This 4.17 Newsweek piece by Jesse Ellison actually argues that Earth, Disneynature’s watered-down feature version of BBC’s Planet Earth miniseries doc, is too unsettling for kids to be rated G. That’s because it contains sequences that imply (but don’t show) that a Caribou calf and a baby elephant are killed due to natural forces and circumstances. Coddle much?

When I was three years old I saw a neighbor chop a chicken’s head off, and then watched as the chicken’s body ran around a bit with the arterial blood spurting out. I was a little bit freaked by this, sure, but I didn’t faint and probably learned something from it also. What did I learn? Uhm…the meaning of the phrase “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”?

Not long after a little black cocker spaniel puppy who belonged to a little neighborhood girlfriend of mine was run over by a garbage truck. The poor thing had been flattened into a black puppy pancake with the guts splattered and the tongue sticking way out. I’ll never forget that tongue. The episode taught me that life can end in a blink of an eye. It was awful to see — traumatic is the word — but it also made me a little stronger, I think, or at least a little tougher.

As I wrote on 3.25, “Parents are realizing that they haven’t done their kids any favors by funding a cut-off, over-indulged fantasy realm for them to live in.

“Kids need to grow up and grim up and learn the realities and skills and disciplines that will allow them to survive. So enough with the Spielberg-aping films that portray a child’s world as a magical-fantastical kingdom in and of itself that adults might be able to learn something from.”