Tuesday, June 19, 2007

propaganda... for kids!

outraged would be a bit strong of a word to use. perhaps suprised, but it didn't really suprise me either (which seems to me points to the problem being even worse than it appears on the surface). I've always known that it is much easier to indoctrinate children into believing something than it is to brainwash adults into changing their beliefs, but I still didn't expect to see it in my mailbox yesterday.


Oh, we got some junk mail trying to sell us this pretty cool "educational" material for children. Well, it would have been pretty cool, and I'm sure it would be lots of fun, except for the fact that right there in the letter it says something along the lines of "to prepare your children for the fast-approaching global society." This product is from a well-known and loved company, been around since I was a kid. It consists of spy kits where you solve a mystery in a different country each time. There's you, the secret agent, and there's a villian (described in the literature as a "comical crook") who has stolen and hidden a precious object that you (the child) have to discover using the clues provided. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I know my kids would love it, and would never question any ulterior motive behind it at all. But I also know it would teach them certain stereotypes I don't want them to learn about until they are old enough to know they aren't true. I also question whether preparing my children for the "inevitable" one world government is a good idea. Get them so used to the idea they don't question it when it happens, is what it seems to me is the goal. blech!

Oh, but there's more. In the advertisement, there was a page of "free" stickers from different countries. For Great Britain, the sticker was a picture of a policeman. Kinda appropriate, considering what I've heard about the police state that the UK is becoming (I know the US is no different). For Spain, it was a picture of Don Quixote. Not sure if I like the connotations there, and I'm no Spaniard. But I think my biggest problem is in the good guys versus bad guys theme. We, the top secret agents, are the good guys. Them, idiot cartoonish crooks, are the bad guys. We the good guys are apparently employed by the government to travel around the world to seek out the crooks and mete out our version of justice. The deeper you look at the concept, the more and more offensive it becomes. I'm sure they'll sell a million of these spy kits to parents who see nothing wrong with indoctrinating their children into blindly accepting that what the government does (to the bad guys, of course) is a good thing and never to be questioned. No thanks!

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