Bedrock values of the Flintstones

Thomas Fields-Meyer & Richard L. Meyer

March 26, 1993|By Thomas Fields-Meyer & Richard L. Meyer

IN AN announcement this month the Federal Communications Commission warned that programs such as "The Flintstones" would no longer be considered acceptable as educational programming.

Not educational?

Who's to say?

Which is a better vehicle to teach the value of family and the importance of friendship -- "The Flintstones" or, say, "Sesame Street"?

Are Bert and Ernie necessarily better role models than Fred and Barney?

Is Big Bird, a friendly oversized fowl, a better teacher than Dino, a friendly undersized dinosaur?

James H. Quello, the commission's acting chairman, suggested that if he had to choose which program to air, he'd pick "a show that was specifically meant to be educational."

But don't many of life's best lessons come from the least likely sources?

When we were kids, prehistoric Bedrock seemed just as compelling as ancient Greece or renaissance Italy.

Our parents often said watching the wrong television programs would rot our brains.

But to the contrary, we think we've come out OK, largely because of the lessons we garnered from the Modern Stone-Age Family.

To wit:

1. Never underestimate the strength of a child.

2. Never bet more than you have.

3. Wealthy oil men drive big cars.

4. Pets make excellent companions.

5. Never put super glue in a bowling ball.

6. It's possible to have pollution-free cars.

7. Never leave a child unattended.

8. Household appliances have minds of their own.

9. Never put too many items on a drive-in tray.

10. Car-pooling can work.

11. It's a good idea to remember your anniversary.

12. The little guy can beat the system.

13. Good stone walls make good neighbors.

14. Expectant fathers do crazy things.

15. Friendship is important.

Thomas Fields-Meyer is a Los Angeles writer. Richard L. Meyer is public relations man in Portland, Ore.

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