If we're being honest with one another, which of course we are, who lies on the internet, right? I spent the last several days in a sweat lodge in Arizona on my family's reservation. Therefore, the thing I've mainly been listening to is my own bitching, and perhaps the loud echoes of regret which are filling my head, and telling me that my caucasian half thinks this was a really bad idea--and that half seemed really, really right in 110F.
The things we do for family, am I right?
However, what I have been listening to, and what I plan on listening to again, is something near and dear to my heart.
I know, crazy right? How is this close to my heart? I am the mother of two teacup humans. One is seven and one is three. I could lie (again, this is the internet, and honesty is assumed), and tell you I only read the highest level of ABC books and comics to my children. I could also tell you I never let them watch television or play hours of games on my iPad, because MOMMA HAS CRAP TO DO--but--no.
For a scheduled period of time each day, my children get to be truly American, and completely zombify themselves in front of the television.
Some children's programming is truly awful. Calliou, for instance, is so awful, I'd actually rather join a book club with my mother, wherein we read aloud from 50 Shades of Grey, and proceed to discuss our favorite scenes, than watch that show one more time. Same goes for Ella the Elephant and those awful videos on YouTube that just show grown ups opening toys. Those videos captivate children, and I find them creepy and terrifying.
Do me a favor, check out the number of times that video has been viewed. Is your mind blown?
However, Yo Gabba Gabba, has become my port in the storm. Not only is it so ridiculously trippy as to call into question the relative sobriety of its creators, production always manages to snag the best talent for their segments, making every parent sigh in collective happiness. Especially those parents ages 30-45. Because every day, Biz Markie shows up, and teaches
us our children how to beat box.
Typically, the struggle of parents, children, and television is a sort of internecine war that inevitably ends with tears and alcohol. Not the case with Yo Gabba Gabba. It is so superbly conceived that it is truly a joy to watch. And the music! Holy gods, the music. It's ripe, and creative, and it's new. The addition of artists such as The Roots, and The Who, and recently, Imagine Dragons, is serving to cultivate a love of interesting, good music in the next generation of thinkers, creators, and doers.
Think about it, if our next generation is only exposed to the music they hear on television every day, they're at least given the exposure of a broad array of wonderful music, even if they are just watching this one show.
With music programs being pushed aside to facilitate the school's ability to devote more classroom time to test prep, children aren't getting the same musical education that I was given. I had four hours per week of art and music classes. My son gets thirty minutes of the arts, once a week, for half of the year. The other half of the year, that time is spent preparing for spring standardized tests.
Yo Gabba Gabba sets a foundational love of music in children as young as eighteen months, and sets a spark inside their little hearts that can only be truly realized when they're able to sample music of their own choosing. I know that now, at age seven, my son is still quite in love with The Strokes, which is a band he first heard in the womb, but was able to see and dance along with on Yo Gabba Gabba.
Not to mention, they teach really good lessons...