My two-and-a-half year old son watches “Go, Diego, go!” now and again. I let him, I’ll admit it. I let him sit, bug-eyed, mouth agape, watching colorful pictures flicker on and off in front of his angelic little face. I allow him to feel as though it’s a special treat to be able to sit immobile on the floor in mommy’s room and let his brain take a smoke break for 30 minutes. If the Backyardigans or Wonderpets are on too, it might be an hour. So sue me.
But my mothering skills are not the subject of this rant (feel free to delve into that on your own time – just make sure you send me the link). What I want to bring to your attention is the fact that Diego, with his high-pitched and stress-laden young voice, is doing quite a bit of damage to the natural ecosystem of animal and bird and reptile species’ the world over.
Each of the shows focus on a creature that has gotten itself into some kind of life-threatening predicament. The baby penguin is stuck on a piece of ice that broke off the mainland, the baby monkey fell out of its tree, etc… Diego gets a call and it’s off to the rescue!!
It’s not just that his voice is INCREDIBLY annoying. It makes me think of the sound that chainsaws make when they find a piece of metal embedded in a tree trunk. That sound is definitely cause for concern – I wouldn’t want my son to decide that when he’s concerned or worried or just anxious to help someone out he has to screech about it… but, the issue at hand is the fact that Diego is teaching my son that one should not let nature take its course.
That’s right. The whole “survival of the fittest” theory is absolutely ignored during the production of scripts for “Go, Diego, go!” Animals constantly get themselves into trouble, seemingly because they are not very bright – or perhaps they have just run into a spate of bad luck. In any case, they are not the “fittest” of their kind. Yet, Diego makes sure they continue to exist in the reproductive bloodline of the species. Maybe not such a good idea??
Sure, maybe the baby penguin really wants to get back and be a successful citizen in the flock. Perhaps he wants to learn from his mistake and make a difference in the penguin world. He wants to be a good penguin husband and father and carry on the family name. But does he deserve that kind of responsibility?? Why didn’t he stay close to his parents in the first place? We’ve all seen “March of the Penguins”; we know that it’s practically a suicidal cry for help in penguin society to wander away from the family group. He may as well start wearing gauges and carrying a lighter in his back pocket just in the off chance another rebel penguin should offer him a reefer. Or maybe he’s just mentally challenged – either way, that penguin is nothing but trouble!
And where are his parents in this scenario? The penguin’s, I mean. Perhaps they need some parenting skill classes. How can they just let their offspring dawdle away, knowing as they surely do that just a few moments away from the clan could spell death for the youngster? Are they the ones with the damaged genes?
What’s my son learning from this show, anyway? That if he gets into trouble some linguistically blessed young man with a talking camera and over-achieving backpack is going to swoop down and save him? Or that all animals deserve to be rescued no matter how few cards they may have in their deck? Either way, it’s a crock. I think we’ll switch to Happy Days re-runs. At least with that show he’ll learn something socially relevant – like how to get chicks.