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"Swiper does need a cap in his ass."

One reason I don't want to do too much linking to various things I read on the web is that I think it reveals a little too much -- "How did he wind up there?" But here's an exception -- and I have no idea how I wound up there: The comments section on "Dora the Explorer," the very popular children's show at the long-forgotten Jump the Shark (I know that I was curious about how a show in which every episode is identical could Jump the Shark.)

Most of the comments are hilariously hostile: "Honest to God, you're putting your kids on the train to Freaksville if you let them watch this." Or, "there was one show where Benny needed sticky tape to fix his balloon because his balloon was about to crash. If we are to infer that the balloon is filled at a pressure of 60 psi and that this show takes place in real-time, then they would not have the time to repair the hole by the end of the episode. I'm worried that my 2-year-old might get some glaring misconceptions about simple Newtonian physics....Also, Swiper does need a cap in his ass. Theft is illegal." This is interspersed with incredulous comments from proud parents bragging that their two-year-olds can count in Spanish thanks to Dora, and pointing out that "this show isn't aimed at 26 year old unemployed men."

The whole exchange, which goes on and on, is hilarious, but why? I think it's because the Internet mostly consists of little communities where people share interests, language, and assumptions. The sarcastic unemployed 26-year-olds who are obsessed with TV shows have their space; the proud toddler moms have theirs. For all the "flame wars" on the Internet, there aren't many points where such actually different cultures meet. This is like the Istanbul of the Internet.

Or, perhaps it's interesting because of the fact that in George Bush's America, there are a few too many 26 year olds with nothing to do but watch Dora.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on October 14, 2003 | Permalink

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