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What was controversial when you were growing up?

IsmiLiora

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The Pokemon/Harry Potter thread made me think a little bit about this. What were the major cultural controversies (books, movies, television shows, music) when you were growing up, that you specifically remember? We have a wide range of ages on the board, so if a lot of people respond, it will be fun to see what the bugaboos were during that era. There are probably a ton of them!

And no listing a controversial movie that was released when you were four. Most people tend to exaggerate their knowledge of certain eras. Let's go with when you were anywhere from 7 to 15 or so.

I can only recall a few right now from the mid to late '90s.

Power Rangers -- I went to Catholic school and we were eventually banned from playing Power Rangers on the play ground. I was always Trini because I am Asian. :) (I wanted to be Kimberly SO BADLY, though. But I was never the pretty white girl.)

Aqua's "Barbie Girl." -- I guess it was the racy lyrics in the song that got the parents up-in-arms where I lived. But we sang it and watched the video regardless.

Magic Cards -- I was a bit older when this happened, around 11 or so, but this caused a lot of hand-wringing at my school. The guys would play it constantly, and the teachers eventually confiscated all of their cards.

Archie Comic books -- this is very localized, but it became the fad one year to bring them into class. The students would sneak them into their desks and the teachers would just walk around and take them. I don't remember why these particular comic books stirred up so much trouble.

Tamagotchi -- enough said. Our parents worried that we were worrying over stupid beeping electronic toys, and we had them taken away from us when we decided to feed our babies during phonics class. Random beeping in the middle of exams was hilarious.
 

IsmiLiora

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Mortal Kombat. Nuff said. (I definitely played that. I don't know why. I would NOT play that now.)

Okay, need to go back to work and stop reminiscing.  :D
 

JamesRottnek

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Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Harry Potter.  I don't really know how Digimon managed to avoid attack.
 

bogdan

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A few I recall offhand:

- R. L. Stine books ("Goosebumps" series) were banned at my middle school after some students bought them through the Scholastic catalog. I think this is good, because they strike me as total crap. Middle-school-age children once read the great classics; they don't need to rot their brains on sugar water.

- Harry Potter became a pretty big deal at my church, and Star Wars Episode I was condemned from the pulpit (because of the "Force", paganism, etc). I never got into Harry Potter, but I do remember snickering at the Star Wars bit.

- The "Roseanne" TV show was absolutely forbidden at my house after some off-color jokes about Christianity were made.

- There was also a general ban on popular music. To this day I'm grateful my parents had this rule.

- Also banned at my middle school: toy lightsabers. Mostly because we started having all-out wars (complete with bathrobes, at times) and the teachers thought we would all hurt each other.
 

montalo

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praise and worship of orthonorm




(i keed, i keed)
 

IsmiLiora

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bogdan said:
A few I recall offhand:

- R. L. Stine books ("Goosebumps" series) were banned at my middle school after some students bought them through the Scholastic catalog. I think this is good, because they strike me as total crap. Middle-school-age children once read the great classics; they don't need to rot their brains on sugar water.
YES, I remember that, too! I thought the books were awful so my parents didn't have to deal with that. His stuff for teens was more controversial.
 

Byron

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Dungeons and dragons promoting satanism.
Metallica causing suicide via sub liminal messages. Most heavy metal was also condemned as satanic.
Graphic AIDS awareness/prevention ads.
Increasing violence/nudity in fims and tv.
that's all i can think of for the moment.
Surely the 80s had more controversies.
 

Seth84

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Roseanne - Her family was a bad influence.  Never allowed to watch it.
The Simpsons - Same as above.  Never allowed to watch it.
Dungeons and Dragons - I was told that someone became convinced that D&D was evil and they threw the game into the fire place and screams came out of the fire.
Rock Music -Backmasking.  Parents finally gave in after my relentless assaults.
Pogs - Kids at school were stealing them from other kids or were winning all of another kids pogs and parents were complaining.
Dawson's Creek - Sexual innuendos and Joey sometimes slept in Dawson's room.
Nine Inch Nails - "Closer" video.  Scandalous then, scandalous now.
O.J. Simpon - :)
John Wayne and Lorena Bobbit - My mother used to threaten my dad with that.  She would call him Bobbit when she was mad at him.
Ren and Stimpy - Adult TV being marketed to kids.
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar album and MTV performance of "The Beautiful People".
Magic Cards - Evil.
Bump and grind dancing - School dances had to be canceled.
Amy Grant - Divorced and married Vince Gill.  My mom talked about that for months.
Showgirls - Jesse Spano from Saved by the Bell turned into a "lady of the night."  Everyone talked about that one.  Found it in the VCR when it was released on VHS.  I was so scandalized that my dad had rented it.  To this day he doesn't know that I know.
 

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my parents were pretty laid back about what we could and couldn't watch/listen too.  They were Christians and very active in our church, but they just didn't see the point of regulating every aspect of our lives. 

Now this is going to age me a bit because I do remember that "Three's Company" was a huge deal when it first came out because it was the first show where a man was living with 2 women (even though it was totally platonic).  I don't know if I was told explicitly not to watch it, but there seemed to be an understanding.  Honestly, it probably had more to do with my grandmother's reaction than my mom's. 

I also remember Dungeons and Dragons became a big deal at some point in my youth  - or at least came onto the radar for me.  But, it didn't really interest me much.

I'm sure there were other things that got people's knickers in a twist but I can't remember them off hand.
 

Quinault

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Wow, I am really showing my age (and the fact that I have 4 big brothers) but here you go:

Smurfs; Gargamel apparently was saying "real spells."

Masters of the Universe aka HeMan and SheRa- apparently it was demonic

Puffed rice/oats (you name it) apparently it killed lab rats

MTV- I watched the first episode when it came on the air. It was a BIG deal that videos were going to kill music.

D&D- people apparently took it too literally and killed other people

Metal/Rock in general-

All secular music- there was this "documentary" called "Hell's Bells" that I was forced to watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKIQ7T-t_V4

Homosexuality- there were pickets scheduled regularly against homosexuality by the Assemblies of God. I didn't understand then (not do I now) how holding up signs about how evil homosexuality is when you are yourself fornicating.

Abortion- Right to life pickets were scheduled almost monthly and I was forced to go to every single one.

 

vamrat

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Beavis and Butthead.  South Park.  N.W.A.
 

brandb

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I had friends who weren't allowed to watch Scooby Doo because of "ghosts" and such. Even though at the end we always found out they weren't really ghosts....  ???

My parents wouldn't for the life of me allow me to watch Sailor Moon after we went Pentecostal.  :-\ (That has long since changed.) I loved that show.
 

Asteriktos

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Beavis and Butthead is the only thing I can think of.
 

Asteriktos

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One other one I forgot... Murphy Brown. Lulz at that being controversial.
 
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brandb said:
My parents wouldn't for the life of me allow me to watch Sailor Moon after we went Pentecostal.  :-\ (That has long since changed.) I loved that show.
Was it the lesbianism or the transsexualism which was upsetting?
 

Alpo

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My personal favourite is infant baptism and Lutheranism in general. Many Finnish Pentecostals seemed to genuinely believe that Lutherans teach that baptism saves even without faith in Christ. That's an accoplishment since almost 90% of Finns are Lutherans so information about Lutheran doctrine is readily available.
 

Crucifer

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Guess how old I am: when I was growing up "long" hair on men and boys was controversial; long was anything below the ear.
 

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akimori makoto said:
brandb said:
My parents wouldn't for the life of me allow me to watch Sailor Moon after we went Pentecostal.  :-\ (That has long since changed.) I loved that show.
Was it the lesbianism or the transsexualism which was upsetting?
I actually didn't make it that far into the series when most of that stuff really got going.
 

Iconodule

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Dungeons and Dragons. There was a point where the parents and teachers in my area (which was not even close to Bible belt) regarded almost any fantasy or imaginative literature as potentially "Satanic." Things got really moronic- my friend was forbidden from reading The Hobbit in school. Dungeons and Dragons was always public enemy #1 though.
 

bogdan

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Something to add: the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Starr Report. I knew that President Clinton had done something wrong, and I assumed it was something sexual, but my parents never talked about it and always turned off the TV or radio when it was mentioned. It was all very hush-hush.

It was kind of a haze until I read about it years later. And in this too, I think my parents judged rightly. There is no reason for kids to know about such things, least of all from a presidential scandal.
 

IsmiLiora

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Ionnis said:
Amy Grant - Divorced and married Vince Gill.  My mom talked about that for months.
YES! It was weird, I actually watched a biopic on Amy Grant when I was young (this was before the divorce, I believe). I saw Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the screen together for "House of Love," and somewhere I KNEW there was something going on between the two of them. I will always remember that because I wasn't aware that my intuition for that kind of thing was developed at age 7 or whenever I watched it. I remember thinking, "And she's married! Why does she love him? He sounds like a girl!"  :laugh:

But I wasn't aware of how scandalous it was until I talked to people in the evangelical churches when I was 18. Apparently they were all very, very disappointed in her divorce and her sojourn into pop music. More than 10 years later and they could still talk about that subject like it happened yesterday.

Keep 'em coming, guys!
 

Crucifer

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The Vietnam War. I can still remember my uncle taking me to a demo and the chant:
"Hey, Hey! LBJ! How many boys did you kill today!"




the LBJ in question was not LeBron James ;)
 

Heorhij

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I grew up in the 1960's and the 1970's on the other side of the Iron Curtain, so to me and my friends/classmates, pretty much everything that came from the "decadent West" was declared controversial by our teachers and supervisors.

For example, we (boys) were not allowed to grow our hair long. Imagine our anguish in the 1970's. Our idols from the West were all long-haired.

Also, we had a rock band in my school, where kids played electric guitars, harmonicas, and drums. But our school principal only allowed them to show up at our school events on the condition that at least one song will be Soviet and patriotic.

Pretty much everything religious was controversial. I sang in a boys' choir, and our repertoire included Bach and Pergolesi; but we had to "dilute" this 18th century "religious music" by contemporary Soviet songs about Lenin, Communist Party, the wonderful Soviet Army etc.

A wide variety of articles and books published by the so-called Samizdat (i.e. not in the official Soviet publishing houses) were controversial, as was listening to Western radio broadcasts in Russian. Everyone knew that everyone was reading Samizdat and listening to the Voice of America, BBC or Deutsche Welle, it was a secret of Polichinel; and yet, one could not talk about that openly in public.
 

vamrat

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Heorhij said:
I grew up in the 1960's and the 1970's on the other side of the Iron Curtain, so to me and my friends/classmates, pretty much everything that came from the "decadent West" was declared controversial by our teachers and supervisors.

For example, we (boys) were not allowed to grow our hair long. Imagine our anguish in the 1970's. Our idols from the West were all long-haired.

Also, we had a rock band in my school, where kids played electric guitars, harmonicas, and drums. But our school principal only allowed them to show up at our school events on the condition that at least one song will be Soviet and patriotic.

Pretty much everything religious was controversial. I sang in a boys' choir, and our repertoire included Bach and Pergolesi; but we had to "dilute" this 18th century "religious music" by contemporary Soviet songs about Lenin, Communist Party, the wonderful Soviet Army etc.

A wide variety of articles and books published by the so-called Samizdat (i.e. not in the official Soviet publishing houses) were controversial, as was listening to Western radio broadcasts in Russian. Everyone knew that everyone was reading Samizdat and listening to the Voice of America, BBC or Deutsche Welle, it was a secret of Polichinel; and yet, one could not talk about that openly in public.
My professor in College said that she had a crudely typed copy of Animal Farm that her father found one time...
 

Crucifer

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also, girls wearing slacks in public. one of classmates in 3rd grade was sent home with a note for her mother explaining that slacks were inapropriate for girls and to bring her back in a skirt.
 

Quinault

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IsmiLiora said:
Ionnis said:
Amy Grant - Divorced and married Vince Gill.  My mom talked about that for months.
YES! It was weird, I actually watched a biopic on Amy Grant when I was young (this was before the divorce, I believe). I saw Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the screen together for "House of Love," and somewhere I KNEW there was something going on between the two of them. I will always remember that because I wasn't aware that my intuition for that kind of thing was developed at age 7 or whenever I watched it. I remember thinking, "And she's married! Why does she love him? He sounds like a girl!"  :laugh:

But I wasn't aware of how scandalous it was until I talked to people in the evangelical churches when I was 18. Apparently they were all very, very disappointed in her divorce and her sojourn into pop music. More than 10 years later and they could still talk about that subject like it happened yesterday.

Keep 'em coming, guys!
The Christian music industry is not very forgiving, nor are they honest. They like to leave off the part about Gary Chapman being an abusive cocaine addict. CCM is also selective about who to blackball for adultery. They didn't really bat an eye when the darling Sandy Patty committed adultery. Michael English received a Dove award the same year his affair came out.
 

Ansgar

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Nothing in my lifetime but I have heard that in the sixties when Denmark became the first country in the world to allow pornography and when free abortion became legal, there ware huge protests in the streets of Copenhagen. hundreds of christians and concerned parents walked together with the clergy to stop this 'great evil'.

Also at one moment a danish filmmaker tried to make a movie about Jesus involving porn which actually caused christians from several countries around the world to protest. Danish embassies were attacked and angry letters from as far as the pacific ocean were sent to Denmark.
 

biro

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Rolling up your pants legs. No, seriously. My mother thought it tied into 'starting fights' or something.  ??? ??? ??? My brother said it was cool and taught me how to roll the cuffs to a crisp point. Whenever I did, mine always unravelled.  :-[ Anyway, my Mom still beat the crap out of me.
 

mark thomas

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From age 7 to 15? Lemme see...
Politics:
A little thing called Watergate? Nixon's resignation; withdrawal from Viet Nam; opening
trade with China; Roe v. Wade

Music:
I was a little young for it, but: Woodstock. Also, Alice Cooper, and Ozzie Osborne. Something called "Acid Rock". Oh, and the breakup of the Beatles. (I was not permitted to listen to Rock and Roll, that was "Hippy Music". I was forced to listen to Classical - which I might be thankfull for, except my father's idea of classical music was theme music from Cecil B. DeMille movies.)

Religion: Personally, I was never in a Church or heard a word read from the Bible between the age of seven and fifteen, but: Van Daniken and his Chariots of the Gods created a pretty big stir! Also, ESP and Ouija boards were topics of controversy.

Oh...and I remember some mouthy guy named Mohammed Ali that was pretty controversial...
 
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