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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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For the most part, "Bob the Builder" is about normal kids' stuff: teamwork, conflict resolution, taking turns and the like. The show isn't overtly political—Bob's catchphrase, "Yes we can!" predates the Obama campaign. Instead, it peddles a slightly hectoring brand of environmentalism. Ever since Bob discovered his inner environmental conscience, he's been teaching kids about believing in recycling and being kind to Mother Gaia. "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has become another one of the show's catchphrases. That's fine so far as it goes—aside from those evil Republicans, who doesn't love the planet?
But it's a little rich having Bob indoctrinate children about "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" while simultaneously prompting these children to beg their parents for plastic Bob the Builder trucks, and latex Bob the Builder balls, and plush Bob the Builder dolls. All of which are manufactured in far-away lands and shipped to our fair shores by the carbon-gobbling container-shipful. Bob the Builder is like one of those evangelists who lectures on the virtues of living green before hopping onto a private jet and flying back to his mansion in Nashville....
There's nothing particularly pernicious about any of this. Bob and Thomas and "Sesame Street" have plenty of redeeming qualities. And in any case, if you don't like a particular show you can always find one that better fits your tastes. Even so, it's a shame that there isn't more of a place for children's entertainment that exists solely in its own universe, apart from adult debates and sociopolitical fashions.
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