Posts Tagged ‘arthur’

I am writing about a topic I have avoided discussing for a while now. It’s a little embarrassing to admit but I feel now is an important time to let this all out. Here goes, I am a gigantic fan of the PBS television program Arthur. I mean, at one point I would watch it 6 times a day, sometimes the same episode 3 times over. Arthur never became as popular as other programs on PBS like Sesame Street or the animated version of The Wire. At least Arthur received much higher praise commercial than that bald thing Caillou ever will.

(Does he have cancer or does he just hate the Jews? No child should be this bald)

The first thing you need to know about Arthur is that the show takes place in a town called Elwood City. It stars Arthur Reid, an anamorphic Aardvark who wears a yellow sweater. His father is named David, mother is Jane, troublemaking sister is D.W., and baby sister is Kate. He attends Lakewood Elementary school and is in Mr. Ratburn’s 3rd grade class. I always thought it was funny how both Arthur and South Park were about 3rd grade children. Those two shows couldn’t be more different. Although, in one Arthur episode entitled “The Contest” they did do a South Park satire. And no, Seinfeld fans, there was no masturbation competition although that could have been good.

Arthur has a group of friends he often has adventures with. His best friend is Buster Baxter, a rabbit who always wears a light blue sweater. Buster likes to eat a lot and his dad is a pilot who didn’t love his mother anymore so he bailed on them. Francine Frensky is a monkey friend of Arthur. She’s great at sports and clearly a lesbian. She’s also Jewish and her dad is a garbage man. Yeah, like I’ve ever heard of a Jewish garbage man. Then there’s Muffy Crosswire, a spoiled brat and daughter of a used cars salesman. For some reason they have a mansion even though the dad only sells used cars. A bulldog named Binky is the bully who after about the first season joins the gang. Although he has a tough exterior, Binky is a sweet boy and probably a little sexually confused inside. There’s also a bear named Alan “The Brain” Powers. He’s the smartest kid in class and he celebrates Kwanza which I guess means he’s black. His parents own an ice cream store. As you can see, the Arthur series is terrible at racially stereotyping.

(From left to right; Muffy, The Brain, D.W., Buster not wearing the clothes he always wears, Arthur, Francine, and Binky. Why is the black character the one wearing Dockers?)

There are a lot of dark elements on Arthur as well. There is never mention on what happened to his father’s dad or his mother’s mom. He does have two grandparents, Joe and Thora, and they are on opposite sides of the family. I always got a feeling that they fool around but keep it on the down-low. Why wouldn’t they? Both are old and nobody really loves them.

A few classic episodes of Arthur are about a snowball (nothing to do with the sexual act of the same name), an episode featuring Art Garfunkel as a signing moose (a personal favorite of mine), and possibly the funniest episode of any show I have ever seen, the episode titled “The Bleep.” In this episode Arthur tackles swearing. The best part, they say a lot of filthy words throughout the episode and bleep it out. It’s incredibly genius and funny to see a children’s show tackle this topic. My favorite part is how casual the 4-year-olds in the episode can say fuck without a problem.

(The beginning where they do a Sopranos parody is missing for some reason but this should entertain you enough to see cursing on a children’s show)

Sometimes when an Arthur episode wasn’t up to snuff you could always rely on the segment to break up the two 10 minute episodes. The segment in between these two episodes was called “And Now Let’s Talk to Some Kids.” It involves a camera crew usually going into a school and asking kids dumb questions about the Universe or fire safety. On my way to Dorney Park a few years ago along with my friend Rob we made a list of the Top 25 “And Now Let’s Talk to Some Kids” segments. I forget which ones we rated 1 and 2, but I have a feeling it was either the Fiya Fighta Scott one or the Perkins School for the Blind making cookies.

One thing on Fiya Fighta Scott. This was a dopey Boston firefighter who talked to the children about fire safety. The strange thing about this is a few years after the episode originally aired they would skip over his segment. It’s the only Arthur episode that airs now where there is no “And Now Let’s Talk to Some Kids” segment. What did Fiya Fighta Scott do to get himself banned from PBS? Rob and I have theorized he either molested a child (he was pretty touchy with the kids in the clip) or he died on 9/11 and the producers didn’t feel like making a tribute graphic for him. The mystery of Fiya Fighta Scott from Boston will never be solved. I’ve searched him on Google extensively and have never found a single thing. I’ll always be left wondering.

I hope this has encouraged you to give that aardvark Arthur a chance. I haven’t watched it in years and all of this was off memory. The show is not only for children, although some of the newer episodes were pretty lame and were more about the guest voices ala The Simpsons. The show is full of satire and can be enjoyed by all.

(When I heard this movie was coming out do you know how excited I was thinking the Aardvark was finally hitting the big screen? I hate Russell Brand)

I woke up sad this morning. Actually, it wasn’t today. I’ve mentioned before that I write many of my blog postings ahead of time. So by this morning, I mean the morning that I am writing this. Actually, it’s around 6:30 now. But you don’t care about that.

For the sake of moving things alone, lets say that it was THIS morning that I woke up sad. It was a strange sadness. I didn’t have work or really any other responsibilities that I saw that I had to get done. Yet I still felt terribly depressed. What I felt I needed was comfort. Some sort of reminder of why I’m here and something to make me feel good. Because of that I am writing this, a list of things that bring me comfort.

1) Nostalgic Children’s Shows

Any time I think of television shows I watched as a kid I feel really warm and fuzzy. It’s what I imagine a hairy vagina must feel like if it had emotions. If the Illuminati work with Disney, expect a film about a group of talking vaginas to come out within the next two years. Even later on when I was way too old to watch some of these kids shows I still would. Arthur is one show that comes to mind that I watched consistently and would still probably watch if I had cable. I’ve seen most of the episodes probably close to 100 times and sometimes twice in one day. It’s comfortable and predictable. It brings me back to when my classmates didn’t have pubic hair and the only periods we knew about came at the end of sentences.

At the end of last year and the beginning of this, I got onto a huge television kick. From Netflix I rented The Adventures of Pete & Pete and then Gargoyles. Very different shows, but they brought me back to those same feelings that I reminisce about. Pete & Pete was quirky and had a lot of humor that I still don’t understand. Gargoyles was a Disney cartoon where at least one human was killed an episode. It’s the greatest cartoon of all-time and still hasn’t been matched in how continuous the storylines are or how epic it’s opening theme was. I almost wanted to cry watching it as it was Little Timmy’s favorite TV show when I was a mere 5-year-old. That delves into the idea that I wish I could be friends with myself from every year of existence and say “Hey, it’s going to be all right.” Insane, I know.

2) Zoos

I used to go to a lot of zoos when I was a kid. Shit, this is starting to turn into how everything that brings me comfort is just something that reminds me of my childhood. My childhood wasn’t fantastic, but I was never physically abused so I guess I shouldn’t complain. Zoos are still fun to go to. I went to one last year for my birthday. I love looking at animals. They’re quickly becoming a hobby of mine. They’re like celebrities but they all have the same things wrong with them. I really need to read more about weird animal facts.

The best thing about zoos are the areas where you get to pet or feed the animals. I’ve gotten to feed a giraffe which is probably the most interesting animal that I have fed. I’ve also tossed popcorn to bears and at lions at a place I used to always go to where you can feed animals popcorn. How amazing is that? Feeding grizzly bears popcorn. If that doesn’t bring you comfort then you have no heart.

3) Smiles

Whenever a stranger smiles at me I feel comfortable. That is, if it’s the right kind of smile. We know the difference between a good smile and a bad one. It all really matters if the person smiling is attractive or not. When a big fat girl smiles at me and I’m still not sure if she’s retarded or not, I feel no comfort. I feel fear and usually frown back. It’s a sure-fire way to let that animal know that you have no interest in feeding them a carrot (that’s what I fed the giraffe!)

With smiles I also would loop in compliments. Any friendly, unsolicited interaction with another human being is great. People coming up to me and saying that I look good or that they’ve seen worse always cheers me up. It makes me smile. Then they judge me if I’m attractive or not and that will determine if they feel comfort.

4) Books

This is a strange one. I don’t read all that much yet when I do I get a lot of comfort out of the books. I’d love to read more, but I just never seem to have the time. I’m always trying to write stuff of my own and that seems to take up all of my creative time that I use for words. The other creative time I use on trying to develop new sexual positions and acts to partake in. Once I learn to stand on my head and am flexible enough to eat my own ass, I will be an Internet sensation.

I’m hoping that once baseball season officially ends I will get more into reading. I’m not a super sports fan or anything, but not having cable I use listening to sports on the radio as a way of “keeping up with live reality.” It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t live without cable. I can get lost in time. If I have something scheduled that I cannot partake in any other time then I feel more normal. Books take me completely out of that normal feeling, which is good sometimes. Time is relative. That’s why when we’re around shitty people it feels like years instead of 30 seconds.

5) Snow

I live in an apartment now and they shovel all of the snow for me. Other than having to dig my car out, snow isn’t a problem at all. My car is all wheel drive so it handles well in the wintry goodness. Even if I do spin out, what’s the worst that will happen? I’ll land on some snow and feel happy.

Everyone clinging to their childhood (myself included) love snow because we associate it with getting off from school. I still get depressed Sunday nights because it makes me think of how I would feel when I’d have a great weekend of not leaving the house and then have to go back to school the next day. Snow’s the same way. It reminds me of Christmas and I love Christmas. I get presents and have an excuse to eat pie. If I was Jesus I would have been born in February. Winter is so depressing after Christmas when there isn’t any snow. It’s just cold. If we had Christmas in February then it would be right in the middle of the season and it wouldn’t feel so long. Or let’s have two Christmas holidays. I could go for that.