What the hell happened to Pooh?

by doodaddy on September 8, 2008

pooh

Is honey ruining my figure?

Television reflects society. Society is really screwed.

With Boo now pushing three years old, I’m nervously taking steps into the world of kids’ entertainment.

Among other sad discoveries, we’ve found that Winnie the Pooh has moved to the Hundred Acre Sanatorium: all his friends have major mental health problems but there’s no talk therapy in sight.

In one story, Rabbit, Pooh, and Piglet decide to take Tigger into the deep woods and ditch him there, thus teaching him a lesson for all that bouncing. (The incessant bouncing has gotten ridiculous, too: if ever a cartoon character were a candidate for Ritalin, he’s it.) So Tigger’s friends scare the shit out of him, then get lost and scare the shit out of themselves.

Bad? The next week came the story in which Eeyore throws himself into the river because he’s depressed about everyone forgetting his birthday.

Yipe. I spent ten minutes explaining to Boo that the ladybug she squashed wouldn’t be coming back. How the hell do I cope with suicidal toy donkeys?

Switch channels. Donald gets upset that he traded his chicken to the giant for magic beans, so he, Mickey, and Goofy just nick it back. It’s OK, though — the giant’s an idiot! As long as you steal from stupid people, there’s no problem, right?

We’re left with few options: I could buy the vintage Sesame Street DVDs, but the “Adult Content” labels scare me.

We could go TV-free, but… um, no.

So for now, it’s Iron Chefs making Arctic char ice cream and vintage Speed Racer cartoons on YouTube for me and Boo.

And, if they take my advice, some serious therapy for Pooh and friends.

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tagged as in television,worry ·

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerri Ann September 8, 2008 at 7:16 am

My children have never liked television. One is 5 and just started kindergarten and naturally, due to the peer pressure, he has asked about a few shows. While at daycare (the one we owned), he was exposed to Thomas the Train, Blue’s Clues and a few others…very few. But, he simply didn’t care for them. He truly had a hard time sitting still long enough to watch a 12 to 15 minute show of any kind. My 3 1/2 year old still doesn’t watch TV at all, yes you read that right, AT ALL as in NEVER.

When people find out that my children aren’t TV Watchers, they give me this scowl as if they think I’m some kind of dictator who doesn’t own a TV and refusing to let anyone around me watch TV. Oh how very wrong they are. I would have loved to have taken a bath at least once a week when they were young simply by using the art of a good cartoon but no way, nope, not happening. I could try but before I could get out of the shower, those children would be hanging from the top shelf in the pantry or something.

Now, back to the 5 year old. He does ask to see a few shows now and again if his dad already has the tv on and he realizes what his dad is watching. Those 2 (the dad with an IQ over 170) will sit and watch “How It’s Made” on the Science channel for hours on end. It drives me batty.

We were in a mom and pop restaurant near us not long ago. I could only hear part of their conversation and I finally had to ask what it was that was so interesting. My 5 year old pointed to a old hunk of junk hanging from the ceiling. I said, “what is it” and he explained to me that it was one of those things that people used to wash clothes with and then they laid them out on this thing to flatten out and roll the water out of them. Indeed, it was a washing machine ringer from the 1960’s. Immediately I asked how he knew that and he said, “I saw it on How It Works.” I rolled my eyes and darted for cover.

I know those shows are educational but holy mother of sunshine, that man’s voice that narrates these shows sends me into spasms.

Ok did you ask for any comments? Novels at that? Sorry!

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Dan September 8, 2008 at 7:55 am

Those episodes you are watching are actually quite old. I’m guessing early nineties. The more modern Disney pooh stuff is much more sanitized. You can tell I watch too much kids TV by the fact I knew which episodes you were talking about.

Of course I could go on a meandering babble about how most traditional kids storys are a lot more sadistic than a donkey throwing himself into a river, but I would bore even myself.

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doodaddy September 8, 2008 at 8:00 am

Yeah, another friend pointed out to me that the stories I mentioned actually come from the original Pooh books, even. The weird thing is that as stories, they might be OK. Pooh, after all, is an imaginary person, a toy come to life, and to think of my little girl playing existential games with her toys — well, that’s not that unusual. She does some pretty weird stuff to dolls, that’s for sure.

But when you turn it into a TV show or a movie, Christopher Robin is no longer the Creator and Imaginer — he’s some side character. And these suicidal donkeys — well, they’re real people.

The original Cinderella (where the stepsisters lop off parts of their feet to fit into the slipper) would be a crappy kids’ movie. But reading it as a story is just kind of goofy, because the kids know where the reality ends and the pretending begins.

I think.

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Xbox4NappyRash September 8, 2008 at 9:14 am

Pooh is looking a little flushed.

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Angel September 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

That reminds me of an article I read a few years ago. I found an online version of it:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1068391.stm

Basically, a group of researchers study the show and diagnose each of their problems according to modern psychological evaluations. It’s kind of funny when you think about it.

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Writer Dad September 8, 2008 at 10:56 am

My boy is four. He is content to watch garbage being dumped on you tube. Over and over. Seriously. It makes him happy. I’m not kidding.

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doodaddy September 8, 2008 at 11:33 am

Ooooh — send the link! That sounds good!

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cryitout September 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Hey! They didn’t make ice cream with the arctic char! (That episode was delicious.)

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anna September 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I just wrote about a bit from vintage sesame, I think the “adult” disclaimer has more to do with out of date cultural referrents, like Sesame Disco. But who knows, maybe there is some kind of bit about driving without car seats or kids playing in dry cleaning bags, I’m not sure.

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doodaddy September 8, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Well, in the first episode, Gordon meets a lost girl and brings her into his house for milk and cookies — not exactly the message we’re supposed to be sending these days. I don’t know what else raised people’s hackles, though…

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mep September 8, 2008 at 5:59 pm

We’re a PBS children’s programming household. We’ve progressed from Sesame Street to Teletubbies to Barney to Caillou with a little Curious George thrown in the mix. Caillou whines a bit much for my taste, and Curious George gets away with an awful lot, but for sure, nobody is depressed. And, I hate to admit it, but despite the criminal choreography and pathetic plot lines (i.e., one episode description is “Barney cannot stop eating pistachios), my son (now 2.5) continues to love the big purple dinosaur. One warning though, he does tear up during the I-love-you-you-love-me-happy-family song.

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Aimee Greeblemonkey September 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

ha, wait till you get to Star Wars. 😉

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