Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kid Nation - When Growing Up Is Hard - Guylan Speaks

Photo of the "Pioneers" of Kid Nation. Guylan: Age 11 lays-in-wait at the back of the hall to time his move (he is the one in the knit cap next to the kid with the black hair). Image Credit: Kid Nation (Manhattan Project) - CBS

Kid Nation - When Growing Up Is Hard - Guylan Speaks

Kid Nation is an interesting concept IF it were as advertised ... but it is not.

The producers want you to believe that NO ADULTS are involved in the way these volunteer kids (at $5,000 apiece if they stay - and the possibility of a $20,000 Gold Star if they are liked by others) decide the influences of their Bonanza village experience.

This just is not true. In every episode, a new twist is introduced via a faked up town journal known as the Pioneer Journal that the producers represent to the viewing audience and to the kids as being left behind by the original members of the Town Council of Bonanza City of 1885. The Pioneer Journal is a pure invention of the producers on which they base the episodes events.

This week is the episode we all (the viewing audience) are introduced to the wild card kid of the bunch – Guylan: Age 11.

To really understand why this show needs Guylan: Age 11 is to begin to understand that a group of kids usually find their own way without much confrontation. Most kids want to conform because they would like to feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves … but not Guylan: Age 11. Guylan: Age 11 is a professed admirer of Fidel Castro and he is an atheist.

The producers need him on which to build interest and drama because he does not feel anyone else – no person, no higher power, no higher natural order, no other power of people – nothing is more important to ones destiny than oneself.

Guylan: Age 11 is finally introduced to the viewing audience in the first minutes of episode #104 (the fourth episode). His first words are as follows:

“Really? What? That’s understandable, yeah.”

Producer’s video diary with Guylan: Age 11 –

“Personally, I don’t want religion to be a large part of my own destiny. I think the only person in charge of your own destiny is yourself.”

Reading of the "Pioneer Journal". - Image Credit: Kid Nation (Manhattan Project) - CBS

The producers purposely placed this dialog and video diary in front of the reading of the Pioneer Journal because it became a little less inflammatory as it relates to the subject dictated by the producers via this episode’s reading of the “1885 Pioneer Journal” - RELIGION!

This episode was designed to challenge the way each of these kids were raised – their perceptions, their customs, their ethics, their religion, their culture – all of which had been passed down to them with varying degrees of success by these kids parents.

This excerpted/edited from the Kid Nation website –

Bless Us And Keep Us Safe
[episode #104 recap]

Religion and issues of faith are on the minds of many of Kids in Bonanza City.

While Morgan poses the question of whether God brought the Kids to Bonanza City for a reason, Jared shares with Guylan how he has been called terrible things because he is Jewish.

At breakfast, Colton, Eric, Zach, and some other Kids get into a heated discussion over Christianity and Judaism.

Religious and political strife come to Bonanza City when the Council dictates that all of the Kids attend a group religious service [the idea as dictated to the Council through the 1885 town journal]. When the Towns Kids refuse to attend the service, the Council Leaders are left disappointed.

As Kids of different faiths bicker with each other, it seems as though the town might fracture until Morgan unites the arguing groups by holding a relaxed town bonfire where Kids of different faiths bond together in common prayer.
----
“Do you think God put us here for a reason?”
[episode #104 producers narrative detail]

Religion and issues of faith are on the minds of many of Kids in Bonanza City. While Morgan poses the question of whether God brought the Kids to Bonanza City for a reason, Jared shares with Guylan how he has been called terrible things because he is Jewish. At breakfast, Colton, Eric, Zach, and some other Kids get into a heated discussion over Christianity and Judaism.

After bringing a little law and order to Bonanza City in the form of a town curfew, Anjay, Laurel, Mike and Taylor are nervous to see what the Pioneer Journal says next. Their next challenge presents itself in the form of a passage about the Pioneers’ problems with religion in the 1880s. The Journal suggests the Town hold religious services to feed the soul, but the Council must decide whether to hold one large service for all religions, or to split the services up by religion.
Reference Here>>

This sequence-of-events are not natural. Religion and bigotry do not pop-up out of nowhere. Kids generally do not ask about ones religion unless the subject is introduced. Enter the Pioneer Journal!

It is easy to notice right away that the producers do not want facts to get in the way of the drama – where is video journal dialog from Guylan: Age 11 in the preceeding text? Where are the attitude and beliefs of Guylan: Age 11 in the opening scene description?

NOWHERE!

The reading of the Pioneer Journal and the casting are the tools by which Kid Nation will eventually “TEACH” the viewing public what the producers want to “TEACH” the viewing public. The truth about Kid Nation is that this effort is not about the kids … it is about what the producers want to “TEACH” the viewing public.

What we need to be taught is that religion is what kills all humanity!

What we need to be taught is that a simple religious service is not that simple.

What we need to be taught is (inadvertently) fear and selfishness come from ignorance and the lack of a defined and developed spiritual core belief.

So, Okay, Jonathan, the Jeff Probst wanna-be non-ADULT organizer of the district (team) showdown (competitions), opens up the scene with this quote:

“Pioneers, gather up! It’s time for your next showdown.”

“You guys have thought a lot about religion, lately, and that is part of what this showdown is about.”


Who introduced the subject of religion to these kids and their experience at Bonanza City in the first place? (the producers)

The showdown is about to begin and we are treated to another video diary entry by none other than Guylan: Age 11 ... and he says:

“I want that dang reward! I don’t know what it is, but I want the reward!

The showdown is completed by all districts in the allotted time so the reward is earned, however it comes down to a Town Council choice between a miniature golf course set up in the middle of town.

Cut To Guylan: Age 11 in video diary:

Bingo! Coooool! (in excitement)

Or a library of “Holy Books” (Torah, Bible, Koran, Hindi text, and etc.).

The Town Council did what all great leadership organizations do – they abdicated their decision to a vote of the rest of the kids of Bonanza City.

To the surprise of most of the kids, the kids voted to have as a reward the religious text. They were able to be entertained way beyond a simple game of miniature golf.

Last excerpt from the Kid Nation website –

Morgan (green bandana) leads pioneer kids in Bonanza City in a group prayer meeting. The Town Council takes note of Morgan’s leadership and continuing hard work for Bonanza City, awarding her the fourth Gold Star. Image Credit: Kid Nation (Manhattan Project) - CBS

“That’s a lot of buffalo nickels.”

The Kids wipe away tears as they mourn Cody’s departure from Bonanza City, but the mood in the Town Hall quickly brightens when the Council selects Morgan as the fourth Gold Star Pioneer! Overwhelmed with gratitude, Morgan tells the other Kids, “I think that I have the best friends in the world and I’ll never leave you, I promise.” Everyone is happy for Morgan as all of the Kids applaud the success of the kind girl from the Green District.

Morgan excitedly calls her Mom and Dad with her wonderful news; her parents are proud of her accomplishment, but are mainly overjoyed just to hear her voice. Morgan’s Dad says, “I would think that Morgan got the Gold Star because of her helpfulness. That’s just who she is.”

Reference Here>>

Guylan: Age 11 is shown again for one last time in a preview as the voice over describes the focus of the next episode – Politics!

With great conviction and determination, Guylan: Age 11 states in yet another video diary:

“It’s time for a change!”

We, at MAXINE, believe that there is a larger power working here and it is the agenda of the production staff of Kid Nation. We can not wait to see what we know is coming.

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