Monday, December 18, 2006

Penguins Are a Virus (and so is Nemo)

My daughter has been hooked on penguins. Big time. It started innocently enough. She saw them in the San Francisco Zoo. They have a nice set up there. Then this summer I bought her a huge stuffed penguin, an emperor penguin that's pretty much life sized. We were at Sea World a little while back and she saw the penguins there. We decided to give in and get her a baby penguin toy as a gift. What clinched it though was actually was that we were extremely tired of Finding Nemo.

A couple that we are friends with have a daughter that's a year and change older than Avrora. She's cute and we have babysat her now and again. For a while there, she was uber hooked on Nemo. She kept wanting to watch Nemo when she came over. My wife decided, "Why not? It's harmless enough." We'd been avoiding letting Avrora watch TV...well...for some reason, Avrora got just as hooked and for a long while there drove my wife nuts with 'NEMONEMONEMONEMO' during the day when my wife is not in school. When my wife needed to study, she'd give in occasionally. When I stayed home with my daughter when she was sick, I indulged her as well. Well, finally, I got a little sick of NEMO and thought that if she needed something to watch, why not something more educational? So I started Tivoing nature shows.

Unfortunately, my wife doesn't care for anything too...bloody. It's one reason that she's completely and utterly disinterested in BSG. This goes for nature shows too. In a twist I would have never expected, it seems she grew up with nature as disney under the Soviet Union and xUSSR Ukraine even worse than kids here do. The fact that animals ett each other in rather vicious ways kinda upsets her (at least to watch). Lions chewing on a carcas can make her more than lose her appetite. For me, it's, well, natural and doesn't bother my stomach at all. Shows about surgery on the other hand...Anyways, I digress.

One of the consequnces of my wife's preferences wrt nature shows is that I need to prescreen them before showing them to my daughter (and wife). I ended up finding one that wasn't too bloody. It was about Penguins. We all watched it. My wife liked it. I liked it. My daughter loved it. Perhaps a little too much. Now instead of NEMONEMONEMONEMO, it's PENGUINA!PENGUINA!

Well, it's better than Nemo, I s'pose.

To that end, we went to see Happy Feet last night. Eh. Not as funny as I'd hoped. Not as visually stunning either. The only shot that impressed me was the blizzard scene. My wife wasn't even impressed with that. My daughter on the other hand...she enjoyed it. We had a small running commentary of 'uh oh's, 'umpallah' (badly trasnliterated Russian of 'fall down'), etc. It was her first time at the movies and she had a wonderful time. One downside: my daughter saw the popcorn and said, 'NOSE!'

This morning it started again though: PENGUINA!PENGUINA!

And I became convinced. These are nothings more than memetic viruses that prey on the minds of children. :P

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