Sunday, May 01, 2005

Barney Doppelganger

Barney Doppelganger

Barney Doppelganger (2000)

From the Barney and Friends PBS site:

Celebrating 10 years on PBS, Barney is starring in 20 brand-new episodes beginning September 2 on public television stations nationwide. The new episodes will feature a new setting and new cast - but still offer the same core educational and pro-social elements that have earned the trust of a generation of parents...and taught a generation of children! The new episodes also feature interactivity to engage the viewer, including cameos with real kids who playfully respond to Barney by making silly faces, hugging, or pretending to fly in an airplane. And for the first time ever, Barney speaks directly to children at home. As always, music remains an important element, with the new shows featuring fun, new songs, as well as classic Barney favorites.

From the Barney Fun Page -- where surfers can assault Barney with a variety of weapons:

October 14, 1995 was the first-year anniversary of this valuable service. In the first year, Barney was "hit" over 3,000,000 times, accounting for over 10,000,000,000 bytes of traffic! There are a whole lot of angry people out there. If you like, you can see what some of them have said about the Barney Fun Page.

I know there are better Barney images available out there, but I chose this one because of its small size (the original is 1603 bytes, which grows gradually as Barney accumulates more injuries.) It takes a while for the blood to show up. You have to be patient (but persistent) with Barney.

Something I'd like to do eventually is to have an option to create and download an MPEG movie of your jihad with Barney.

Something else I'd like to do eventually is figure out if the spot you clicked was inside Barney, and if you somehow manage to miss, output an error message to that effect. Also, whenever you hit Barney you should be presented with feedback on his deteriorating condition, i.e.:

You have given Barney:

--3 compound fractures
--a fractured skull
--2 sucking chest wounds

From the "Why Is Barney Considered Evil?" site:

The show's message of universal, blind, unthinking love on demand "I love you, you love me", delivered to uncritical minds in their formative years, cannot help but have an effect in later life. Such people, upon reaching high school (or even younger), will be subjected to enormous peer pressure to take up smoking, drinking, and drugs. Conditioned early on to uncritically take instructions from self-appointed authority figures, they will be easy marks. Sing my song, take this pill, be happy.

It gets worse...

But what heavily-promoted teenage activity is most easily confused with love? You guessed it, sex. Barney teaches children to love and trust everybody (even strangers), and to do what they're told. Someone, somewhere is gonna ask your children to have sex with them. "If you really loved me, you would" is a line as old as the hills. When word gets out that "I love you, you love me, let's start our own family" results in easy sex, it will be all over. Nothing spreads faster than word of an easy, reliable way for teenage boys to get laid. Barney may be the single most direct cause of teen pregnancy in the beginning of the next century.

And, finally, mathematical proof that Barney is the Antichrist:

Given: Barney is a cute purple dinosaur.

Extract the Roman numerals:

(and remember that the Romans had no letter 'U';
they used 'V' instead)


Add them:
100 + 5 + 5 + 50 + 500 + 1 + 5 = 666

Q. E. D. We suspected it all along.

When my daughter was small, she was into Barney -- for less than a week. Even her eyes began to glaze over after short exposure. Unfortunately, I had to watch with her during that phase. Within minutes, I felt I had contracted a neuron-killing virus. I began to foam at the mouth and channel creatures that spoke in unknown alien tongues.

When watching, I always felt a strange compulsion to disrupt the sanitized, conflict-free Barney universe with horrific bursts of stylized violence. I desperately wanted Al Pacino to be a guest -- and to come on in full Scarface mode:

Say hellooo to my leetle friend...

...and, just before the censor stirs from a stupor, Barney guts would litter the playground like a tableau from a Takashi Miike yakuza flick.


Tim said...

How about the Teletubbies? They're even worse. Apparently one of the show's educational features is to introduce children to informational technology. How? Through the talking shower heads that rise up out of the shrubbery!

During a bout of flu, me and the kids were watching the Teletubbies. After a long stretch of senseless teletubbie dialog, I pretended to be the pencil-headed teletubbie and said, "La-la vomit."

I think most of that programming is just entertainment and kids are uninfluenced by the "morality lectures" or the "interactive" television.

My daughter had a Tinky Winky (cell phone head) stuffed toy and one day he got a broken seam. There was stuffing all over her room, she "gutted" him!

cruelanimal said...

My daughter was too old for Teletubbies, thankfully, so I managed to escape their indocrination. Still, friends who are fairly new parents verify that Teletubbies are a truly bland horror beyond even Barney.

I agree that kids are probably not much influenced by programmed morality. One of my daughter's favorite shows was Animaniacs. She loved the frenzy and slapstick, but I was the one who savored the pop culture references.

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