Sunday, January 30, 2005

Extra! Extra!...Squares find Squarepants too gay!


“Patrick, we’re not ugly! We just stink!”
-Sponge Bob Squarepants

Yesterday I decided to see what all the stink about Sponge Bob Squarepants was all about. Apparently some conservative groups have been ranting that the harmless little sponge promotes gay lifestyle. So I rented the entire second season of the cartoon (the first season was already out), but strangely, I found nothing in the content of the stories that alluded to the embracing of homosexuality. Though I did find a number of other messages which seem a bit too counter-culture for neocons who need a little help in finding their imaginations or embracing their own creativity. Though I suspect that all of this hype about immoral bunnies and rebel sponges is a smokescreen for some of the other evil that is being dished out on other fronts: Iraq, Social Security, Corporate Media Consolidation and partnership with the RNC.

Message #1: Nudity is funny or at least being caught loosing your underpants is funny.

The show is set in an undersea community called ‘Bikini Bottom.’ Number of times Sponge Bob or any other character looses their underwear while being frightened: 10. Let’s face it there is nothing funnier than loosing one’s underpants while being in a fright. Though it’s much more frightening to think of my zoftig suburban coworkers in the buff.


Message #2: Being a grown up is lame.

In the episode Grandma’s Kisses poor little Sponge Bob is shamed by his peers because his Grandma kisses him goodbye. In order to shake off his childish ways, Spongebob dons a pair of sideburns and learns to enjoy freeform jazz. “You’re a man Spongebob, and it’s about time that you started acting like one!” chides his loafy bestfriend, Patrick the Starfish. Patrick however has a change of heart when he’s offered cookies, milk, tender loving care and warm snuggly sweaters from Grandma.
When Spongebob questions his best friend about his 180 degree shift, Patrick replies frankly, “Being a grown up is boring, besides I don’t get Jazz.”

Message #3: Confirmity is wrong and just plain boring.

Episode: Squidsville
Cranky mollusk Squidward decides to move far away from Spongebob and Patrick after they decide to horse around and redecorate his home with their reefblowers. He berates them for their immaturity and then declares that he’s moving to a more progressive and mature neighborhood called “Tentacle Acres.” Squidward is estatic when he find that the people of the town all live in houses that look just like his old tikihead house. In fact, Tentacle Acres boasts row after row of identical tikihead homes with all the amenities. To his delight Squidward discovers that the denizens of his new neighborhood enjoy all the same things he loves like bike riding, eating canned bread, taking interpretive dance classes, and playing the clarinet. In fact they love to do these things each and every day with no room for change in their routine. Squidward gradually becomes depressed and one day finds himself tempted to wreak havoc around the neighborhood by pilfering a reefblower and using it for unorthodox and silly purposes to the dismay of all his neighbors. When they finally confront him with a list of grievances or a “well thought out & organized list of complaints”, Squidward explodes. “ This whole town is a grievance!" he erupts. "There should be a law about so many uptight tightwads living in one place!”

If that isn’t frightening I don’t know what else is? And just maybe, there's a reason why Harold uses a 'purple' crayon.

If you really want to fight the ridiculous numbskulls who sanction these attacks on creative and fun programming for children, then buy any items associated with all the children's programs that they denouce and declare immoral or improper for children. Buy Arthur and Buster the Bunny books for your children or other people's children, decorate your homes with SpongeBob Squarepants memorabilia, hang a big fucking purple Tinky Winky flag on your front porch. Hang Rainbow and Barney windsocks in your front yard.

There's power in the purchasing of counter-culture products. Besides children's programming has made strides in the past few generations. It would be awful if they reverted back to that Shari Lewis & Lambchop style of talking down to children... that woman just plain freaked me out.

Other notable commentaries on the efforts of the neocon religious right to denigrate children's programming:

Funny drag bunny pictures; http://www.robotjohnny.com/archives/2005/01/what_a_drag.php

Parody article in which Sponge Bob denies that he's a homosexual : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6853667/

Some interesting news that the conservatives might what to think about:

South African Sesame Street features HIV positive puppet to promote tolerance towards those with the disease:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2264256.stm

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