- This is a very short commentary that was done for a school assignment in a 2002 community-college course on popular culture. The paper got me a B, probably for bothering to turn something in but the subject being too obscure to merit an A. - Scott
To the ongoing talk surrounding youth sports, it would seem that there has been added another presentation. One worth paying attention to, both for its entertainment value and the moral questions it poses. In the film Race Across New Zealand, an episode of Nickelodeon's popular "Rocket Power" cartoon series, the main characters go on a trip and enter an Amazing Race-style athletic competition. They are happy to do this for reasons that satisfy them: adventure, fun, something different to do. But when the hero's father confronts an old rival, the dynamics at work take a Shakespearian turn: He starts to groom his son as an instrument of retribution, while ignoring any value his daughter can offer to advance the group's cause. In fact it takes a mutiny by her (the sailboard incident) to shake their father back to his senses, so that the team can pull together to concentrate on salvaging a victory. Any adult that would seek to involve their child or anyone else's in organized activities should view this movie.