Turn that Smut Off!

I am alternately amazed and annoyed at the TV shows the kids watch. It’s fun to watch some programs with them because the low-level language and slow-talking characters are perfect for my comprehension capabilities. I find I can pick up vocabulary and improve syntax and phrasing through this simple exposure. Once I get past these basics in the language and start focusing on what is actually being said I discover that these shows are atrocious. For the first two months I was here not a day could go by without us watching an episode of Heidi. You might be thinking of the sweet little German girl who lives with her Papa and has a lovely friend who is unfortunately wheelchair-bound. And in this assumption you are correct, however, this particular remake of the beloved show happens to be Japanese animé. That’s right. This little gem of a girl often interjects bouts of marital arts into her daily routine of milking cows and doing chores. The first time I watched it I couldn’t believe my eyes when she did a round house kick followed by several karate chops, then returned to playing with her best friends out in the field. The kids think nothing of it.

Heidi... in Japanese anime

Rapunzel lurves (said like Celine Dion) Barbie movies; she can’t get enough of them. Unfortunately they tend to degrade girls only the way an anatomically impossible role model can. One movie involves Babs and her friends becoming the Three Musketeers; another casts girls as different colors of the rainbow and they strive to beautify the lands; the most recent addition is Barbie and the Nutcracker (in June?). This last one caused Taz to have a bit of angsty (fear) because the Rat King was so ferocious. Rapunzel eats these movies up and I will often find her up in her room reenacting scenes from the movies. Most of the time we watch the films in German, but occasionally they will put it in English and I can understand the dialogue with painful clarity. It’s not that Barbie doesn’t have morals or a conscious it’s just that it’s pretty clear she is leaning heavily on her good looks to get her far in the world. I can’t condone this kind of propaganda. I often have to leave the room because I can’t handle listening to the movie and fear my gag reflex will be activated.

Barbie a la Rapunzel

Another show the kids are obsessed with is Yakari. This is perhaps the most politically incorrect show I have come across while abroad. It’s about a little Sioux Native American boy who lives in the Great Plains, which have magically produced vast (and impossible) mountain ranges. He wears a headband with a feather sticking up in the back, flies on the back of his friend who happens to be a bald eagle, and causes all sorts of mischief with his tomahawk. The show just rubs me the wrong way. The Dad once asked if we had this show in America. No way. This show wouldn’t last a hot minute before one activist group or another was attacking it for its cultural insensitivity.

The funny thing about the kids and TV is that they are hardly allowed to watch it so when they do they become these little zombies. I could light my hair on fire and they wouldn’t know, this is how engrossed they are. Heck, I could light their hair on fire and they probably wouldn’t even flinch. Rapunzel becomes especially feisty when we watch a film. I’ve seen her reach over to bite Little Beans fingers if she touches the remote. Like an animal! I was recently talking with a friend about cartoons and the ones we watched when we were younger. I think I need to smuggle in some copies of Tom and Jerry, The Flinstones, and Wile E Coyote. Although I don’t think these classics will be edgy enough for these guys.

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One thought on “Turn that Smut Off!

  1. Tom and Jerry, The Flinstones, and Wile E Coyote, Lets see, the cat always gets hurt chasing the mouse, Fred Flintstone, hit in the head with rocks, & Wile E Coyote, every week off the edge of a cliiff, acme bombs, never does catch that roadrunner.
    The ones you watched ! no better, but from what Jill says about you, you turned out allright.
    Jill’s uncle JC

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