The Purple Menace: Barney the Communist Dinosaur
Communism will never destroy America. But as Generation Barney matures, we look back at the dangerous legacy of communism’s top entertainer.
Throughout the 20th century, popular entertainment was never just that. Thanks to the Legion of Decency, a kiss was never just a kiss, and a knowing smile had deeper meanings in the early part of the century. Later, better messengers proved to be the forms entertainment directed towards the youth. Superman and Captain America battled every single public enemy and moral outrage of the age; the most enduring ads (Disney’s I like Ike, Duck and Cover) were conveyed through animation.
However, no other children’s television program in America was as iniquitous and reprehensible as Barney and Friends. The PBS Kids’ TV show about an anthropomorphic purple dinosaur doubles as a pinko commie propaganda machine promoting communism and socialism and exposing young and malleable minds of millions of American children to these dangerous and subversive ideas.
Before we started pointing fingers, let’s see what Barney brings to preschool’ children, its targeted audience group. There were accusations that Barney promotes denial and ill-prepare the children for the existence of unpleasant realities. Many scholars and psychologists detest and denounce the show for it. However, children don’t go to these TV shows to learn about real life, so we need to bring the conversation about Barney to what it is within instead of what it is without.
Firstly, there is unhealthy eating. Barney consumes only peanut butter jelly sandwiches, while his girlfriend Baby Bop eats macaroni and cheese and pizzathe staples of American diet. The promoting a diet of peanut butter jelly sandwiches to preschoolers is unacceptable but mac and cheese and pizzathat is just downright wrong. The young minds are easily impressionable; in the age when we should be promoting healthy eating and well-balanced diet, the show was a slap in the face to many a nutrition expert.
Then came his theme song: “Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination”. The show was first aired in 1992, right after the fall of the Soviet Union. Choosing an extinct animal and reviving it may not directly suggest communist revival but Barney was originally meant to be red. Yes, redlike communism whose fossilized remains it came to symbolize. The production team claimed that red as a primary color would attract young childern’s attention, and only after a child psychologist warned that a bright red dinosaur could be perceived as threatening, color purple was chosen.
Thus like the Soviet Union, a purple Tyrannosaurus Rex remained an unnatural entity. Two additional lines from his theme song added to his unnatural, dishonest nature: “Barney shows us lots of things/Like how to play pretend” and “Barney can be your friend too/If you just make-believe him!” I don’t know what the producers (or the children who imagined’ Barney to life) were smoking/drinking.
Children who grew up with Barney will remember a slew of his most famous songs. Apart from I Love You/You Love Me’ with its hippy, free love message (another fossil from the 70s), all of his other songs and episodes promote communism towards young and defenseless children. [I Love You/You Love Me’ song was not so innocuous either. Entirely devoid of musical value, it was used by the U.S. military in interrogating terrorists. It is probably a thousand times worse than waterboarding.]
Barney asks children to clean up after themselves. Although it might probably have been a great idea for parents to implant in their children, his actual lyrics are terrifying. “Clean up, clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up everybody do your share,” sounds like a quote copied from Big Brother. It had been the propelling idea behind Stalin’s collective farms and Pol Pot’s killing fields. A world where everyone do the same share’ instead of maximizing utilities and profits by outsourcing is not an idea espoused by anyone since Adam Smith. It is downright socialist.
The next message cements Barney’s stance as the premier agent provocateur of communism. “Sharing is caring” had been his message. In addition to becoming the tag-line of online piracy, the quote shed light into the minds of Barney’s creators (and its masters in Kremlin). Sharing is a communist idea; it leads to a society whose very norms inhibits the personal growth and motivation. How can a person be motivated if his society promotes sharing instead of gaining the benefits through his own exceptional work? It was the flaw with Peter Singer’s model world. In addition to that cheery, idealist society where everyone receives the same wage and the benefits, sharing leads to a brave new world where state-sanctioned theft was promoted. That is Barney’s world. That is Marx’s world.
The best example of this line of thought was epitomized in the song “Peanut Butter and Jelly”. “First you take the peanuts/And you crunch ’em,/Then you take the grapes/And you squish ’em,/Then you take the bread/And you spread it” were the lines directly taken from the song. Peanuts symbolize farmers and landowners. Grapes symbolize not only bourgeois class but also religion. (Grapes have been an enduring symbol of faith, fertility). Barney is promoting a society where we oppress farmers, landowners, bourgeois and even religion. To do what? To take the bread and spread it. Ambiguously pronoun there brings back uneasy memories of breadlines behind the Iron Curtain.
“Communism will never destroy America,” proclaimed many politicians. But now as Generation Barney matures as and many who were directly related to Barney show becomes the icons of showbiz, we see America’s sudden turn to the leftnationalizing banks, healthcare, increasing taxation, etc. Those communist, socialist and nihilist ideas ingrained when these kids were little were definitely showing. Are we headed towards a Kleptocractic world where the rule of the jungle (viz., Sherwood Forest) is not only allowed but also sanctioned? It is time to expose this communist conspiracy. It is time to condemn Barney.