What kind of parents let their preschooler wander the jungle with nothing but a monkey and a sentient backpack, anyway?
For those of you who don't have children, Dora the Explorer is a show about a little Hispanic girl whose parents couldn't care less that she spends every day wandering through the jungle with a talking monkey who may or may not be a figment of her tortured mind.
Where are we going? CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! Insane.
"I love my boots! I love my boots! I. Love. My. Boots. That's why my name is Boots!" And that's why my name is Cock. Note to Boots: nobody expects a monkey to dress conservatively, but when you insist on indulging your boot fetish, it only draws attention to the fact that you're otherwise completely naked. And you hang out with a seven year-old girl. That's just creepy.
Dora's archnemesis is a truly pathetic creature. Condemned from the moment his parents named him to a life of petty theft, Swiper is consumed by self-loathing. Like most cowards, he can be thwarted simply by making eye contact and speaking firmly (I wouldn't rely on this in real life, though; it's probably best to back up your "Rapist, no raping!" with a healthy dose of pepper-spray).
Bar none, the most annoying character ever to appear in any medium. His nasal, diamond-tipped drill bit of a theme song is called "I'm The Map!" It goes like this:
"I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'm the map! I'M THE MAAAAAAAAAP!!!
You think I am joking. I am not joking.
Despite the mind-shattering music, Dora's far from the worst childen's show on TV. It's educational, interactive and has a strong female protagonist who cares about more than throwing tea parties. No wonder my daughter adores her. So what IS the worst kid's show? That's the subject of this week's debate. You'll doubtless remember some edutainment atrocity we've missed, so feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments area.
After reading last week about my gift card woes, Brian from Texas (authour of the Free Association webcomic) wrote in with this jaw-dropping article:
"Last winter, Best Buy Co. reported a US$43 million gain in fiscal 2006 from cards that hadn't been used in two or more years. Limited Brands Inc. recorded $30 million in 2005 revenue because of unredeemed cards."
Now I'm more determined than ever to get my fifty bucks worth of pizza.
Speaking Of Shameless Attempts To Take Your Money...
The Words & Pictures store has now been updated with a wider variety of shirt/design combinations, so if you've been holding out for a Ringer T with my face on it, now's your chance! We've still got a few more things to do ("Pictures" shirts are still women-only, for example) and number one on my list is replacing the godforsaken default copy that's the first thing visitors see:
"Welcome! This is my new online store! Thanks to CafePress.com, I am now selling a number of products with unique graphics on them."
Wow. Somebody like me got paid to write that.
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