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Yes!! I like Jim already! Someone who loves and can seriously talk about Ninja Turtles!

Or the “Hero Turtles”. That’s what the comic book was called in Britain (and most of the rest of Europe). From what I’ve been able to find on the web, “Ninja” was fine as long as it was just a comic book marketed to teens and adult nerds, but when the Saturday morning cartoon arrived, “Ninja” was considered too violent a word for the children that the cartoon was marketed for.

They had a problem with Michaelangelo, too. The cartoon had a bunch of edits because the censors also had a problem with his nunchaku. Leonardo’s swords, Raphael’s Sai, and Donatello’s bo staff were fine. But Mikey *using* his nunchaku? Oh, they couldn’t let the kids see that! So they edited every scene where Mikey starts swinging his weapon around, which caused a lot of continuity problems (“the kids won’t notice”… trust me, I know a guy from London. He said when he was five years old, he definitely noticed.)

The toys and video games didn’t censor the nunchaku. Apparently video games weren’t considered important enough to bother censoring (not back then, anyway)… and you’d think that instead of picking on Mikey’s nunchaku, they would’ve censored the swords or sai or sharp pointy objects designed to stick people with, right? In a bit of irony, in the recent Nickelodeon version, they DO censor the swords on several occasions.

I have no idea why the censors in the UK had such a vendetta for nunchaku. They censored Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” in the same way… In the scene where Bruce infiltrates Han’s underground base, he smacks the crap out of the guards and then grabs a pair of nunchakus. Bruce then does the iconic scene where he shows off his prowess with the nunchaku. The entire scene was cut by the BBC censors, so in the UK, Bruce went from beating up guards, to suddenly running into a trap in the next scene. But they had no problem at all with the scene where Bruce gets cut with Han’s metal claw.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t work in the censorship business, because if I did, plenty of things would get released that kids shouldn’t see. In my mind, it’s the parents’ responsibility to monitor what their kids watch on TV and play as video games; it shouldn’t be up to a group of people sitting around a table deciding what’s appropriate and what isn’t. I know that when I’m a parent (someday), I’ll be keeping an eye on what my kids watch, and if I think it’s not good for them to watch, then they won’t watch it. I’m not going to let some dumbass in a suit decide what’s good for my child to watch, because if it was up to them, my children would probably only watch something like Barney for the rest of their lives. (Now THERE’S a show that can turn a child into a psychopath.)

I have to wonder (hopefully not spoiling any new readers here), how did Merial and Jim (and Greg too) figure each other’s secrets after meeting each other?

The comment about censorship and parenting kinda hit home, even though both my kids (both of them girls) are fully grown and moved out more than twenty years ago.

I believe in minimum censorship, and fully believe that my kids could (and maybe even should) read anything that I could. Of course, that’s mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. But it also includes lots of movies and videos – I was surprised one time when they were watching a vampire movie that was also a porno flick titled “Dracula Sucks!”. OK, that one was a bit over the top, but I told them to invite me next time. They never did (sigh).

In any case, my daughters have become successful. One is a Teacher, and the other is a computer nerd. …and cansorship had nothing to do with their success. Having parents that were interested in doing stuff with them and helping them with schoolwork did.

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