Monday, May 10, 2010

Early learners

Susan sent me this link to this rather fancy new children's furniture - their very own cubicle. Well, maybe they didn't intend for it to be represented in that way. Maybe not. But that's what it is.

I couldn't help thinking about the role of children's shows when I saw that. Of course, I'm always thinking about children's shows. It's what I do. But have you seen Higglytown Heroes? It's rather entertaining but the message of every show is that you should work hard. Each episode highlights a different job and shows how important they are to the community.

They're heroes you see.

It's quite a nice thought actually. The local pizza delivery guy does deserve credit. Many people doing their day to day jobs deserve more credit than they get.

But the message in each show seems to be simply - get out there and work, children! Work! Work! Work!

And I can't help wondering who those children are going to end up working for. Children learn from television and this is one show that has a clear message it is teaching. Some are less clear and some are plain disturbing (I may review some children's shows at some point, showing the lessons as they appear).

I've rambled on in the past about how we're living in this age of distraction. Bombarded by choices and yet also shackled by the things we think we need or should have.
Not shackled simply because that's the way life went or just happened to end up. No. Shackled because it serves some people's interests to keep us that way. Like modern day slaves.

But willing slaves.

And to make someone a willing slave, just like getting them hooked into a cult, you have to do a certain amount of conditioning. If you expect it to continue all their lives, you have to do a lot of conditioning. And that has to start early.

That's what schools are for, I guess.

Many schools grew from a need to create work forces of a certain level and, importantly, with certain leanings and loyalties in how they think. Often religiously motivated. To serve the machine.

We still do that today, but it's corporations now. The religion aspect has faded somewhat, though the history of the corporation seems tied to religion if you go back far enough - that's simply about who was holding the power at the time.

Now, we're creating our work force even before school. With shows, toy furniture. It's conditioning.

Is this conditioning something we should accept?

Or reject?


Andy Latham said...

That "cubicle" got me it more to do with what kids see of their parents? Traditionally kids have had toy versions of home appliances like ovens or vacuum cleaners (or drills and workbenches for the boys), mimicking the behaviour of their parents.

But mothers and fathers are both working far more than they used to, so a child's perception of them is more about the office than the home. Perhaps the toy makers are just capitalising on that? Whatever the reason though, it's a sad state of affairs. The "office" is a miserable adult world that no child should be privy to until a certain age. If only parents didn't have to (or want to) work so much.

susan said...

Hello Bitter, thanx for the shout out. I suppose most of us who work now a days work in those cubicles. Andy is right, it mimics the behaviors of their moms and dads.

I was astonished that the toy company had the nerve to ask for almost 3,000 dollars for this contraption first of all! You could make a cubby with a few old empty boxes and a play computer for next to nothing, and a child's plastic chair you can get at Wal-Mart or store like that again for next to nothing. I cannot see parents shelling out that kind of money or grandparents. But I'm not a mom- and you have your finger on the children's market better than I do as a mere auntie from your career.

It does seem like brainwashing, along with those baby Einstein tapes- and horror among horrors- Teletubbies, imho. Why don't we give the kids this song' I don't want to go to work, I want to bang on the drums all day, and have them bang on the pots and pans. And give mom and dad some ear plugs and asprin!

I liked the allusion to Poltergeist.

Red Pill Junkie said...

After watching this, the toy guns of my youth doesn't seem all that bad :-/

Anonymous said...

Susan, a little darker than that - isn't it a reference to Videodrome?

Higglytown Heroes seems to have a better message than say Bob The Builder, which to me seems to go about saying how outrageously incompetent everybody else is apart from Bob. Yes, he's the main character and the show is titled to reflect that, but it's a pretty sad stereotype to portray that most building sites are manned by useless fucktards who can't do anything right unless the foreman is around.

Red Pill Junkie said...

I always thought Bob the Builder's main message was about the benefit of welcoming immigrant workers ;)

susan said...

I thought Bob the Builder was like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams- you know if you build it they will come.....

Sephin, never saw Videodrome, you may be right.

Bitter Animator said...

Yes, it was a reference to the excellent film, Videodrome.