As many of you probably know, and many of you probably don’t care, my niece has young children. Good for her. The reason I’m mentioning it, is that a few days ago I decided to babysit for her. In truth I was roped into it and had no choice in the matter at all. But saying I decided on it, sounds so much better, don’t you think? Either way, there I was with a four-year-old in tow, and had to figure out what inside activity I could provide until the rain stopped. I went with, what I thought, were the classics. I broke into my stash of Looney Tunes DVD’s and selected and selected a Road Runner collection.
We sat, on the couch in my rec room and watched. Very soon, I was laughing hysterically. He was not. In fact, he seemed confused because I was laughing. I shouldn’t have done it, but I asked what the problem was. His response was that he was confused about what the message was, there were so many falling anvils, also he noted the coyote’s survival rate was unrealistic. WHAT? Now I was confused.
Believe me the rest of his response was worse. I was informed, these cartoons made no sense. It should have been obvious to anyone that if a coyote fell from a cliff, he would not survive. Likewise, it would not be okay if a fifty-pound anvil landed on his head from any significant height. Then he smugly mentioned that his favorite cartoon clearly stated a coyote can run faster than a roadrunner, but probably wouldn’t chase one anyway, because they aren’t part of his normal diet. Lastly, he told me, if I needed to know more about coyotes and other dessert animals, I should watch a show called Wild Kratts.
I was shocked, and asked him, if every show he watched had to make sense. Not only did he say yes, he indicated they should also teach him something. What the heck happened to cartoons? PBS Kids is destroying the next generation! I am appalled.
Now before some of you start to redefine me as the antichrist, let me assure you that, I am all for social justice and equality in children’s programing. In fact, I like Syd The Science Kid and WordWorld. Educational programs are wonderful and reading is important. Seriously, if kids couldn’t read, they would never be able to grow up and enjoy the important things in life, like my blog. Okay, I’m an egomaniac, but at least I know that cartoons aren’t real. Well most cartoons anyway. I mean, The Flintstones are historical fact. Right?
At this moment, I am only talking about the old-style 2D stuff. I am completely baffled by the 3D computer stuff. It looks way to real. Have you seen the trailers for the new Lion King movie? Those things look alive. It was so peculiar, that I went to the zoo the very next day, right to the warthog exhibit. They seemed much more friendly than the lions or hyenas. Anyway, I tried to talk to them for about an hour until I reassured myself that animals can’t talk. Then I saw the trailer again and was mystified once more. If that’s not real animals talking, then that’s some darn, yes, I said darn, good animation. But I digress.
You see it’s not so much the specific cartoons that bug me. It’s the trend in which everything’s going. Hey, if you want to make educational television, great, but there should also be a place for non-educational stupid cartoons, designed just for laughing. Laughing and imaginative fun are important to learn as well. And it’s not just TV that is being morphed. More and more kid’s books are taking a healthy turn as well. Not just Dr. Seuss. I’m seeing books for two-year-old’s on how to grow up. I really don’t think problems with acne, driving, and looking good on a date are overly concerning if the child isn’t potty trained. There are potty training books for tots as well, but frankly, I have changed diapers. I don’t need to read a picture book about poop. If the toddler wants to know such things let them read it.
Of course, with TV and books both moving toward social consciousness, and away from frivolous fun, can songs be far behind? No, they can’t. I have actually heard a couple. Imagine my surprise when I heard the Hokey-Pokey music, but the words were in medical terms. ♫ “Put your right metatarsals in, put your right metatarsals out, put your right metatarsals in and you move it in random ways. You do the Hokey-Pokey and rotate in a clockwise direction. That’s what it’s all about.” ♪ I was shocked, and strangely intrigued. If this is a new trend and I want to maintain my status as a trend setter, then I must join it, even if it repulses me. I need to start looking at ways to be ultra-modern. So, I updated a children’s classic. Let me know what you think in the comments.
♪♫ The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town. ♫ Now I didn’t change this. It is essentially correct. However, subsequent verses required major alteration.
♫♪The people on the bus go up and down, up and down, up and down, ♪ Then the safety department of the bus company installed seatbelts and this problem was solved.
♫♫ The driver on the bus goes “Move in back, move on back, ♪♪ This is not because of your race color or religion. You see federal law requires everyone must remain behind the yellow line while the bus is in motion.”
♫♪♪ The babies on the bus go Waa Waa Waa ♫♫ Then, luckily, two registered nurses jumped into action to establish what caused the baby’s distress while a psychologist in the back began counseling folks who became upset and mentally scarred from hearing the baby cry. I am glad to say, everyone treated is showing substantial improvement.
And this kind of stuff really happens, ♫♪♫ All Through The Toowwwwnnnnnn! ♪♫♪