Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's Mary Poppin' ?

The last Tuesday of the holidays brought yet another venture into the Melbourne winter, this time movies at crown were my destination. The casino is a place I've never really liked, despite its opulent façade it seems to feel hollow, full of people going about the things that I can only imagine are meant to make them happy, a living death under the eternal brightness of signs and flashing things.

But I digress, back to the story. Somewhere along the way I met up with the others and we got our tickets to pirates of the Caribbean. With an hour till show time we opted to get something to eat, or rather they got various forms of dead chicken and I was disappointed with the vegetarian alternatives.

Soon after, we headed up to the cinema foyer where we waited and talked, conversation turned to classic childhood films such as Mary Poppins, which evidently not everyone had been exposed to.” Marry poppins? Isn’t she the one who made the kids do drugs?... and then sings about it being sweet?" was Emma's puzzled response, which must have been the most unusual interpretation of 'A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down' I've ever heard.

What's more disturbing is that she had seemingly gone her entire life without it ever even striking her as odd that Disney had randomly broken form and released a film about a drug peddling nanny. This got me wondering about what other dark subtexts may be lurking in children’s entertainment and what they may be doing to the fragile minds of scores of confused youngsters. I must say though that I'm not all that shocked that Mary should be getting the kiddies high as kites (up to the highest heights no doubt), drugs and depravity are rife in children’s entertainment if only you look a little below the surface.

For example a bad case of withdrawal certainly would explain pooh bear's constant sniffing and craving for sweet things. Then there's Mr. Squiggle who was such a vicious coke addict that hardly a day went by when he didn't go on one of his 'space walks', a misplaced pencil and a weakened septum giving Mr. squiggle his familiar look in an attempt to do lines of 'chalk dust' off the back of black board gone horribly wrong. Or 'High Five', enough said.
Coincidences? Perhaps. All I can say is that if parents are going to dump their kids in front of a couple of fruits chasing after 'bears' all day they'd better hope that those really are just bananas in their pajamas.


At July 20, 2006 6:27 am, Blogger Steph said...

What the hell is Mr. Squiggles?
I was quite confused when you said it was Winter... How cold does it get down there?

At July 20, 2006 10:07 am, Anonymous Hooch said...

Humph, said the camel.

I am torn between being highly entertained by this post (which I am) and leaping to the defense of my childhood loves. Adam, have you actually read Winnie-the-Pooh? If you are referring to a 'constant sniffing and craving for sweet things' suffered by the Disney Pooh (with whom I refuse to be acquainted), then I wholeheartedly support you in your claim that he is an addict of the highest preportions and should be admitted into rehab accordingly. If, however, you are bagging out mine and A.A. Milne's beloved bear, then I will have to withdraw resentfully from this post and never talk to you again! (am I joking? - Try me! :P ). I urge you to read the REAL Pooh.

I get your point though - about lurking subtexts in children's entertainment. And you didn't even mention Alice! And what about 'Bedknobs on Broomsticks'? or 'The Magic Pudding'? or Roald Dahl's 'Witches'?

I love Alice, and I love Pooh, and all the rest of children's literature - the warpterer [sic] the better. But I don't think children are disturbed by them and nor should they be. They are innocent, and, unlike adults, who lack imagination, can appreciate a good story.

Now I'll stop my rant.

Loved the new post, can't wait for the next one.

At July 20, 2006 5:41 pm, Blogger Erica said...

You forgot Puff The Magic Dragon too! Oh how I would sing along to the vinyl we had of that song...

And have you seen Return to Oz? Now THAT is dark. Definately a must see movie - it was one of my absolute favourites as a child (I liked it just as much, possibly more than The Wizard of Oz), and I can still get the same taste in the back of my throat when I see certain scenes of it now.

For those Americans not in the know, this is Mr Squiggle.

And as for how cold it gets in Aus, it depends where you are. It's a big country. Today Melbourne was very sunny, about 14 degrees (celcius). It doesn't snow here, but can get very cold still. Under 6 degrees. In Darwin however, it was 29 degrees today, which is decidedly tropical.

Go visit the BOM website if you're curious.

At July 20, 2006 6:32 pm, Blogger Adam said...

Oh yes I forgot to mention, if anyone can think of more examples please comment with them. It was quite late when I wrote, accidentally deleted and then rewrote this so there are bits missing.

Steph- Very cold, suffice to say you shouldn't be walking about the city in the rain, did I mention it was raining? Well it was. And Mr. Squiggle was a children’s show which was on Australian TV for many years that featured a little puppet man from the moon who had a pencil for a nose and would make pictures out of the random squiggles that kids would send in. Less odd than it sounds.

Hooch- I'm shocked you think I would attack a literary classic like that, Jane Austen's 'Emma' perhaps but that is for a whole other reason and a future post, I was of course referring to the Disney Pooh. I seem to vaguely recall reading the book as a child, a bunch of short poems I think.
I don’t think that children are disturbed by nearly as much as many adults would have you believe, but that there is at least one person out there that managed to miss the point so entirely is what I was exploring.

Erica- No I’ve never seen it, I actually only learnt it existed last year. And thanks for the handy links.

At July 22, 2006 3:13 pm, Blogger Briz-Fabyoulouse said...

Mr Squiggle used to totally scare me. I cold watch him but I had to look away when the space ship opened. Freaky. Ugggh thinking about him just scares me now. Check out this blog....You know you want to...

At July 22, 2006 4:20 pm, Blogger Adam said...

haha can't say he ever scared me as such, though I have heard of many people who were traumatized by the 'scarecrow' animation from playschool, in which the song says something about- when everyone is sleeping and they've all gone to bed... up jumps the scarecrow!... at which point this seemingly normal scarecrow's eyes would burst open and he'd jump off his crucifix thingy and proceed to sing and dance through the night.

At July 24, 2006 8:22 pm, Anonymous Scarecrow Resuscitation Service said...

When all the cows were sleeping,
And the sun had gone to bed,
Up jumped the scarecrow -
And this is what he said:

"I'm a jingle-jangle scarecrow,
With a flippy-floppy hat.
I can shake my arms like this!
I can shake my feet like that!"


Post a Comment

<< Home