Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pet Peeve #487 - Politically Correct Cartoons

I know, I know. It's been a long time since I last posted. I have no excuses except that life has felt quite hectic, but if I had to list out my schedule of what I do every day, it would sound like I have plenty of time to kill. Most of the time I'm making sure my 10 month-old doesn't kill his little fool self as he's trying to get around, and the rest of the time is spent entertaining and cleaning up after my 3 year-old. By the end of the day after I've cleaned up dinner and put the kids to bed, I have about 60-90 minutes to my self. And lately, I've had other pressing things to work on.

But back to the point of this post. My 3 year-old loves to watch Curious George (CG) on PBS. Most of the time, I have no problem with this because CG usually teaches kids about science and math concepts. The only drawback is that George is a monkey, and therefore can't talk. So my son often hoots and hollers like a monkey instead of talking. And once in a while, the writers will throw in some politically correct (read liberal) issue like recycling. Ok, that's fine since I do a bit of that myself. And then there's the appropriately diverse cast with characters of different skin tones, ethnicities, and species (dogs, cats, elephants, skunks). Fine, George lives in a large city based on NYC so there should be plenty of diversity (although I doubt many city dwellers would be thrilled with the large variety of animals running loose).

Occasionally, however, it gets a little ridiculous. During one interlude, some kids visit a bicycle shop in Boston named "Bikes, Not Bombs." Er, okay. One little boy helpfully explains the name, "They sell bikes here, not bombs." Obviously. The name of the shop is just the kind of liberal sanctimony that drives me up the wall. I mean, who defines themselves as something they are not? I wonder if the owners of the shop also have stores named, "Coffee, Not Coffins," "Art Supplies, Not Artillery," "Donuts, Not Dynamite," or "Juice, not JDAMs." Ridiculous!

And then there's Clifford the Big Red Dog (or Clifford's Puppy Days). One day last fall I was thinking, "Gee, Preston watches a lot of great kids shows on PBS. Maybe I should send them a couple bucks for their pledge drive. And then an episode of Clifford comes on called "Fall Feast." So Clifford's owner, Emily Elizabeth, and her family make some yummy food to take to their grandma's house for the "Fall Feast," but they get stuck in the railroad station with all their neighbors who have all made their culturally appropriate side dishes for their own "Fall Feast." Of course, I've figured out that "Fall Feast" is their code word for a politically-correct-let's-not-offend-anyone-with-a slight-reference-to-giving-thanks-to-deity major holiday more commonly known as THANKSGIVING! I mean, come on people! Who actually says, Happy Fall Feast?!

Maybe it's an east coast thing that I haven't heard of because I'm down here in the Bible Belt, but this is taking political correctness too far. Maybe they'll stop saying have a happy Fall Feast too because it might offend depressed people who don't get to go visit their grandmas so then it will just be, "Have a Fall Feast or have a Day (or not). So anyway, my thought of contributing any money to PBS just disintegrated at that point. I figured that they've got my tax dollars, and they're lucky to get that much for this crap.

And to make things worse, a few days later I had to suffer through an episode where Emily Elizabeth and her friends shared the ways they celebrated the "First Snow" of winter, i.e. Christmas. Good grief! I should have called up and complained that PBS was discriminating against people that lived in places where it didn't snow, like Texas. Maybe that saying is true--the squeaky wheel gets the grease--and the people that are offended by all things American or Christian spend all their time complaining to the powers that be and that's why we get stuck with this kind of P.C. crap. Maybe it's time for the rest of us to mount our own campaign to wrest back our holiday celebrations from the grinches in this country. What do ya'll think?

Update: Upon further reflection, I think the campaign should be called the "Let's Offend Everyone and Have a Great Time Doing It" campaign.


Packsaddle said...

[tap tap]

Is this thing on?

Kirsten said...

It drives us nuts as well. My personal favorite to hate is a Blue's Clues episode. (It's not just PBS, it's cable as well) It's not Valentines Day, it's "Love day". They send love cards to each other. Heaven forbid they mention the name of some long dead religious person. Everytime something like this pops up, we groan. We'll support your campaign.

Ed said...

Most of us atheists, far as I know, are happy to call "Thanksgiving" Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings. I do know one disbeliever who gets all glum and cranky when hearing Christmas songs played publicly as Christmas approaches, but I think he's just glum and cranky.

dr. fly killa said...


I'm not picking on atheists in particular. I know plenty of them that are "live and let live" types. I'm just annoyed by whiny, easily offended people in general that insist on making life as bland and inoffensive as possible for them--and the PBS-types that insist on pandering to them even though they are a tiny (but vocal) minority. I don't like to complain to the PTB (powers that be) for everything that offends me because I don't want to be whiny. I usually just vote with my feet by turning off the T.V. or keeping my money in my pocket.

Ed said...

No, I didn't think you were picking on anyone. I think we agree on people that enjoy feeling aggrieved.

Governale said...


I'm a reporter for a small newspaper in New England.

As part of our town governments here, we have boards of selectmen.
One of the towns I cover began calling their board "selectpersons."

When I asked my editor if I had to begin using that term, she said absolutely not -- male or female, selectmen are selectmen.

We also call holidays by their Christian names.

I like the paper I write for, even if it is named the Advertiser-Democrat.

PBS, by the way, stands for Pathetic Broadcasting System, and NPR, Nothing Pertinent Radio.


Debbie said...

I'm also nearing the point of calling TV station, broadcasting companies, networks and whoever will or won't listen on the general "crap" on television. But probably like most other people, I too just turn it off or complain to myself. I'm ready to ban together and be the "squeaky wheel" for once.

BikerSIS said...

ok, first of all, my brother WORKS at Bikes Not Bombs, and second, get over yourself seriously. The name implies that kids should be doing fun and constructive things like biking instead of fighting with bombs like in wars and killing people. It's is sending the message that people should be peaceful and not have wars, and if you looked deep into the meaning, you would have gotten that!

dr. fly killa said...

Oooh, your brother WORKS at Bikes Not Bombs? Is he making the world safe for democracy by offering people a cheap form of transportation? Why then let me bow down to your moral superiority!

First off, I wrote this post over a year ago, so you're a little late with your "witty" comment. I haven't blogged in ages because because I'm a little busy raising two (and a half) kids, writing a research paper, and trying to sell my house--you know, adult stuff.

Second, are you twelve years old or something? That can be the only explanation for your moral obtuseness--unless you're a drug-addled old hippy.

Have you ever heard of a false dicotomy? That's the problem with the name Bikes Not Bombs. It's a false choice. Do you seriously think kids are trying decide between doing "fun and constructive" activities or dropping bombs on people?

Here's a newsflash: nobody likes war (except for psychos), but they are sometimes necessary. My father, brother, uncle, grandfathers, and several cousins have served or are currently serving in the military. They don't enjoy war, and I'm sure they'd much rather go mountain biking than be called up for military service. But they have these qualities called honor, bravery, duty, and patriotism. Maybe you might have heard of them? They are willing to sacrifice all--their health, time with their families, and even their own lives--to protect the rights and freedoms that we enjoy and also to help citizens of other nations enjoy those same rights.

Also, soldiers do a lot more than fight. If you knew anything, you'd know that our soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan help build schools, roads, and other infrastructure. They give school supplies and food to kids, and they play games with them. Our military doctors and nurses treat their wounded and sick. You don't know anything about our soldiers. I wonder if you even know anyone that's served in the military.

Pacifists like you would have sat by and let the Jews and other prisioners of concentration camps be slaughtered because war is "icky." You would shrug at the 2 million people murdered by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia because "war is not the answer." You would let the people of Iraq be gassed and tortured by Saddam and his psycho sons because you believe it's better to just talk to tyrants and do nothing that might give you a hang nail. To you , nothing is worth fighting for.

It's ironic that your tardy comment came over the Memorial Day weekend. Maybe you should go out to a Memorial Day service and learn about what sacrifice really means. The sacrifices of the men and women of our military are what make freedom and peace possible. They are what make it possible for naive youngsters like you to post their insipid comments on blogs without fear of being prisoned for their words.

Believe me, I understand the meaning of the name of your brother's shop, and it's not as deep as you think. If you knew anything about history, you'd know what I'm talking about. War is not always the answer, but it sometimes it is the only way to obtain peace.

So grow up! Even my four-year-old knows the difference between good soldiers and bad soldiers. Crack open a real history book once in a while, and think for yourself instead of in bumper stickers.


BikerSIS said...

Actually, YES! I AM 12. Well, actually, i was 12 when i wrote that comment, but im 13 now. Excuse the term, but you seriously need to take a chill pill. You make preposturous assumptions about people. I beleive that there other ways to get the same things without fighting. Yes, i agree that sometimes, there is no alternative to war, but i dont beleive in people fighting when there are other options. And your looking at the name "bikes not bombs" too litteraly. It means that people should be doing things for the better of society and of the earth, instead of doing what so many people do which is go off to fight in wars which hurts our world in so many ways. Plus Bikes not Bombs is a great program. They get young people interacting with the community, and they do lots of charity work.