Friday, January 05, 2007

Elmo, Elmo, Elmo

Most parents will at least recognize Elmo. I used to loathe Elmo. That was PL (pre-Logan), and before I discovered how cute it is to see him sing and count along with the great, fuzzy red one. I have grown to like Elmo. T.M.X. even elicits a giggle from me. How low the mighty once-Elmo-haters have fallen (although I still thank God every day he's not a big Barney fan).

Last Christmas, I bought Logan a "Happy Holidays Elmo" DVD. It's pretty cute. Holiday songs, introductions to Chanukah, Kwanzaa (!!!), and very briefly, Ramadan. It's not a bad little movie, and Logan loves it. He calls it "Apedah Momo". We've had fun singing the Christmas Carols together, singing with Elmo, laughing at the mistletoe jokes and the Noodles' antics. However, there are several things about this DVD which irk me to no end. Maybe it's just my education getting in my way of simple pleasures...maybe some pure snobbery...maybe just too many viewings to be this intimate with the content.

1. Chanukah - the family is beautiful! Perfect! Well dressed and clearly happy. The 'traditional' food included looks really yummy. There's even a little cartoon explaining the lamp miracle behind Chanukah. Very nice.
2. Ramadan - gets nothing more than a cursory mention by a couple of kids talking about how they celebrate the 'holidays'. That's it. Ramadan got gypped.
3. Kwanzaa - Okay - so I'm biased against such a clearly manufactured 'holiday'. The first thing in this video elicting a laugh is the mention of the "Kenorah" (which boasts a mere 7 candles as opposed to the Menorah's 9). Can you say "we borrowed from everywhere?" The video suggests Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage and the harvest time in Africa. So what tray of veggies does Mom carry in? Cucumbers, corn, grapes, eggplant....correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt any of these are cash crops in Africa. Lastly, and this just plain makes me angry. The family celebrates the last day of Kwanzaa with a family gathering, which is cool. However, in true stereotyping traditions, the family is - not African traditional food...FRIED CHICKEN! And pineapple with Maraschino cherries...and other items which appear to be traditional soul food selections. I know I'm losing some marbles (pregnancy and children do that to you), but that just seems wrong to me (on many levels).
4. Christmas - man, do they short-shrift Christmas, and this makes me madder than any of the previous complaints. There's a nice little Christmas play during which they tell the story of Jesus's birth, but not ONCE do they mention why the little baby is special - specifically, there is absolutely NO mention of GOD!!!!! Why bother talking about Christmas at all? (There's quite a clue in the name of the holiday, eh?) All the kids talk about is getting presents and spending Christmas with family. Which is very warm and fuzzy, but not at all the point, really. Nope, Heaven forbid we mention GOD in any children's programming - we might corrupt them.

If we're trying to educate them about holidays, which are all essentially religious celebrations (except the obvious ones like 4th of July and Columbus Day), why can't we mention the diety/ies at the root of the holiday? Is that not a truer education than just saying it exists as a holiday? I realize my sentiments here are not unique, but I'm heartily sick of God being the being most discriminated against in our current culture. It's almost evil to be Christian these days. Can't say Merry Christmas to sales clerks, we might offend them. Can't pray in school, might offend someone; can't say the Pledge of Allegience, it mentions God. Is everyone else really so sensitive and easily offended, considering this country was founded on the beliefs of Christian men and women? We've really lost it....I'm not going open the can of worms I'm heading into, so I'll stop here...Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Ramadan....did I miss anyone? I wouldn't want to offend.....

posted by purdygirl, 8:38 AM

1 Buffaloes were bitter enough to post comments:

Blogger Tony LaRocca, said:
My first website was entitled Elmo is Satan. Now that I have 3 kids, I only want to strangle the little red turd even more.
...on January 21, 2007 7:52 PM  

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