Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Punch me in the face, Guido

Or: Old Guy Rants, Dog Bites Man, and the Media Likes Democrats

Kids movies these days are infinitely better than the ones I grew up with (which, honestly, I can't even remember). Like Lileks, I am a big fan of Pixar's recent output, including Cars (and even after son #1 has forced us to watch them all, oh, a gazillion bajillion times).

But the TV shows? I'll admit that the stuff I watched, aside from Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, wasn't exactly top-quality educational material. But I desperately need somebody to kick me in the head, because I have the theme from the dumbest "educational" kids show ever devised stuck there. And the whole time it's there, it just makes me madder that that particular show exists.

Parents, you might know the show product: Little Einstein. How is it that the one program that by reputation is supposed to help kids learn, is actually the dumbest thing on kids TV next to Teletubbies? (Is that even still on?) I'll grant you, maybe it helps get kids to understand music a tad better; but if so, it's at the expense of minor little things like technology, physics, behavior, reading, speaking... the list goes on.

And meanwhile it features characters who SHOUT.... SLOWLY, like they're talking to just the half-deaf dumb kids in the audience. Oh, and needlessly breaks the laws of common sense and physics with every dull "adventure," all the while making the implicit claim that they're helping teach your kid something.

And also all the while: making it very clear that they think your kid is dumber than rocks.

The latest example: spending 10 minutes on making your FLYING FREAKING SHIP with MAGIC GODDAMN ROBOTIC ARMS drain a river into 4 or 5 small jugs to keep a box from floating over a waterfall. Even my 2-year-old son, who gets his hand stuck inside a yogurt container relatively frequently, could look at that and say "I think I see a better way out of this." But because it's animated TV, he doesn't, and that bothers the hell out of me.

Where was I? Oh yeah, somebody smack me in the face and get that stupid theme out of my head before I melt down even more about trivial shit (like, er, my son's brain development).

No comments: