Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kid Nation

I find the premise of this show very interesting. It makes me remember how the schoolyard is truly a microcosm of adult society: the have and have-nots, the powerful and the powerless, the leaders and the followers. And everyone in between. But it also reveals how when we were children, we were naturally compassionate, encouraging, compromising, sympathetic, and emphatetic. And before we were made aware of our "differences" from learned attitudes and behaviors from adults, we are unafraid to be brutally honest with one another, unafraid to reveal what our fears are with one another, and unfraid to declare what makes us happy. And children are naturally fair. Children recognize the stronger and weaker members of a group, and are naturally protective over the smallest and weakest. And children have the natural diplomacy to resolve conflicts more quickly, and are more willing to cooperate. Plus children also have that extra motivation: they will go out of their way to prove to adults that they can succeed without the help of adults!

Not to say this show is void of the adult view of the world. The kids are divided into four teams. The teams compete for status. The team that comes in first place becomes the "upper class", second place becomes "merchants", third place becomes "cooks", and the last place team becomes "laborers". Upper class does the least amount of work and make the most money, laborers do the work no one wants to do and make little money.

So the initial cards are dealt, and the wheels are set in motion. But then the Gold Star is introduced.. which can further complicate things. And a chosen few (Town Council) decide who to give the Gold Star to. When there is a reward, politics come into play, alliances form, relationships change, and at least for adults, bad things typically happen. So let's see if the children reflect the more redeeming qualities we had on the playground, before we became adults :)

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