  Alvin and the Chipmunks
Animated Movie:  Ratatouille
Actress:  Jessica Alba
Actor:  Johnny Depp
Voice from an animated movie:  Eddie Murphy (Shrek the Third)

Group:  The Jonas Brothers
Female singer:  Miley Cyrus
Male singer:  Chris Brown
Song:  Girlfriend (Avril Lavigne)

Reality show:  American Idol
Show:  Drake & Josh
Actress:  Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana)
Actor:  Drake Bell (Drake & Josh)
Cartoon:  Avatar: The Last Airbender

Obviously there are a few weird ones in the bunch (Can you say Captain Jack Sparrow?), but most of these selections are pretty clean.

I have no complaints about Miley, Drake & Josh, The Jonas Brothers, and movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Ratatouille. I actually was quite relieved when I saw the list of the winners. Miley, if anything, has been a really positive role model. I’ve blogged about her a bit already if you want to know more about her. And the Jonas Brothers seem to be a clean cut crew. David R. Smith is writing a YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW on them right now that you’ll be seeing soon.

I guess my biggest “sigh” was Avril Lavigne. As I was reading the list of winners on a plane, I had the plane’s headphones on and Avril’s “clean version” of her song Girlfriend played. The word “clean” is relative. Sure, the “clean” version is nice enough to edit out the “f” word for us… although most 8-year-olds have no problem figuring out what she says when she sings, “I’m the mother(silence) princess.” Let me give it to ya in context:

I think you know
I’m damn precious
And hell yeah
I’m the mother f***ing princess

It doesn’t take much of a parent to realize that those lyrics probably aren’t the best to be awarding on a kids’ show.

But this is nothing new. I’ve shared my 2 cents on Avril before.

Chris Brown is another one to watch. Chris is one of the most talented young men on the charts right now. Not only can he sing, but he drops jaws with his dancing. He’s the new Michael Jackson or Usher. His stuff has stayed away from the explicit lyrics, but definitely focuses on more mature themes (and when I say more mature- let’s just say- MORE MATURE THAN MY 10-YEAR-OLD, okay!)

But when all is said and done, when I look at that list of winners, I am actually pleased. I’ve seen a lot worse.

Wow… I developed such high standards. (Sigh)



Posted on: 03/14/08 11:50 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Some of you are familiar with my MOVIE REVIEW page on our web site. I just viewed Beowulf recently to write a review. Wow. I just saw new boundaries for PG-13 (of course, you can also get the “unrated” director’s cut). If I only would have watched the special features section on the DVD first then I could have heard the director’s intentions– and I quote:

“This is Beowulf… It’s gonna be no bullsh**, and it’s gonna be just the way it is.  In the process, it’ll evolve and we’ll figure out what the movie is. Right now, I can only say that this has nothing to do with the Beowulf that you were forced to read in junior high school.  It’s all about eating, drinking, killing, and fornicating.”  –Robert Zemeckis

And take it from me… that summarizes it well. (You can read my entire review of that film here.)

Hmmmmm. Dorothy… we ain’t in Kansas anymore!

Hollywood Pro-Life?

Posted on: 02/13/08 12:14 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Is Hollywood slowly turning pro-life?

I must be seeing things. No, it’s true. In the past year I’ve seen more secular movies and TV shows address the issue, not in a militant Operation Rescue fashion, but in a very real sense of simply proposing, “I think having the baby is the right thing to do!”

The current issue of Christianity Today just chimed in on this fact in this article, proposing…

In some ways, 2007 was the Year of Pro-Life Cinema. From the church-friendly Bella to the raunchy Knocked Up, film after film depicted its main character facing an unplanned pregnancy and opting not for abortion, but for carrying the unborn child to term. Sometimes the mother kept the baby (Knocked Up, Waitress), and sometimes she gave the baby up for adoption (Bella, Juno, August Rush). But in each of these films, the mother, and sometimes the father, made a critical decision that was decidedly “pro-life.”

And last weekend, NBC’s Friday Night Lights delivered one of the most powerful pro-life speeches I’ve heard in recent years. Crippled quarterback Jason Street pleads with a “one night stand” to keep their child. He goes on to describe the baby growing in her, the little hands forming… a powerful talk.

The incredible thing about all of this attention on the issue is the fact that these aren’t obscure little films. Juno is huge right now (it’s made over 109 million) and a ton of our kids are seeing it. And sadly, a ton of our kids saw the very R-rated Knocked Up (really raunchy film, with a really cool theme). The value of the life of the unborn child is being placed on kids’ minds, and this generation is always open to share their point of view on an issue.

If you’re looking for discussion starters on the subject, a few weeks ago we wrote a free MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION on our web site using a scene from Bella that’s a great one to use.

This is a good time to have conversations with kids about the issue.

(thanks to my brotha Thom for the email and CT link)


Religious Wackos Talking Trash About Heath Ledger

Posted on: 01/23/08 9:29 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Wow… just when you thought you saw it all.

Let me back up just a bit.

Most of you have probably read the very sad story of the death of Heath Ledger, the young actor who starred in The Patriot, A Knights Tale, The Four Feathers, Brokeback Mountain and many other films. Heath died yesterday in his New York apartment of a possible drug overdose.

He had a 2-year-old child.

My heart goes out to his family and friends. So sad.

Unfortunately, some weirdos have already emerged casting judgement on Heath for his role in Brokeback Mountain. This website (I don’t even want to type the address) from Westboro Baptist Church has posted a “flyer” how they will picket his funeral because he was a “pervert” and he is “now serving in Hell.” It’s so hateful, it is difficult to even read.

NOTE: that weblink is getting a lot of traffic today… so here is the image they have posted on their site:

Other sites have already began posting pictures of what are believed to be amongst the last images of Heath Ledger alive. Tragic.

I guess I just wonder what Bible this church is reading? If they call themselves Christians… what Christ do they belong to? Because the Christ I know was loving, forgiving and gracious to prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners. The worse the sinner, the more they were drawn to Jesus. And Jesus always showed love and grace, balanced with the truth– I just talked about this balance in my blog last week (I can’t help but think how he responded to the woman caught in adultery in John 8).

Pray for Heath’s family… his little girl.

And Jesus told us to pray for our enemies too. So I guess I better start praying for Westboro Baptist Church.




Posted on: 01/9/08 8:56 PM | by Jonathan McKee

The other night Lori and I rented a film that Marko recommended as one of his favorites of 2007. The film is called ONCE and it is described as a “modern day musical.”

I didn’t have any idea of what to expect… and to be honest… during the first few minutes I was wondering what the heck I had got myself into.

In the first few minutes I realized:

  1. This is a low budget independent film. Not always a bad thing, but often it can be.
  2. The film makers are trying what looks like a “documentry” style of shooting. Again, not always bad, but it can be.
  3. We’re going to see a lot of singing… so we better like what we hear.

Within a few minutes I didn’t know what to think. Lori and I looked at each other and both decided we wanted to give it more time.

By 20 minutes we were hooked.

So I’ll say this: give it at least 20 minutes.

Long story short- I REALLY enjoyed this. Lori and I both found ourselves humming some of the songs the next day. Heck, I just bought the sound track

This film won’t be for everyone. It’s a little artsy, and if you don’t like music, you probably won’t like it. Just give it 20 minutes. 20 minutes will tell.

2 negatives:

  1. The film wanders into the realm of adultery… it never goes there… but it flirts with it.
  2. The film was shot across the pond where people seem to rattle off the “f” word like they’re from Boston. So you have to have an “f” word tolerence. Film is clean aside from that.

Give it a try.

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