Kid Nation Manifesto

A specter is haunting network television- the specter of Kid Nation. As bad an idea as this show seemed, I'll admit it was an intriguing premise. Leave some kids in a ghost town and let them create their own town. It sounded like a psych experiment from the 50's, one no one could do today, but one that would actually give some useful results. I was mostly disappointed by the producers decisions to interfere and manipulate the seemingly open-ended premise into into every other reality show.

The first day the kids seemed like they would be able to create a successful society, with everyone finding a specialized niche that they could fill. The older, bigger kids took care of pulling the supply carts into town. The girl who had some cooking experience took over the kitchen (after some idiot kids filled a pot to the top with macaroni, then added water, and then tried cooking it). Those who had experience with animals milked the goats (really). Everyone got fed. Their society looked like it would settle into a stable dynamic. A stable, socialist society.

Then the producers decided to mess with them. And the kids were too naive to refuse to go along with the overt manipulation. The kids were told to divide into four separate groups. Why? Because. Not surprisingly, rivalry between groups developed instantly. Then the groups had to compete to decide the social class of each group. The upper class got 1.00 of spending money, and got no assigned work. The merchant class got 0.50 for light work. The cooks got 0.25 for cooking all the meals. And the laborers got 0.10 for doing manual labor. [Their daily wages can be spent on goods at the town candy shop.]

After this episode, I am hoping the kids in the lower three classes will decide not to feed the upper class unless they agree to share the workload and share their wages. I think this is the inevitable outcome for this show. The other kids can't be that stupid that they don't realize the unfairness of the situation.

I did correctly predict that the kids would be smart enough to choose the outhouses over a TV when they were offered the choice. And I predict that there will be a socialist revolution before the end of October. (Although they could go another direction toward Anarchy. Or the older kids could impose feudalism. They do have some options.)

Of course, I'm sure the producers decided from the start how they wanted the show to develop, and they will likely continue directing things. So the October revolution may never come. Anyway, despite my moral objection to exploiting children and putting there safety at risk for entertainment, I will be watching to see how this turns out (and to laugh at how stupid the kids are).

Let the upper class tremble at a Kid Nation revolution. The laborers and cooks have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a television show to win.



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