Marketing to boys

An Old Goat ruminates about modern television at the Friday Challenge:

One of the boys is watching something. I don’t know what he’s watching, but if the show is a sitcom or cartoon I can make the following prediction without any fear of being wrong; the father on the show is a bumbling idiot who is always being shown up by his smart aleck children and is always being corrected by his wonderful and wise wife…. Apparently it wasn’t enough for fathers to be morons. These days, most of the boys are idiots, too. I am hard pressed to name a single cartoon that doesn’t have at least one boy who complete and utter moron. Conversely, I can’t name a single cartoon which has even one girl who isn’t clever and forever having to pull the moron boy’s fat out of the fire.

It is ironic, as Henry points out, that being repeatedly told that they are morons incapable of feeding themselves without the help of a girl is just fine for boys, while being told that they are superlatively lethal bad asses capable of noble and heroic action will permanently harm them in some mysterious manner that justifies keeping them in a drugged stupor. I’d always assumed that boys and young men preferred electronic games to television because they are dynamic and active rather than static and passive. But, it’s true. If you were a boy, would you want to be more like the well-beloved Raymond of television or BJ Blazkowicz of Wolfenstein 3D fame? Or, to use a more recent example, would you rather be one of the effeminate boys of High School Musical or Niko Bellic of GTA IV?

Please note that I’m not complaining or lobbying for Hollywood to change in any way. I’m quite content to see an outdated 2D medium I despise transform itself into the same sort of societally irrelevant ghetto for gays and girls that Broadway has.