Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Somewhere Barney Weeps

To buy me a couple of minutes to get some important things done around the house (like sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing) I rented a couple of DVD’s from the library for Landon to watch. Recently we were on a trip in my sister in law’s car and Landon was riveted by the Baby Einstein® (ha-HA! No copyright infringement here!) DVD’s the kids were watching. I was hoping to repeat this experience at home with me as the beneficiary. And it’s worked, except not in the way I thought it would.

Today I put on Veggie Tales Do the Moo Shoo Sing Along and in the beginning Landon started to dance to the music – and by dance I mean he stuck his little bum out and started jerk-hopping on his tippy-toes. Very similar to how he looks when he poops – but after a minute or two he went right back to his toys and would only occasionally look up again at the screen.

I, on the other hand, was intrigued (I was sitting on the couch doing nothing anyway). The only thing I knew previously about Veggie Tales was that they did something with Bible stories. But as I watched, I saw a cucumber singing “On the day I got my tooth/ I had to kiss my Great Aunt Ruth/ She had a beard/ And it felt weird”. I don’t remember that Bible story anywhere. Maybe it’s apocryphal. It didn’t matter – I was hooked. I ended up watching the whole DVD while Landon couldn’t care less and played with a lighter (ha ha! Just seeing if you were reading. I promise. Really).

Kid’s entertainment has become so sophisticated these days, possibly to the detriment of the kids, but definitely to the benefit of the parents (aren’t we a part of the “me” generation anyway? Now here’s a trophy just for being you). I bet it’s because the people making kid’s shows these days remember watching Barney and Teletubbies when they were younger and were like “there’s no way I’m subjecting myself to that crap a second time around”. Along with interjecting wry humor, there’s even some satirical political and social commentary, such as this proletariat anthem:

I wonder if all this adult-laced kid’s humor will create a new breed of child, one who takes his juice straight and can’t start his day unless he’s read the Wall Street Journal – Illustrated Edition on his smart phone. Instead of the usual playground banter about being a poo-poo head and sissy, kids will charge the classroom bully with being Hawkish and call the kid who can’t share an Elitist. And Glenn Beck if they’re really mad.

I’m not sure that I want our children's childhood to be tossed aside so quickly in favor of the real world. I think I would rather have them retain some innocence and ignorance. Maybe Barney and his creepy I love you/You love me motto is the best way to go. But to be honest, right now I’m having too much fun watching Veggie Tales and Landon’s poop dance to worry.

1 comment:

  1. "Gated Community" --one of my favorites.

    I love your take on modern TV programming for kids. It's true and it's funny.

    But we do watch Barney here at our house.