Too dumb TV or not too dumb TV
Let's face it. Children are brain-fed the dumbest things these days. Back in the 90's TV shows had something to teach, subliminal messages and political statements. Now all you get is a lot of garbage and people running around in the tube, apparently sure of your child's stupidity. Has TV become Too Dumb TV for children? Let's run through some examples and then you can decide for yourselves.
Who here has heard of Blue's Clues? I have, because I happen to know some kids who watch this garbage and flunk forever in their school lives and grow up to be the most dependable and idiotic schmucks. So what happens in Blue's Clues? Well, this over-grown kid, runs around in a cartoon world trying to understand what his dog wants, because fact is dogs are so stupid they can't even talk. Anyway, so this Dog who is 'cleverly' called Blue, because he is of blue colour (which is ridiculous by the way), leaves his paw-prints on certain objects which if pieced together and thought about can reveal an activity or object that the dog desires. Throughout the whole show the host keeps yapping away saying the dumbest things in the new world and though its obvious where the prints are, the lazy bum has to ask the viewers. The viewers shout out the answer and God knows which technology is used, Steve gets the message. This show maybe 'the most critically acclaimed, ground breaking pre-school television show ever' which may have inspired Sesame Street and perhaps maybe the pioneer in interactive education, however this by no means, means that it is any good. The show was designed to increase children's participation, responsiveness and problem-solving skills, but maybe it teaches children to depend on others to scream out answers, cheat and believe it possible to live a magical cartoon world. Not too bright, eh?
Talking about things not being too bright, has anyone heard of Dora The Explorer? Well, we did and we thought a spin-off movie titled Dora Must Die would be better for the world. Viewers are confused about whether she is Spanish or Mexican or what the difference between those two are. The show once more teaches children to respond to a television show and a television set. These shows set children up for a future where all their money would be spent making useless purchases by seeing television ads and cluttering their houses with useless objects picked from numerous telemarketing agents or whatever. The worst part of Dora the Explorer is that there is a fox, called Swiper the fox, who is a thief who wants to steal from Dora, but if you yell 'Swiper don't swipey' a million times, he won't steal from you. Imagine getting mugged and screaming 'Swiper don't swipey.' These children won't last, nope. And did you know that this show posted $1 Billion in revenue in 2004? That shows that children are responding to television way too much. Unhealthy and stupid.
Takao Aoki introduced the world to Beyblade. What is Beyblade? Well it's Japanese manga so you know for damn sure that it is something very confusing. Briefly it's about a team of kids who call themselves the Bladebreakers and who wish to win the Beyblade Championship or something apparently totally glorious. The object of Beyblade is to have a spinning top, except much fancier and then compete your top with some other person's top. Its like the tops fight each other and stuff and these seemingly harmless objects are weapons of mass destruction and can explode, cause explosions, spit venom and lava etc etc. So basically it teaches kids that it's ok to use weapons as long as they are disguised. Now, has anyone ever found anything interesting about Beyblade? Or even Pokemon for that matter? Apart from Pickachu everyone else is just plain annoying. Specially Ash, whose gender is still up for debate. Children learn nothing from these cartoons except for stupidity. Period.
The last and most killer example must be Hannah Montana. How is it possible to lead dual lives? It's the dumbest concept in the world. A change of hair colour and style never manages to disguise one's face. But hey Miley Cyrus does have a voice like a man, so maybe Hannah has an advantage there. But, what is the show about? So her father's never made it, the daughter did but has loser friends and a loser brother, and the question remains 'What the heck is the point'? This show doesn't have a point and is completely ridiculous in its assumptions and descriptions of the 'real' world. It is so fake you can completely see the 'Made in China' logo stamped on every cast members' forehead. I swear. Lucky for some people, I have forgotten the name of this show where there are wizards from some place who are also dumb. So is The Suite Life, which advocates the belief that it is okay for children to act like adults and that it is adorable to do dumb things and get into trouble.
With so many stupid lessons being shown and given 24/7 it is hard to predict that we have a bright future. No, children will ruin the future unless the television shows are improved. Let's bring back SWAT Kats, G.I.JOE, Ninja Turtles, Beavis and Butthead and Ren and Stimpy, to name a few. This world needs real lessons and stupidity cannot provide that. So can we change Too Dumb TV? YES WE CAN.
N.B.- Corny slogans nail presidency. So why should we be left out?
By Osama Rahman
The stuff of November
Everyday of the year, every single one of the 365 days, has a special event (or, sometimes, events) dedicated to it that ranges from creating awareness for serious issues to completely kooky days such as, Popcorn Day, Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day, Loosen-Up, Lighten-Up Day, Have a Bad Day Day etc.
November means the beginning of winter for us, but because of Global Warming, its still scorching outside (thanks a lot, for that, by the way).
Some of the important global events which you can look forward to this month are:
November 25th (International Day of Violence Against Women): Women around the world, especially in Bangladesh are often subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence with almost nothing being done to prevent it or even to take actions against. Women's activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981. On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.
Some of the events that have already taken place and deserve to be mentioned for this month are:
November 12th (World Usability Day): Celebrated every second Thursday of November, World Usability Day or “Make Things Easier Day” is about making our world 'work' better and to make things easier and more users friendly. The theme of this year's World Usability Day was 'Designing for a Sustainable World'.
November 13th (World Kindness Day/Friday the 13th): World Kindness Day is observed every 13th of November and is a day for us all to put aside our differences in country, race, religion, culture and think of ourselves as citizens of the world. A day for countries around the world to join together and pledge to help make the world a kinder and more compassionate place. God knows, we need it, with all the evil in the world. This November 13th was also a Friday; therefore it was another Friday the 13th of 2009, the unluckiest day of the year. The horror character Jason, in the 1980's slasher film 'Friday the 13th' isn't the only reason the day strikes fear in people. Folklore dating back thousands of years says the day is unlucky. People tend to go out of their way to avoid omens of bad luck, such as a black cats or walking under a ladder etc. There's even a word to describe the phobia over the day - paraskevidekatriaphobia. Try saying that fast three times!
November 14th (Children's Day): A day dedicated to children and minors that is celebrated all over the world. It is celebrated in different days throughout November in different countries.
November 16th (International Day for Tolerance and Peace): This day, to generate public awareness about the dangers of intolerance, was declared by UNESCO in 1995. Building tolerance and trust in diverse communities takes time and commitment. Tolerance Day is an opportunity to see what progress has been made throughout the year, and rededicate our commitment to promoting tolerance, respect, cooperation and communication between different cultures in our communities and between nations. So go take the Tolerance Pledge at www.tolerance.org. It is a way that each of us can help to make every day Tolerance Day. "I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own." As the great Gandhi once said, 'Be the change you want to see in the world'.
And we are saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY this month to:
By Musarrat Rahman
| Issues | The Daily Star Home
© 2009 The Daily Star