PBS Kids

Friday, 21 November 2003

In reply to the post of one Mr. A-Mixed-Race-Baby-Proves-I’m-Not-A-Gay-Racist-Doesn’t-It-Well-Doesn’t-It (oh, but I kid!) about the Nazionalista Public Radio network’s general programming—at least they haven’t called Carter a traitor this year!–I offer the following. And it’s offered at the IDENTICAL level of sobriety…

Sesame Street

I don’t know when they went soft and PC. Perhaps they hired one child psychologist too many and forgot that real little kids pull the wings off insects and are extremely curious about each others genitals no matter how much the adults plug their ears and go, “La-la, la-la.” They should be showing reruns of their 1970s shows because each new audience only watches for 10 years max anyway. And another thing, if they can stack the fucking Toys “R” Us to the rafters with quivering Elmos, they can damn well pay their own way and quit taking money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Jay Jay the Jay-bird, I mean, Jet Plane

The most thinly veiled, “it’s okay to touch yourself” message ever produced for broadcast in the upbeat, downbeat, upbeat musical number: “Wing Wiggling.” But it wasn’t enough that they convey the message to children that personal secrets are okay and “wing wiggling” isn’t wrong. They had to convey that everyone has such base needs and that they are best worked out in groups. The writers and animators of this show have psychological problems. Truly. Deeply.

Teletubbies

You think I’m gonna go after them. You’re wrong. This show is freakish, repulsive, and frightening only until you see it next to an 8 month old child. At that point it becomes fucking Shakespeare. There is nothing else on TV for the 18 months and under crowd (except Boohbah from the same producer, new below). The makers should get the Medal of Honor and a Nobel Peace Prize for the countless half-hours they’ve restored to the new, criminally exhausted parents of the world.

Boohbah

Again, this is only for very young kids but Anne Wood is an unadulterated genius.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

A couple young men shot and killed someone driving past their house recently. They are blaming “Grand Theft Auto” for the murder because, they claim, it shows there are no consequences for your actions. I disagree. In “Grand Theft Auto” you do get to kill, rob, visit hookers, and participate in other New York cultural activities but you have to fight constantly to live and stay free. If you stop running or changing clothes, the cops will shoot you to death or nab you. Nobody gets through that game without dying and going to jail many, many times. “Clifford the Big Red Dog” on the other hand is responsible for that murder and those boy’s attitude. It’s just one I’m picking out but many of these kids’ programs show irresponsible, dangerous, daily kinds of behavior without consequences. It’s their very mRNA.

Cyberchase

A really good show in some ways. Teaches logic, the rare gift that you either have by 10 or you basically have no chance of ever gaining because the American public education system won’t allow it. I wish this show were more entertaining. That’s its problem—not funny, not so fun. There is nothing wrong with mixing fart jokes with analytical thought. The first show that gets that might save the next generation from knowing there even is a minimum wage.

Reading Rainbow

Nothing to go after here. Anything that gets kids to acknowledge that books exist is a good thing. Slight whiff of desperation to avoid cancellation of his 19 year hitch from Mr. Burton is a bit unappealing lately.

Barney

Fuck!

Between the Lions

Now we know where Sesame Street’s balls went. I read a review of the show where a fellow said said people had called him a Nazi for criticizing the show. Those people were wrong to say such a mean and inaccurate thing. Disliking “Between the Lions” doesn’t make one a Nazi but a retard.

George Shrinks

This show is a great start to making sure children have trouble learning physics.

Caillou

Caillou, the brainwashed little Canadian special education cancer patient, reeks of pride in indoctrinating children to be good little room and plate cleaning automatons. It’s a perfect training-wheel training video for the Future Cube Farmers of America. You’re a good little bald boy if you do as your told and keep your imagination where it belongs, pent up for the day when you’re an experimental physician with a concentration camp full of children of your own.

Zoom

I only mention this show because I want to write about Caroline. There, I’ve done it and I haven’t broken any laws.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

This man died not long ago. February. All of the sudden it feels like it just happened today and I’m 6 years old again. It’s a testament to Bill Cosby’s class and grace that almost his entire acceptance speech for the “Bob Hope Humanitarian Award” was about Fred. No other man in the world has ever been more supportive of children, more aware of how scary it can be to be small in a giants’ world. No one else has ever been able to look directly into a television camera and tell children it’s alright to wet your bed and crap your pants, it has nothing to do with who you are. No one else will ever be able to make up for more shitty parenting in the world in just 30 minutes. No one else has ever told every child in North America that they are loveable.

Corporate hooks in the meat sponsorship

Much, if not all, of the PBS programming for children now has private corporate sponsorship other than the CPB. They get to air carefully crafted self-promoting missives in return. Among the many tag lines that squeal to be answered is AOL’s. Their sponsorship comes with the parental soporific: “AOL helps kids to find new things to be curious about everyday.” Yeah, that’s right, the Internet is a great place for kids to learn: “Mommy, what are ruby showers?”

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