"vulnerable, suggestible youth"

stetsonstetson Shipmate
On the homophobic soccer player thread, Martin wrote....
Martin54 wrote: »
Russ wrote: »
sionisais wrote: »
I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure a white guy stating that women don't have a place in cricket, rugby or soccer would get a slap on the wrist and possibly a suspension.

If he's said that anyone has no place in a sport that he is paid to promote then there is a case to answer.

If he has merely expressed private religious belief about what happens in an afterlife, on which the sporting body that employs him has no collective view, then there is none.

And he is not exploiting a huge following of vulnerable, suggestible youth by virtue of his sponsored prowess with his lack of pluralism, his insane beliefs. At all.

I've never really bought the "suggestible youth" argument for why celebrities should behave better(or in this case, hold better opinions) than the average person. I'd be curious to know if anyone who makes this argument can honestly say "Yes, yes, I remember as a kid, the reason I started taking illegal drugs[for example] is because I heard that my favorite celebrities were doing the same thing."

In fact, I have actually put that question to people who make the argument: ie. "Okay, you think celebrities influence kids behaviour, but when you were a kid, did you copy the harmful habits of people you admired?", and to my recollection, the answer has always been "no". I guess no one likes to admit that they were the susceptible idiots whose welfare they are now so concerned about?

Then again, as a teenager, I was always kind of a goody two-shoes, never drank in high school(where it was pretty common, albeit illegal), and passed on the opportunity to smoke weed even after I had graduated and was going to college. This despite the fact that I was a huge fan of the Beatles, and knew all about their unrepented experiences with recreational substances. Their drug-use was just something that they did, which I maybe found mildly intriguing, but it didn't seem to be something that had any relevance to what I should do myself.

And, granted, the topic on the other thread is about opinions, not actions. I was certainly influenced by the opinions of others when I was a kid, but it was usually the kind of people you normally look to for opinions, eg. newspaper columnists and politicians, rather than people like pop singers or athletes.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 8
    To quote Colin on the other thread...

    But do you accept there is any argument for why they should behave better than the average person?

    No, not really. If there were an argument that I bought for celebrities behaving better, it would be the kids, because children are generally recognized as unable to make rational decisions. But, like I say, I'm dubious about that one, and I really can't think of another reason why we'd expect famous people to act better than the average Joe.

    The only case I can really think of is that politicians and law-enforcement have a higher obligation to obey the law than other people, but that's not because they're role models, but because they are the ones who make and enforce the laws, so their is more of an onus on them to follow the laws.

    And, I suppose, if I were looking for an excuse to break the law, the fact that lawmakers and law-enforcers treat them with such contempt might seem like a more compelling rationale than rock-stars and baseball players treating them with contempt.

  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Well, to quote the Gospel of Superman, "with great power comes great responsibility".

    People who are wealthy and/or influential should be held to some kind of censure because they do have the ability to influence others. One of the most obvious is the way Trump's election and subsequent rhetoric has validated and encouraged mule-headed bigots to inflict their repellent views on others.

    In the case of celebrities whose earnings often come directly and indirectly from endorsements and sponsorship it is relatively easy to police them through economic pressure. Unfortunately, that is less effective against those who are supported by a few wealthy people who share their views or see them as useful tools.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 8
    Well, to quote the Gospel of Superman, "with great power comes great responsibility".

    People who are wealthy and/or influential should be held to some kind of censure because they do have the ability to influence others. One of the most obvious is the way Trump's election and subsequent rhetoric has validated and encouraged mule-headed bigots to inflict their repellent views on others.

    But I still hold those bigots 100% accountable for their opinions, and any actions they may take on behalf of said opinions. I do not regard them as having been unfairly manipulated by Trump into taking bigoted positions, which I think is how we're supposed to regard children who emulate the views or behaviour of sports heroes and pop stars.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    But I still hold those bigots 100% accountable for their opinions, and any actions they may take on behalf of said opinions. I do not regard them as having been unfairly manipulated by Trump into taking bigoted positions, which I think is how we're supposed to regard children who emulate the views or behaviour of sports heroes and pop stars.

    I don't disagree with that. I think we need to tackle both parties.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I agree. But in attacking Trump, I don't think the indictment against him is quite that he's leading vulnerable people into racism. He's leading a movement of racist people, who are voulntarily going along with the movement.

    This is in contrast to how I think we're supposed to regard kids who start smoking crack after hearing that their favorite singer does it, because the kids supposedly lack the mental werewithal to know any better.
  • Heard of advertising? Millions paid for celebrity endorsements? You know where the anti-vaccine ideas got their legs? Heard of "influencers", who aren't even celebrity oft-times? What about peer pressure? Adults, not just youth get swayed.

    So yes it matters. A lot. But it's not experimenting that celebs influence, it's attitude. And more influential now via all of the internet and phone multimedia, coupled with the general deterioration of communication within families as everyone texts and messages while pretending to interact with each other.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    I agree. But in attacking Trump, I don't think the indictment against him is quite that he's leading vulnerable people into racism. He's leading a movement of racist people, who are voulntarily going along with the movement.

    This is in contrast to how I think we're supposed to regard kids who start smoking crack after hearing that their favorite singer does it, because the kids supposedly lack the mental werewithal to know any better.

    What Trump is doing is making it okay for these assholes to act out on the beliefs and feelings they already had. He has explicitly said so -- if you attack that guy I'll pick up your legal tab. And whaddayano -- racist incidents have risen under Trump.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I agree. But in attacking Trump, I don't think the indictment against him is quite that he's leading vulnerable people into racism. He's leading a movement of racist people, who are voulntarily going along with the movement.

    This is in contrast to how I think we're supposed to regard kids who start smoking crack after hearing that their favorite singer does it, because the kids supposedly lack the mental werewithal to know any better.

    What Trump is doing is making it okay for these assholes to act out on the beliefs and feelings they already had. He has explicitly said so -- if you attack that guy I'll pick up your legal tab. And whaddayano -- racist incidents have risen under Trump.

    Yeah, I know. But I don't regard those people as being manipulated by Trump.

    When someone says that kids might be influenced by the bad behaviour of their favorite sports stars, we're basically being asked to regard the kids as objects as pity, being manipulated into doing things they lack the ratioanlity to comprehend fully. That's not how I view a racist following a demagogue, otherwise I wouldn't be able to condemn the racist.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I agree. But in attacking Trump, I don't think the indictment against him is quite that he's leading vulnerable people into racism. He's leading a movement of racist people, who are voulntarily going along with the movement.

    This is in contrast to how I think we're supposed to regard kids who start smoking crack after hearing that their favorite singer does it, because the kids supposedly lack the mental werewithal to know any better.

    What Trump is doing is making it okay for these assholes to act out on the beliefs and feelings they already had. He has explicitly said so -- if you attack that guy I'll pick up your legal tab. And whaddayano -- racist incidents have risen under Trump.

    Yeah, I know. But I don't regard those people as being manipulated by Trump.

    When someone says that kids might be influenced by the bad behaviour of their favorite sports stars, we're basically being asked to regard the kids as objects as pity, being manipulated into doing things they lack the ratioanlity to comprehend fully. That's not how I view a racist following a demagogue, otherwise I wouldn't be able to condemn the racist.

    I think that's too narrow a view of how the relationship between kids and their heroes works. Kids too could have an inclination to do something bad, and seeing their hero do it, could think, "Well they can do it, so can I." That's not manipulating, that's enabling.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited May 8
    Well, to quote the Gospel of Superman, "with great power comes great responsibility".
    That's the Gospel of Spiderman. The Gospel of Superman is "Truth, Justice, and the American Dream." Also, "Bring me your poor huddled masses", as Superman is an immigrant (an illegal immigrant in fact).

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Way.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I agree. But in attacking Trump, I don't think the indictment against him is quite that he's leading vulnerable people into racism. He's leading a movement of racist people, who are voulntarily going along with the movement.

    This is in contrast to how I think we're supposed to regard kids who start smoking crack after hearing that their favorite singer does it, because the kids supposedly lack the mental werewithal to know any better.

    What Trump is doing is making it okay for these assholes to act out on the beliefs and feelings they already had. He has explicitly said so -- if you attack that guy I'll pick up your legal tab. And whaddayano -- racist incidents have risen under Trump.

    Yeah, I know. But I don't regard those people as being manipulated by Trump.

    When someone says that kids might be influenced by the bad behaviour of their favorite sports stars, we're basically being asked to regard the kids as objects as pity, being manipulated into doing things they lack the ratioanlity to comprehend fully. That's not how I view a racist following a demagogue, otherwise I wouldn't be able to condemn the racist.

    I think that's too narrow a view of how the relationship between kids and their heroes works. Kids too could have an inclination to do something bad, and seeing their hero do it, could think, "Well they can do it, so can I." That's not manipulating, that's enabling.

    I shouldn't have said that people alleged kid were being manipulated by their heroes, since that implies the purpose of the heroes actions is to get the kids to behave a certain way, when in fact, they likely don't care what the kids do.

    What I meant to say was that people claim kids, lacking the full capacity for rational choice, are susceptible to imitating the actions of their heroes. I think someone else had brought up the comparison with Trump, who presumably IS trying to influence peoples' actions. I am partly open to the idea that kids lack the rationality to make good choices, but I don't buy it at all for racist Trump supporters.



  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    This kind of influence is easily seen on the football pitch. Now that players dive, roll around, argue with (and sometimes assault) officials, the kids do that too. There used to be kudos in getting up after a bad tackle and running it off and in, yes, being a hard bastard but taking your lumps if you got caught.

    There's no doubt that some children (hell, some adults) will emulate their sporting heroes in ways that are more real than idolising pop stars. Kids who are football fanatics will usually live and breathe football, talk football, read about football, and play football - in the style of their favourite players. They'll copy what they see on the pitch.

    Pop stars, okay: if the kid can play an instrument or sing, then they can copy the performance of the songs. It's unlikely that the musician they're trying to emulate is doing massive drugs and having sex with underage groupies as part of that performance.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Heard of advertising? Millions paid for celebrity endorsements? You know where the anti-vaccine ideas got their legs? Heard of "influencers", who aren't even celebrity oft-times? What about peer pressure? Adults, not just youth get swayed.

    So yes it matters. A lot. But it's not experimenting that celebs influence, it's attitude. And more influential now via all of the internet and phone multimedia, coupled with the general deterioration of communication within families as everyone texts and messages while pretending to interact with each other.

    I have indeed heard of advertising, and am aware that it probably has some power to influence peoples' purchases, votes, etc.

    Interesting thing, though, is that the exoneration of consumers and voters only ever seems to happen in the aggregate, never on the individual level. We are all aware, for example, that right-wingers spend tons of cash on swaying "public opinion" in their direction. But when someone shows up on the Ship spouting MAGA rhetoric, do we really think he needs to be treated with kid gloves, because clearly he is a vulneable person, duped by the advertisers into supporting ideas that he just doesn't understand?

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    This kind of influence is easily seen on the football pitch. Now that players dive, roll around, argue with (and sometimes assault) officials, the kids do that too. There used to be kudos in getting up after a bad tackle and running it off and in, yes, being a hard bastard but taking your lumps if you got caught.

    There's no doubt that some children (hell, some adults) will emulate their sporting heroes in ways that are more real than idolising pop stars. Kids who are football fanatics will usually live and breathe football, talk football, read about football, and play football - in the style of their favourite players. They'll copy what they see on the pitch.

    Pop stars, okay: if the kid can play an instrument or sing, then they can copy the performance of the songs. It's unlikely that the musician they're trying to emulate is doing massive drugs and having sex with underage groupies as part of that performance.

    That's a good distinction. Yeah, if you admire an athlete qua an athlete, you're probably more likely to emulate his athletic style, because you'll think that that's what makes him a good athlete, than you are to emulate his personal habits, which have nothing to do with the game and which, more often than not, the athlete is trying to keep private.

    Thinking about it, though, it's arguably NOT irrational for someone who admires an athelte to copy his playing style, if they make the connection between the style and his success as an athlete(like eg. an aspiring writer might imitate J.K. Rowling, because her style obviously brought her a lot of fame and money).

  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I think one can draw a distinction between behaviour which is flat-out illegal, like smoking crack, and behaviour where there is a spectrum between acceptable and unacceptable, such as diving in football.

    'Simulation' is a bookable offence, but it's legitimate to make match officials aware that you've been fouled. And as the line between the two is a bit subjective (cough Neymar cough), it's unsurprising that youngsters would look to footballers for guidance where the line is, and if footballers are pushing the line more towards the 'simulation' end of the spectrum, then youngsters will follow.
  • DonLogan2DonLogan2 Shipmate
    Well, to quote the Gospel of Superman, "with great power comes great responsibility".
    Should that not be the gospel of the parents?
    ...... coupled with the general deterioration of communication within families as everyone texts and messages while pretending to interact with each other.
    I can honestly say that it is the parents inability to communicate that is the problem, I regularly have conversations with a YP while they also communicate with others via a mobile phone app at the same time and they can hold both these conversations in their head at the same time, I can`t.

    (Another quote from stetson iirc) **What I meant to say was that people claim kids, lacking the full capacity for rational choice, are susceptible to imitating the actions of their heroes.**
    I also think this is a bit of a broad brushstroke, small children have the least capacity for rational choices and it is a sliding scale through to a young person and eventually an adult which could be mid 20`s to early 30`s. It is also slightly different between boys and girls too as girls seem to be more rational than boys at an earlier age (another generalisation).

    From my own perspective as a young person, 40 is years ago, I don`t think I was vulnerable or suggestable as a whole, but I was of a person seeking fun and excitement at the same time as finding my feet in the world, which to some extent made me vulnerable and suggestible but not wholly so.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    I love discussions like this.

    When advertising agencies are trying to get an account they make a pitch based on the fact that their ads will cause those who hear/ view them to be more inclined to buy the client's product.

    When that same advertising agency is told that product X cannot be advertised at a certain time or place because it may have an adverse effect on children, they counter that it won't harm the young in any way.

    So, which is it? The first implies that advertising works - the whole advertising industry is based on that. The second implies that advertising has no effect whatever.

    Gotta love these people - not.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Well, to quote the Gospel of Superman, "with great power comes great responsibility".
    That's the Gospel of Spiderman. The Gospel of Superman is "Truth, Justice, and the American Dream." Also, "Bring me your poor huddled masses", as Superman is an immigrant (an illegal immigrant in fact).

    Aghhhh. Bugger. That'll teach me to be clever. Annoyingly, I knew it was Spiderman but managed to confuse the two.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I shouldn't have said that people alleged kid were being manipulated by their heroes, since that implies the purpose of the heroes actions is to get the kids to behave a certain way, when in fact, they likely don't care what the kids do.

    The sole purpose of Popeye canned spinach was to get kids to eat canned spinach--or so the legend goes. The fact does remain that when Popeye first came out American consumption of spinach increased by a third.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    When advertising agencies are trying to get an account they make a pitch based on the fact that their ads will cause those who hear/ view them to be more inclined to buy the client's product.

    When that same advertising agency is told that product X cannot be advertised at a certain time or place because it may have an adverse effect on children, they counter that it won't harm the young in any way.

    Well, I could see an advertising agency saying it's okay to advertise beer, for example, during a period of time when pre-teens might be watching TV, on the grounds that pre-teens aren't interested in buying beer, and it would be almost impossible for them to do so anyway.

    And there'd be no contradition between that, and also telling the beer companies that they can get a good result by advertising during that time-period, if it's a time period where adults are also watching(eg. sporting events).

    If an agency were to tell toy companies that they should advertise on TV, and then turn around and argue that there should be no restrictions because kids don't follow advertising, that would be kind of nonsensical. I'm wondering if any ad agency has ever done that.

    Incidentally, a landmark case in Canadian free-speech jurisprudence was Irwin Toy Ltd. Vs. Quebec, where a toy company challenged a provincial law the probibited advertising to under-13s. The Supreme Court ruled the law was a justifiable infringement on free-speech.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I shouldn't have said that people alleged kid were being manipulated by their heroes, since that implies the purpose of the heroes actions is to get the kids to behave a certain way, when in fact, they likely don't care what the kids do.

    The sole purpose of Popeye canned spinach was to get kids to eat canned spinach--or so the legend goes. The fact does remain that when Popeye first came out American consumption of spinach increased by a third.

    Funny you should mention that, because in my case, that was definitely true. After watching Popeye a few times, I begged my mother to give me spinach.

    BUT...

    The twist in the story is that, after trying the stuff once, I absolutely hated it, and wanted nothing to do with it afterwards. Then again, I am a notoriously finnicky eater, and no amount of Madison Avenue hoopla is likely to give me a taste for something I've decided I hate.

  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    My son started using dip tobacco (something I thought only the hillbillies in "Deliverance" used) when he was a teenager, because he, as Doc Tor put it, lived and breathed baseball and a lot of the players used it. He's now 50, terrified of getting mouth cancer, but can not quit. Nobody can force sports stars to change their habits because of the example they set for kids, but it sure would be nice if they did.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I shouldn't have said that people alleged kid were being manipulated by their heroes, since that implies the purpose of the heroes actions is to get the kids to behave a certain way, when in fact, they likely don't care what the kids do.

    The sole purpose of Popeye canned spinach was to get kids to eat canned spinach--or so the legend goes. The fact does remain that when Popeye first came out American consumption of spinach increased by a third.

    Funny you should mention that, because in my case, that was definitely true. After watching Popeye a few times, I begged my mother to give me spinach.

    BUT...

    The twist in the story is that, after trying the stuff once, I absolutely hated it, and wanted nothing to do with it afterwards. Then again, I am a notoriously finnicky eater, and no amount of Madison Avenue hoopla is likely to give me a taste for something I've decided I hate.

    Personally, I hate canned spinach too. But I do like fresh spinach. Wholly different plant.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 11
    Twilight wrote: »
    My son started using dip tobacco (something I thought only the hillbillies in "Deliverance" used) when he was a teenager, because he, as Doc Tor put it, lived and breathed baseball and a lot of the players used it. He's now 50, terrified of getting mouth cancer, but can not quit. Nobody can force sports stars to change their habits because of the example they set for kids, but it sure would be nice if they did.

    Well, I am also 50 years old right now, and I think I can safely say that, had I taken up tobacco any time in my teen years(ie. the early to mid-80s), I would have done so with the full knowledge that it was connected with a whole bunch of horrible diseases.

    Which is not to say that, had things been different(eg. had I been more of a sports fan) I would have neccessarily resisted the bad example set by one of my heroes, just that I would have had to deliberately set aside my own awareness of the reality of smoking in order to do so. It would not have been like, for example, people who get duped by the anti-vax movement because they've been led to believe the medical establishment are lying: I KNEW the doctors were telling the truth about tobacco, and I think most teenagers my age did as well.

    And, for what it's worth, I later DID take up smoking, in my early 20s, because I was working with some people who smoked, and I got curious during the lunch break. And I have no one to blame but myself for that.

    (Sorry, I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, because I recognize your son's potential cancer is likely causing him and his family a lot of trauma. If it's any help, I finally quit in my mid-40s, and the only way I was able to do it was cold-turkey. Just one day, stop, and never look back. Then again, I've been told that starting later in life makes it less likely that you'll become physically addicted. No idea about the truth of that.)
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    One of the problems of taking up tobacco in one's teenage years is that it reorder the neurons of the brain. While still addictive at any stage of life, it seems to particularly hit teenagers the worst.

    Stetson says he eventually quit cold turkey, the people I have known have said even though the quit years ago it seems they still want a drag every day. Can't speak for Stetson, though.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    One of the problems of taking up tobacco in one's teenage years is that it reorder the neurons of the brain. While still addictive at any stage of life, it seems to particularly hit teenagers the worst.

    Stetson says he eventually quit cold turkey, the people I have known have said even though the quit years ago it seems they still want a drag every day. Can't speak for Stetson, though.

    Oh, believe me, I STILL want a drag every day, but the addiction is purely psychological, not physical. Well, maybe it's a bit aesthetic as well, as I do like the feel of the smoke coarsing down my throat.

    I quit numerous times before the big Eff You, and each time I fell off the wagon, it was because I liked the taste and the feel, not because I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. So that might be a difference between me and the people you know, and yeah, maybe connected to not smoking until adulthood.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Re spinach:

    Much better fresh, EXCEPT for spanikopita (a pie of phyllo dough, spinach, and feta cheese) and really good soups.
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