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Popular media related with childhood such as comic books, cartoons, and superheroes have always had adult audiences. Many media homes such as television have aired these comics not to target the adolescence but also the grown-ups. Some media characters such as Batman and Superman are so much section of our culture that we forget they are part of these media trends. Therefore, they emerge as the target for both the teenagers and the aged audiences. However, some people feel that it is weird to watch or examine these comics. They argue that adults are becoming infantilized. Other feel it is okay for the adults to be section of the media because the films and comic books may contain significant cultural criticism that might be beneficial to the audience (Botzakis 51). The paper will use the Batman and Superman superhero film associated with youth but aimed at adult audiences to explain how the grown-ups are increasingly fond of and uncomfortable with such media.
First, many people support the adults watching the movies and reading the comic books. This is because many of the films are addressed to the aged despite having young characters to create a juxtaposition. The presence of the teenagers alongside adult characters can be seen as hopeful; building an understanding that values of freedom and justice in superhero films should always form part of the culture in the society (Baker 1). The collaboration between the young and the adults can also be seen a common ground for defeating evils in the community. Therefore, the adults watching and reading funny books can always be seen as a decisive factor of upholding the culture in the society. Moreover, the adult characters in the films are there to remind the young ones that time is inevitable and they will grow old someday. The society values the culture of defending and protecting other people. These values are not only for the children but also for the adults. Many of the superhero films are characterized by kids fighting to protect their fellows. Conversely, adults can learn some virtues from the movies that they can live with them. Parents often think that the superhero culture would help their children to be friendly and helpful to their peers. In contrast, many kids have grown to be the opposite by picking the aggressive values rather than the defending ones (Baker 2).
Secondly, Stergios Botzakis study in 2009 supports adults being the audience to childhood media. The interview survey was an exploration of the culture and the literary practices of adults who enjoy reading comic books. The study involved four participants obtained from a pool of twelve people. Botzakis used the Kvale's method of interpretation to analyze the participants’ responses. The four participants were Aaron, Kyle, Peter, and Roger and each gave different reasons as to why they enjoyed reading comical books (Botzakis 53). For instance, Kyle explained that he obtained happiness, joy, aesthetic appreciation, and pleasure of ownership from reading the comic. Peter saw the book as his little escape from depression. Roger responded that the media piece is part of his temporary shelter from worries, drives away loneliness, and enabled to view himself as different from the world. Aaron said that reading the comic book was part of his learning; for example, he would explain the Chinese and Japanese cultures through reading the Manga. He gathered information and knowledge from reading. The study results implied that adults have reasons to read media associated with children because of the information they are likely to collect from the piece (Botzakis 55). Also, it creates an implication that the educators should use popular culture and integrate it in learning purposes. Therefore, the study concludes that adults have a choice to read comical books depending on the objective they want to achieve (Botzakis 58).
Conversely, other scholars have argued on the fact that adults watching childhood media are becoming infantilized. They have expressed the uncomfortable feeling that comes with increasing adult audiences for childhood movies and books. Simon Pegg expresses his dissatisfaction and urges the people to grow up, “can we all please grow up (Rigby 1).” he states that the superhero movies are too dumb for any thinking adult. The problem is with the source material. For example, with the case of Batman and Superman, that was originally written for ten-year-old boys cannot be watched by thinking adult. The character Batman flies with lasers in his eyes and dresses as a bat. This is indeed silly (Rigby 2).
Moreover, the childhood media is dumbed up. This is because the directors are taking some stupid issues and spending money and talent on them until they appear sophisticated and intelligent. Many of the 1980s and 1990s films have been dumbed down. The actors have taken multiple cultural elements such as politics and literature, simplified them and made them accessible to the people are unwilling to deal with sophisticated issues. Childhood media are often clarified because the target audiences are the kids. It is weird that; thinking adult should sit to watch or read comics that are simplified instead of understanding the film director or book author sophisticated issues (Rigby 3). The point is immature media denies the adult audience the capacity to think and derive the meaning of the complicated problems.
Lastly, superhero movies are abominations. They have lost their original meaning. The writers would expand their imaginations of their nine-year-old to fit a thirteen-year-old audience. However, the today superhero writers assume that their audience is thirty to sixty years old. They focus on the men only. The many superheroes such as Batman, Spiderman, and Superman have created an audience that is emotionally subnormal. The overall consequence is building an audience that is addicted to the superheroes (Rigby 3). Controlling an emotionally-addicted adult to a particular film is difficult. Instead of engaging in constructive activities, they sit all day long watching the movies and reading the comical novels.
Adults watching and reading childhood media is an increasing behavior in any part of the world. Some people are comfortable with the practice while others argue against the adults becoming infantilized. Despite having reasons for reading funny books and watching cartoons; the adults must resist from forming an audience to media associated with children and the youths. Every author or film director creates a media targeting a particular audience. Therefore, each group should stick to their media to avoid the creation of substandard films. I strongly criticize the adults who form the audience for children movies and cartoons. I do not support a mix in the audience when it comes to directing of film and writing of books. Audience differentiation is mandatory to avoid the combination of the cultures.
Baker, Gavia. "The Daily Dot." 19 May 2015. Why Simon Pegg is Wrong About Sa-fi and Superhero Movies Being "Childish."
Botzakis, Stergios. "Adult Fans of Comic Books: what They Get Out of Reading." Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 53.1 (2009): 50-59.
Rigby, Rhymer. "The Telegraphs." 28 March 2016. No Self-respecting Adult Should Buy Comics or Watch Superhero Movies.
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