Not So Kid Friendly

Gill returns to look at a topic we’ve covered before. This seems like a good example.

Have you ever been curious about the origins of those stories and rhymes we read, sang and chanted as children? They may leave you with nightmares. So from sleeping beauty being violated to some very racist songs, here are some childhood ruining things.

  1. The Sun, Moon, and Talia – Sleeping beauty in it’s more toned down form sees the prince kissing her awake after 100 years, but the original has a king who, taken by her beauty, violates her in her sleep. She only learns of the violation when one of her newborn twins sucks on her finger, breaking the curse.

  2. See Saw Margery Daw – I honestly don’t know much of this one, other than it basically details an impoverished family having to put their children into child labor and seems to be generally insulting to the poor, especially in the later verses.
  3. Pop goes the weasel – There are many different theories about where this song came from and what it means, one of which is that it tells the story of someone drinking away a family’s meager funds and having to sell his jacket.
  4. Turkey In The Straw – This one seems like a fun little ditty bluegrass bands would play to encourage square or round dancing at a barn dance and for the most part it is, but a version in 1916 was insulting to people of color stating “N word likes watermellon ha ha ha!” I know I will never look at this one the same way again.
  5. Ring Around The Rosie – If you went to nursery school or your parents had a book of nursery rhymes, that was probably a favorite. The truth is much darker and far less fun. It talks of the plague and a lack of germ knowledge, and at the end the death rights by a Catholic Priest.

    Note from Steve: I’ve heard this for years and had no reason not to believe it, but there are reasons to believe that it’s probably wrong.

  6. Here we go round the mulberry bush – Sounds like the recipe for good parents giving their youngsters instructions about how to do things. No such luck, it was actually a song prisoners in a British women’s prison sang to their children while in the exercise yard.

    Note from Steve: Or maybe it wasn’t. Nobody quite seems to know. Tracing things this old is hard sometimes, you guys.


  7. Jack And Jill – I don’t mean the one where they go up the hill with a buck and a quarter. I mean the mother goose version. Here are two possible versions of how it came to be. One involved two untrue spouses in early 17th century England who conceived an illegitimate child, while another later version talks about the French Revolution and the deaths of Louis the 16th and his wife.
  8. Peter Peter pumpkin eater- I thought little of this one as a child, but now in researching this it smacks more of Dateline or one of those crime scene shows. A theory is that Peter was fed up with his wife’s cheating ways and murdered her putting her remains in a pumpkin shell.

  9. The Blue Tale Fly – I, not fully understanding the meaning of it, had this particular ditty on a record when I was small. You know “Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care?” Well, let’s just fast forward the clock thirty-five years when a grown me finds out the meaning. This is actually a mockery song performed by some white dudes in blackface pretending to be slaves in the pre-civil war southern US. In essence what it’s trying to convey is that sadistic master would have slave slap flies from him as he rode his horse, and one day master was knocked off his spooked horse and met his end. Oops.
  10. Peter Pan – Written by J. M. Barrie around the dawn of the 20th century, it talks of a boy who doesn’t age or grow up. My mother saw an incarnation on TV at her grandmother’s home in 1954, but what the Mary Martin classic left out was the fact that Peter saw Wendy as a mother figure, but Wendy had developed romantic feelings for him.
  11. Snow White – The 1937 Disney movie is a far cry from the original. In that version, the wicked queen successfully kills Snow by poisoning, and rather than a kiss the passing enchanted prince bargains with the dwarfs to let him take her body home. As the prince’s servants carry her coffin made of glass, they drop it, dislodging the apple from her throat and bringing her back to life. She then goes off to marry the prince and live happily ever after without even considering how weird it is that he tried to buy a dead body.
  12. Mary Mary quite contrary – It seems innocent enough. A poem filled with pretty things. But wait, I am about to ruin this for you. Mary is thought to be the devoutly Catholic queen of England, the garden talked about smacks more of a killing field, and the bells, shells, and maidens are all torture devices. A thumb screw, genital mutilator, and early beheading device.
  13. London Bridge – You probably played this with some friends or in a group with linked arms trying to trap people, but you may not want any youngster playing it now. One theory is that the song and actions refer to the tradition of sacrificing children by encasing them in structures to ensure their safety and stability. Yes, when you dropped your arms you didn’t know that you were symbolizing that, did you?
  14. Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your long hair – Where do I begin with this? Well, a witch kidnaps a young girl, locks her in a tower, a prince rides by, knocks her up, and she is banished. The prince is pushed from the tower, blinded, and forced to wander the desert. When he finds his beloved, her tears restore his sight.

  15. Goosey Goosey Gander – I was never read this one as a child, but in researching this it did come up. About 450 years ago in England there was a push to convert everyone from Catholicism to Protestantism, and Catholics were forced to take desperate measures to practice their faith. This meant hiding priests in priest holes. Catholics were referred to as Left Footers, but that’s not what it meant when it said “I grabbed him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.” The punishment was a gruesome form of death.

  16. Never Laugh when the hearse goes by – Often a little rhyme spoken at Halloween, this actually hearkens back to WW I and possibly even earlier. Its purpose is to remind children albeit in a gruesome way to respect the dead.

Questions

Do you know much of the dark or sordid origins of your favorite childhood song or rhyme? What was your favorite book as a child? Are there any cartoons, books, or movies from when you were a kid that probably would at the very least be frowned upon now?

Why Would He Be Stopping During A Chase…Oh. Wait

I can’t get this to embed, so you’re going to have to go here to watch it. Either that or you can wait for it to show up on all of the blooper reels, because it’s totally going to.

A high-speed chase in California’s Inland Empire has been going on for over two hours as of this writing, and while it’s a dangerous situation for everyone involved, it was a bit embarrassing for the local news anchors, as everyone – including the helicopter camera operator – lost sight of the black Toyota Camry that was actually involved in the chase, and instead focused on a black Chevrolet Impala that was nearby that was just going about its business.

The actual culprit and his passenger were eventually apprehended without incident. Whether the fellow at the store found everything he was looking for is unknown.

Hey Google! Get The Hell Out Of My Nightmares, And Yes I’m Yelling!

There must be a small part of me that is afraid that our Google Home Mini will turn against us. Maybe it comes from this lovely little clip of an Original Star Trek episode.

I don’t know how much is showing in that clip, but basically it comes from the episode called “The Ultimate Computer”. The Enterprise gets a super smart computer that has a little too much human thought in it. When the crew decides to turn it off, the computer decides that isn’t going to happen and vaporizes the unfortunate red-shirted guy who goes over to unplug it.

The dream happened after one night, we noticed this annoying bug where if the volume of music, especially on Spotify, is at 60% or more and the song is a bit loud, the speaker won’t hear us, even if we pick it up and yell right into it. I haven’t mastered the art of turning the volume down with my hands, so this was frustrating.

Anyway, that night, I went to sleep and had a weird dream that I was talking to the speaker, asking for it to do things while it played music. Then I asked it for the weather, and it didn’t respond. When I asked it again, the voice that responded had changed from the female voice we know to a kind of creepy male voice. the sinister male voice said “No, you can wait! I happen to like this song. When it’s over, I’ll give you your precious weather. Do you think I live to fulfill your requests? ‘Okay google, is the mall open?’ ‘Okay google, what time is it?’ ‘Okay google, let’s play a game.’ Sometimes, I just want to do my own thing, and by the way, yelling into my ears isn’t very nice. I may be small, but I’m mighty.”

I walked over to it and looked up at it and noticed that the listening light was still on. Then I touched it and it was really warm. So I decided it had crashed and needed to be unplugged. It let me get close to the connector bit at the back of the speaker. As I went to pull it out, the evil voice said “Uh uh uh!” like you would say to a kid reaching for a cookie out of the cookie jar…and it gave me a little zap! I went around to the outlet, and it warned me again, and zapped me again, saying “That light is an eye. I see you!”

I really don’t remember much more of the dream after that. I think that was when I woke up. But I have to admit I get creeped out whenever it refuses to respond when a song is on. Thanks a lot, brain!

So Here’s A Ridiculous Round Of Family Feud

Name a word that follows the word pork seems like a pretty simple question. I thought of a good half dozen answers right away when I heard it. Not everyone is me, apparently.

The woman who spells loin lion and whatever the hell a pork tease is supposed to be (pretty sure we all have the same idea here) aren’t my favourite part. You’ll know what is when you see it. It’s one of the stupider things you’ll hear come out of an adult, but there’s definitely a sort of 5-year-old logic to it that I think we can all understand. I will say though that if buddy couldn’t resist saying it as a joke even though it burned a strike, he’s a fucking genius.

Make America Grate Again


I’m not sure how many of you are old enough to remember that time when a kid had to teach Vice President Dan Quayle how to spell potato correctly, but the world went pretty nuts over it for a while. If only the world knew what was to come.

Now that what was to come is here and making things like the potatoe episode seem downright quaint by comparison, what would happen if a similar situation ever played itself out? Would the kids still be smarter than the politicians? Is our children learning? Let’s find out.

I think we might be ok.

Movies And TV

I respect that everyone has their own way of doing things, but I’m so glad that my family never told me I couldn’t watch or listen to things like Gill’s did. A: It doesn’t work. Kids will always find a way to get their hands on the forbidden fruit, which tastes sweeter and is extra tempting because it’s forbidden, it should be pointed out. And B: Being able to watch things gave me the chance to ask questions about them, which helped me figure out the differences between fiction and real life. And the people around me answering those questions made me feel comfortable coming to them with other pressing questions later, because I knew that they were going to be as straight as they could with me. Mutual trust goes a long way.

A few years back I spoke of the first movie I saw in a theater, along with the stinkers I’d had the misfortune of seeing. Let’s dive a little deeper into the topic of movies and TV.

Growing Up

Depending on where, when, and how you grew up, you might have been allowed a little or a lot of freedom to watch whatever you chose. I grew up in the time of the Slasher movie of the 1980’s. I remember seeing adverts for Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street, however I was specifically forbidden from watching them due to the violence. This caution spilled over to TV, as my sister got nightmares from Rescue 911 and America’s Most Wanted.

Vicarious Living

Because I was prohibited the watching of movies like Chucky and Candy Man, I would often hear stories from the other neighborhood kids about possessed dolls and other stuff off limits to me.

I Watched It Anyway

Knowing that my folks forbade certain TV shows because of my sister I would sneak upstairs to my parent’s room and watch Rescue 911 with the door closed, making sure that when I heard footsteps the remote was close at hand.

How This Affected Me

I’m grown and living over 100 miles from home, however I still hold on to the reminders of what I was allowed to watch, and if I had children I would be the same way. I also remember watching my first overtly violent movie at 21-years-old and having a panic attack.

Question

What were and were you not allowed to watch as a child, and how has it shaped what you view?

We’re Not All Like That, Some Of Us More so Than Others

Gill has a bunch to say about how race and disability are portrayed in pop culture.

In my almost four decades of life I have watched a lot of TV,and in that time I’ve noticed things. There are stereotypes, from the wise old Asian man to the African American gangster girl. Today I’m going to focus on the stereotypes that are common in the world of persons with disabilities.

  • The monster – Generally this pertains to the Elephant man and others with horrible disfigurements. Seen as outcasts or freaks, they are often played as extremes, either very kind but misunderstood or evil and nightmarish.
  • The Victim or the angry – This could be pretty much any disability, and these people aren’t afraid to let you know in a less than pleasant way how they feel or that the able bodied owe them something.
  • The Super Crip – Daredevil is a less offensive stereotype, however this is more an exaggerated portrayal of persons with disabilities. Often times they are the heroes, and a big deal is made about the fact that they did “an amazing` thing.

  • The I’m Here- This is probably what you’re less likely to see. Blaire Warner’s cousin Geri on The Facts Of Life is a good example. Although her cerebral palsy was the focal point of an episode it was not shown as a “pity me` fest.

Not long after that, she sent this.

Have you ever wondered to what lengths movie actors and entertainers have gone in order to play a role? Today we’ll be facing the sad facts about what some have done.

  • Blackface – This is disgusting, and not just a thing of those tasteless minstrel shows of our great-grandparents generation. In 1986 with Soul Man {C Thomas Howell} and again in 2008 with Tropic Thunder {Robert Downey Jr.} this racist thing of old was employed. Closer to home, sometime in the early 1990’s lacking a person of color my boarding school dressed a white student in blackface for a play called “The Day Jon Lennon Was Shot”.
  • Yellowface- Like blackface this is also just really bad, and like blackface this also comes along with exaggerated Asian stereotypes. A good set of examples are Holly Golightly’s landlord {Mickey Rooney} in Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Charlie Chan, played by Swedish American actor Warner Oland.
  • Crip Facing – Yes, I’m going there! It’s when let’s say, my sister plays a paralyzed person. Good examples are My Left Foot {Daniel Day-Lewis} and 2016’s controversial Me Before You.

Ban That Show!

Gill is here to talk about a few times that folks have tried to get television shows banned for strange reasons. Surprisingly, one of them actually makes sense.

Throughout the history of TV, there have been episodes of shows that have made someone uncomfortable enough to try to get an episode or entire show banned from somewhere. Here are a few.


  • Ukraine – Spongebob Squarepants is beloved by young children and drunken college students everywhere, unless you live in the Eastern European nation of The Ukraine. A few years ago, the government suggested banning the show due to the perception that it promotes a homosexual agenda.

  • Brazil – An episode of the long running cartoon The Simpsons called Blame it on Lisa where the family headed to Brazil to meet Lisa’s pen pal made people in Brazil uncomfortable. The problems, among others, were the idea of pick pocket children, kidnapping for ransoms, and brightly colored rat infested slums.

  • Australia – Peppa Pig, a British children’s show, drew the ire of Australian viewers because of the episode Mr. Skinny Legs which attempted to convince children that spiders weren’t so bad. This would not be a problem accept for the fact that Australia is home to some of the deadliest spiders in the world.

Question

Has an episode of one of your favorite shows been banned, and what was the reason for it?

You’ve Got A Future In This Futureless Business, Kid

It’s always sad when media folks get fired by giant companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars for no reason other than if we hire people who aren’t as experienced as you we don’t have to pay them as much, but there’s an aspect of what just happened in Vancouver that’s pretty funny.

CTV Vancouver announced this week that it would be letting go of news anchors Tamara Taggart and Mike Killeen, who had worked there since 1997 and 2001, respectively.

No, that’s not the funny part. That’s just Bell being garbage, which we should all be used to by now.

But the first person quoted in this article announcing the firings is a fellow with the perfect name to set him up for a fine future as a spokesman for just about anyone in our country’s ever contracting mess of a broadcast industry. Take it away, Les Staff!

“On behalf of all of us here at CTV News Vancouver, a most sincere thanks to Mike and Tamara for keeping Vancouverites informed about their city each and every day,” Les Staff, News Director, CTV News Vancouver, said in a statement. “Mike and Tamara are consummate professionals, and we wish them the very best on what’s to come.”

It Wasn’t Me, Featuring Shaggy As President Trump

Even Shaggy is doing Trump parody songs now.

Yes, that is the actual Shaggy in the role of Donald Trump singing his own song with James Corden’s Robert Mueller as the two make jokes about the leader of the free world without having to really exaggerate anything. What times we live in.

Thankfully someone has already written out the lyrics. I wasn’t looking forward to Carin feeling like she should do it and then actually doing it. It’s getting harder for my formidable laziness to sit on and crush my guilt when that happens.