Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Hate The Wonder Pets (And Dora Too)

Especially because they are some of my kid's favorite shows.

Wonder Pets is about three caged pets who live in a schoolhouse and sneak out after hours to save baby animals. The show is centered around the theme of working together. After the Wonder Pets save their designated baby animal the parent magically appears to thank the Wonder Pets and they all share a stalk of celery.

The Wonder Pets are contrasted against Ollie the Bunny. Ollie is a rogue individualist who manages to screw everything up 'cause he doesn't understand the enormous value of consensus and eating celery.

In other words, Wonder Pets is collectivist vegan propaganda.

I mean seriously, who enjoys eating raw celery? Great for soups but raw? That's only for vegans and masochists, but I repeat myself.

And then there's "educational" television like Dora or Sesame Street. Educational television is an oxymoron.

No kid is going to learn Spanish or counting by watching Dora the Explorer. My kid is bilingual because he has to interact in English and Czech every day. Interaction being the key component. Television is passive entertainment. Always has been, always will be, it is the nature of the medium. Arguing on the internet is more intellectually challenging than watching documentaries about relativity or evolution.

Actually, there's nothing really wrong with these shows, because they are just entertainment. I don't think Wonder Pets is going to turn my kid into a vegan socialist and I don't think Dora is going to teach my kid Spanish or how to count no matter how hard they try.

But any parent who thinks that it's OK for a kid to zone out in front of the TV as long as they are watching educational shows is seriously deluding themselves. Zoning out in front of the TV has it's time and place but it is always just zoning out in front of the TV.

UPDATE: For a more serious discussion of this see here.

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