Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mr Dressup vs martyrdom

News today from Memri: Nahoul the Bee replaces Farfour the Mickey Mouse rip-off on palestinian children's television program.

His mission statement: “I want to continue the path of Farfour… the path of islam, of heroism, of martyrdom, and of the mujahideen. Me and my friends will follow in the footsteps of Farfour. We will take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the killers of the prophets and of the innocent children, until we liberate al-aqsa from their impurity.”

I don’t know about your childhood, dear reader, but Canadian children can be said to be very lucky; we were given both The Friendly Giant and Mr Dressup each weekday on television.
Through those programs we were regularly treated to classical music, jazz, and fun songs that made a game out of becoming smarter, gentler and more responsible; through their daily demonstrations we learned how playing a musical instrument was a special blessing you could use to enrich others’ lives, not to mention your own. (How many Canadian children welcomed music lessons in the wake of their exposure to these programs, I wonder...?) We were also presented with the joy of discovery that comes with reading; through their patient example we were encouraged to read, read, read, in order to stoke the fires of our imagination, in anticipation of the incredible world that awaited us, as we were to grow older.

Thank God for teachers like Robert Homme and Ernie Coombs. Does anyone who ever watched Mr Dressup open up his Tickle Trunk, anyone who was ever offered a rocking chair for two more to curl up in, anyone who ever waited to see the cow jumping over the moon behind the castle… anyone ever doubt how deep the love for childhood itself must have been, in the hearts of Mr. Homme and Mr. Coombs?
Just thinking about them again, after all these years, brings back such warm memories...

If you are one of the lucky ones, spare a moment to imagine what memories palestinian children will have in the place of yours, as they grow up watching Farfour the mouse get kicked in the balls by an “Israeli” interrogator, among other charming sights, on **their** government-run television station.

Ask yourselves, what kind of parent shows this kind of programming to their children?

What kind of government creates this kind of education for the children of those parents?
What kind of person writes, designs sets and costumes, holds casting calls and then rehearsals, hires gaffers and grips and boom operators, carpenters and set decorators, cameramen and directors, accountants and line producers, all in the name of teaching children such undying hatred?

And even more important: what kind of person lets them?


Sean Orr said...

I'm sure we wouldn't have had Mr. Dress-up if we were living in refugee camps without a country.

"What kind of government creates this kind of education for the children of those parents?"

A non government in a non country.

truepeers said...

We might not have Mr. Dress-up in most places in this world; still, that's no excuse for turning your children into people sick with hate, wannabe martyrs bowing to the cult of the suicide belt and AK47. What other people in the world, fighting for whatever, still treat their children as gifts to God, to be sacrificed in his name? Seanm why do you make excuses for this sorry bunch, other than the fact that they are fighting Jews? Do you know anything much about people in much more bloody conflicts around the world? Do you give a moment's thought to how the "Palestinians" have been treated by the Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, who have killed far more than the Jews over the years? Do the Arabs not have to be held to some standard too?

Charles, think about sean a little and ask yourself again if the world of Mr. Dress-up has had the intended effects; maybe it has helped, along with many others in "education" to create a generation of fantasists.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have known that Palestinian children were being brainwashed in this way if I hadn't read it on Covenent Zone. Unbelievable.

Equally unbelievable to me, though, are your memories of learning alot from Mr. Dress Up and the Friendly Giant. I remember being a kid and thinking that Mr. Dress Up talked in a phony way. He bored the daylights out of me. I learned nothing because I just got too bored to sit in front of the television and watch him. I didn't find Finnigan interesting either; if I remember correctly he was some sort of puppet figure who Mr. Dress Up talked to.

I was bored with the Friendly Giant too. But I liked him a litle better than Mr. Dress Up. I liked the way the furniture on the set was built to different scales, some huge and some minitiature. Years later, as an adult, I was watching the news and they played a clip of the Friendly Giant sitting in the rocking chair and they said he'd died.

There was another children's show that I used to watch on CJOH in Ottawa. A woman would stand in front of the camera beside a huge sheet of paper and tell a story about a worm named Oogly Wooglie. She used a black felt pen to sketch illustrations as she told the story. When she finished one picture, she would flip the paper (it was hanging on some sort of tripod) and she would start drawing on a fresh piece. She was calm but fast in the way she would keep the pictures coming. Even then, I knew that this was a very cheap way to do a television show. But I liked it. I don't remember her name.


maccusgermanis said...

I was instilled with all manner of neighborly manners and escapist fantasy by Fred Rogers, and I still managed to become properly impolite and grounded in reality.

One could hope, that in the fullness of time a psuedo-stinian child would grow up to laugh at the crude propaganda of Farfor and the Bee, if not for the call to martyrdom found in such fantasies. While I was learning that every smiling jackass was not my "good neighbor," I did in fact meet a great number of good people. The fantasy offered psuedo-stinian children is more final and less benign. A pseudo-stinian martyr will never learn to laugh at the cowards that train children rather than adults to fight.

The statement, "I'm sure we wouldn't have had Mr. Dress-up if we were living in refugee camps without a country." seems to neglect that such refugees have been welcomed into Canada, the children of which did likely watch "Mr. Dress-up" rather than a plush mouse getting the stuffing kicked out of it by KGB.

zazie said...

à Charles Henry
You are right ; it is difficult to imagine what sort of people can use children to promote their politics, whichever side they stand with.
I keep reciting a line, though I can't remember who it is by :
"honte à ceux qu'un enfant tout à coup ne désarme".
This is not something new : this time I know the verse I am going to quote was written by Victor Hugo :
"Ami, répondit l'enfant aux yeux bleus,
Je veux de la poudre et des balles"
The poem was about the war of independence of Greece, in the XIXth century, awar against Turkey, if my memory is good.