Monday, December 5, 2011

When Did Captain Hook Become Such a Little Bitch Boy?

In the beginning, I resisted it.

Children's programming.

It's kind of awful. And besides that... okay I don't want to use the word "sellout", but I was sure I wouldn't become one of those parents whose kid was brainwashed into needing everything they own to have Winnie the Goddamn Pooh on it.

Before I found my better-than-Jesus babysitter, you may remember that my sister, A., was Caitlyn's babysitter. A.'s baby shower was baby Looney Tunes. My other sister's was Minnie Mouse. In the way of not bowing to licensed merchandise, I was certainly the odd one out in my family.

My point is that, despite my distaste for the idea that a less than one year old might have a favorite TV show or cartoon character, Caitlyn was exposed to a lot of TV at my sister's house. Unlike A.'s son, she was not mesmerized by the TV at 4 months old or anything, but she certainly had a few shows that would capture her attention for at least a few minutes per episode.

Caitlyn did not watch TV at home until she was well over a year old. I just didn't see the point. She was so focused on things like learning to walk and talk, that she didn't need anything else to occupy her time. But as she's grown into a toddler (and gotten a new babysitter who doesn't plop her in front of the TV all the goddamn time), I've relaxed my stance on TV a bit.

Okay. So now that we have established how superior I am, and that it isn't my fault that my kid likes to watch TV, let me tell you the story of how I discovered the huge difference in cartoons now, compared to when I was a child:

I had on the Disney channel the other day. I wasn't particularly paying attention to it and neither was Caitlyn. She was off shitting on my floor or something. At some point though, something on the TV caught my attention (I believe it was the word "doubloons")and I started to watch.

The show was called Neverland Pirates or some bullshit like that. It was a modern twist on Peter Pan. Except that the "modern twist" is that Captain Hook is a total bitch boy whose only recourse when things don't go his way is to throw a hissy fit and stomp around like an impotent douche. In fact, during this particular episode (about "winter treasure day"-where they decorate a tree and give each other gifts- nice job appeasing those Jews, Disney), Peter Pan and Captain Hook amicably agree to split their found treasure and have a lovely holiday dinner together. Really? Come on. That is one pathetic villain. Can you even imagine Inspector Gadget inviting Dr. Claw to a family dinner after he tried to rape and pillage Penny yet again? No. You can not. BECAUSE HE'S THE FUCKING VILLAIN AND IF YOU INVITE HIM TO YOUR HOUSE FOR DINNER HE WILL PROBABLY JUST BURN IT DOWN BECAUSE THAT'S THE KIND OF SHIT VILLAINS DO.

It got me thinking though, about the shows Caitlyn watches. She's young, so I don't expect to see any truly villainous villains in a show meant for toddlers, but still, I think current children's programming is going to turn our kids into pussies.

Remember the Looney Tunes we would watch? Have you ever seen that shit as an adult? Even if you are able to ignore all the blatant violence, those cartoons were not pussy-makers. Elmer Fudd was stupid and mean-spirited. He had no redeeming qualities. If Bugs invited him over to dinner, you knew he was trying to trick him or something. Daffy Duck was arrogant. Bugs' girlfriend was kind of a whore. Foghorn Leghorn did not like black people. Did. Not. Like. Black. People. Have you ever taken a moment, as an adult, to think about the phrase "cotton pickin'" and to realize how often we heard it as kids on Looney Tunes? Did I just blow your mind? Yeah. Thought so.

Today's kids shows lack conflict. I think kids need to know that life doesn't always just sort itself out in 30 minutes or less, that sometimes the villain is still around even after the immediate problem is solved. In real life, Pablo, Tyrone and Uniqua might wear different colors, if you know what I'm saying. Twist might not be accepted as just another part of the gang, despite his obvious mental retardation. Toodles isn't always within earshot to bring you what you need.

I'm not saying I want my kid to be exposed to the sexuality and racism that our cartoons were kind of known for. I'm just saying, for fucks sake, can't Captain Hook be a real fucking villain?

10 comments:

AKD said...

I adore you. And your affinity for pointing out that Twist is functionally retarded.

Front Desk Ninja said...

I completely agree that tv shows today for kids are ridiculous.

I have a confession to make, though. I feel that here, this confession will be met with minimal mocking... or at least an understanding.

That T.V. Show, Imagination Movers, on Disney? It's on from 7am-730am every morning during the week, and my niece and I watch it religiously.

I have a crush on 2 out of 4 of the movers. If my niece has to leave to go to school early one morning, I'll finish watching the episode. Even if I've watched it already.

My niece hates Jake and The Pirates, though. The cap'n hook show? Yeah. She will leave the room if it's on. It's kind of funny, and an excellent way to get her out. Not that I'd ever do that....

wagthedad said...

I kind of see NOT exposing my kids to the "sexuality and racism" and violence we were exposed to in the same way George Carlin saw washing your hands after touching anything:

If your immune system doesn't get any practice, what are you going to do when a supervirus comes along and turns your insides to liquid shit?

In other words, I agree with you fully, in my way. There ARE villians in this life. There are fuckos everywhere, and obviously I'm not talking about some manufactured fucko like Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. I'm talking about the asshole bully at the bus stop. Sure, he may have some redeeming qualities, but you won't find out about them because he's going to beat you unconscious or stick a pipe bomb up your ass or something.

In other words, I think it's important to teach kids to include everybody, but not Captain Hook. He's a bad guy you should be wary of.

I also think you should teach kids to hate all dudes above a certain level in a corporation, but that's so abstract it's difficult to run that through a Disney play-doh factory and have it shoot out at 15 minutes tops.

So. Whatever it is that I have said here today, I want to close by saying that I think it is AWESEOME that you said Caitlin was "probably off shitting on my floor or something."

Jaclyn said...

@Angie- Twist is the worst. Did I mention that my mom got us tickets to see them in concert in March? I bet he falls off the stage or something

@FDN- I haven't seen the show you are talking about, but cute teenaged boys are always worth a look. I'm assuming they are teenagers. Just like all the FBB characters. I mean, who would hire people in their mid-twenties to play 15 year olds?

@WTD- I certainly don't disagree that cartoons should teach acceptance and inclusion, I just don't think being indiscriminately inclusive necessarily accomplishes that. I think kids need to see that sometimes it is hard to fit in, but that it doesn't mean you won't ever be accepted. And hey, where are all the fat people? Every kids show has a black, hispanic and asian but you NEVER see a fat girl. It almost seems to me like the writers of these shows think that racial minorities are the ONLY minorities, you know? I have a daughter, and I'd like her to see a show that promotes a positive body image for more than just size 2's.

AbsoluteMommy said...

Amen on Twist! He's a vegetable.
Also I almost outright refused a backyardagains bday for Caitlin's 3rd because I wasn't gonna have no fucking ghetto kids bday party. Because in real life those "kids" live in the projects and hide behind cars to prevent getting killed in a drive by... Also every time I hear the "map" song on dora I think it should end "I'm the map, bitch"
Hahahahah!
Love ya
Megan

Front Desk Ninja said...

Jaclyn-
Imagination Movers are not of the age to make me feel like a cougar, preying on youngin'. I'd ballpark them to be in the 29-36 range, and two of them have facial hair.

Ella (my niece) has loved that show for years. She's almost 4. It teaches some decent things, has a super annoying end theme song, but redeems itself with men that are worth watching.

I hear they play their own instruments, too. teehee.

Jaclyn said...

@Megan- Backyardigans is the fucking worst. I put that shit on once and I wanted to blow my brains out. Imagining it taking place in the projects kinda helps though.

@FDN- this makes me a little sad, actually. You are still young so you don't yet understand the appeal of 19 year old boys. My friend once said to me "don't you miss how 19 year olds could just, like, fuck forever?". And yes. I definitely miss that. A lot. FUCK 19 YEAR OLDS. That is all I'm saying. On the other hand I can definitely appreciate a man in his late 30s and 40s like I never could when I was in my early 20s.

I dunno, basically, I'm saying fuck a lot of dudes. Fuck a lot of dudes, my friend. Because then you get married and you only fuck one dude. Forever.

lisa from insignificant at best said...

You just hit the nail on the head. Have you ever watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Remember how Pete used to be the bad guy? Now in most episodes he's a friend. It's stupid. Society really is turning our kids into pussies.

Look at schools. My daughter is only 4, but from what I hear they have some fucked up way of grading kids the first few years of elementary school because they don't want to hurt their feelings. Also, how about the "everyone wins" and "nobody is a loser" mentality? Everyone gets are ribbon just for participating! Way to help kids become sore losers because they have no idea what it's like to lose and that life can be disappointing. It pisses me off to no end.

Jaclyn said...

Hey hey hey now, LISA. There was that one episode where Pete was a GENIE. Genie is neither friend nor foe.

They are even pussifying schools? That is ridiculous. I mean, I get it, you don't call a first grader a moron or anything but what is going to happen when they hit like 5th or 6th grade and they have to actually work for their grades? Or worse, when they HAVE A FUCKING JOB and their boss is from our generation and isn't going to be all sweet and PC about everything, all the damn time? They are going to melt the fuck down is what is going to happen.

Front Desk Ninja said...

Jaclyn: I love you. This is advice I knew back when I was 18. Now I'm picky about who sees my junk. Or forces me to see theirs. bahaha.

You're my favourite. The End.