I Believe The Children Are Our Fuhrer # 1

7 01 2007

When parents drink in the first few months of their child’s life, it is hard to think of little else but their potential. Sometimes as I cradle Quinn during the Witching Hour, I’ll peer down at her and wonder why this screaming, shitting, puking ball of exhausting potential won’t just fucking go to sleep. When she finally passes out, I’ll revisit pondering what will unfold in the life of my beautiful angelic genius of a child and if I am doing enough to enrich it. Many responsible, if not deluded, parents cling to that same concern as they prescribe what diet, environment and playthings are provided to maximize that potential. This means we’re unknowingly kowtowing to their every desire from the get go. We aren’t just raising bratty, spoiled children, but little despots in training. Unless someone is brave enough to review this stuff before we blindly put it all in front of our babies, we are simply handing the next generation a keystone to building their totalitarian regime. Courtesy of my tremendous strength of character, I have decided to forge my new feature, I Believe The Children Are Our Fuhrer to save us all. You’re welcome.

Baby Einstein is a video series owned by The Walt Disney Company designed to provide learning opportunities from fetus to 4 years old. While I’m sure that other installments of the series focus on fuzzy characters shouting letters and numbers in a playful falsetto, the two I’ve received are geared strictly at infants. There’s little or no talking, drawing most of their content from simplified snippets of classical music alongside 15 second clips of various mechanized toys on screen. This is available in flavors of Baby Beethoven, Baby Mozart and Cherry Garcia.

The implication is that this media formula has been cooked up by dozens of Ph.Ds, distilled to ramrod genius directly into your baby’s brain. It’s an effective marketing scheme too, because I’m not going to bypass one piddly purchase if it’s the difference between grooming our child into a nobel laureate versus preparing her to be waitlisted for admission to our local barber college. But is growing up a genius necessarily a great thing? Let’s look at the videos’ namesakes for come color on that issue. Wikipedia’s view of Beethoven is pretty clear:

Beethoven’s personal life was troubled. His encroaching deafness led him to think about suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). He was attracted to unattainable (married or aristocratic) women; he never married. His only love affair with an identified woman began in 1805 with Josephine von Brunswick; most scholars think it ended by 1807 because she could not marry a commoner without losing her children.

Mozart’s life doesn’t seem to spell out quite as dismal a tale, but I’ve seen Amadeus and I know for certain that he was forced to wear those faggy looking wigs. No genius could ever feel good about that. Regardless, if your baby didn’t emerge from the birth canal with a parchment containing their first symphony, you’re already behind the 8 ball. Do you know how many concertos Mozart had crapped out before he was 1 year old? Bear in mind that isn’t a turn of phrase – Mozart actually had the ability to manipulate his sphincter to generate a series of elaborate musical movements during flatulence. People get all worked up when they hear that Beethoven was deaf, but did he ever compose anything with his ass?

Nitpicking those geniuses aside, there is a chance that these videos can produce some form of brilliance in your child. This is accomplished by instilling the building blocks for obesity early on. As mentioned above, it’s just images of other people playing with toys, certifying that your child will be too lazy to even bother playing with their own. They can just turn on a video and receive the gratification for a fraction of the effort. This will lead to increasingly sedentary habits, causing the child to quickly plump with age and leave little recourse but to sit home and read. Add in a dash of bed-wetting and you’ve got all the makings of raising a genius in your hand!

This DVD is obviously a total racket. The production value of this film is lower than the per unit cost. Even if it had the capacity to make your child smarter, it would be wasted since they are already working at a deficit (after all, they inherited 50% of their DNA from the person who just spent $20 on that shit). None of that is even relevant though, because the savvy parent isn’t buying this for enrichment, but rather really cheap babysitting. Case in point, the DVD has a “Repeat Play” function, which is basically the “Keep looping while I score a dimebag off Carlos down the block” Mode.




One response

8 01 2007

I agree with the production of the video, that’s it shitty, but these were released before the company was bought-out by Disney. Anyway, I stand firm by the videos. Bella and Sabrina both liked them, and maybe it’s just my wife’s genes, but the videos really helped them learn their animals, number, other languages. It does have a repeat play feature, which is for lazy-ass parents that use tv to baby sit their children, but doing the videos with your children is what you’re supposed to do. And IMO, they work. I’m a big fan of these videos and Sesame Street.

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