This is peak idiocracy, or at least I’d like to think it is.
The online mob is now targeting the popular kid’s cartoon, PAW Patrol, which depicts puppies in various rescue vehicles as part of a helpful crew. Each puppy has a special way of helping.
We watch this show often. Our three-year-old loves it, as does just about every three-year-old who has seen it. It’s cute. Colorful. Entertaining. And the message is always working as a team to help others.
So of course the June of Riots has rendered PAW Patrol contentious programming.
From the New York Times:
“Paw Patrol” is a children’s cartoon about a squad of canine helpers. It is basically a pretense for placing household pets in a variety of cool trucks. The team includes Marshall, a firefighting Dalmatian; Rubble, a bulldog construction worker; and Chase, a German shepherd who is also a cop. In the world of “Paw Patrol,” Chase is drawn to be a very good boy who barks stuff like “Chase is on the case!” and “All in a police pup’s day!” as he rescues kittens in his tricked-out S.U.V.
But last week, when the show’s official Twitter account put out a bland call for “Black voices to be heard,” commenters came after Chase. “Euthanize the police dog,” they said. “Defund the paw patrol.” “All dogs go to heaven, except the class traitors in the Paw Patrol.”
It’s a joke, but it’s also not. As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops, too. Even big-hearted cartoon police dogs — or maybe especially big-hearted cartoon police dogs — are on notice. The effort to publicize police brutality also means banishing the good-cop archetype, which reigns on both television and in viral videos of the protests themselves. “Paw Patrol” seems harmless enough, and that’s the point: The movement rests on understanding that cops do plenty of harm.
PAW Patrol runs on both Nickelodeon and their pre-school channel, Nick Jr. Nickelodeon is as woke a channel as exists and always chimes in on cultural matters, even blacking out their channel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, “in support of justice, equality, and human rights.”
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) June 1, 2020
The official PAW Patrol Twitter account, went silent to “give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning.”
In solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning. #amplifyblackvoices pic.twitter.com/NO2KeQjpHM
— PAW Patrol (@pawpatrol) June 2, 2020
But it’s not the first time this year PAW Patrol has made political headlines.
In February, a professor at King’s College wrote a paper making a case that PAW Patrol is potentially damaging to littles because it portrays government in a negative light. Futher, and making the whole “cancel PAW Patrol” thing even more problematic, is that he argued PAW Patrol was a privately funded law enforcement stand-in, which is a bad thing, in his view.
Liam Kennedy’s two-year-old son isn’t allowed to watch Paw Patrol.
“He has now internalized my feelings about the series and knows that we don’t in fact watch Paw Patrol in our house,” said the King’s University College professor in an interview with London Morning‘s Rebecca Zandbergen.
Kennedy, on the other hand, has spent a lot of time watching the wildly popular children’s series in his office at work, dissecting what he sees as the show’s underlying messages. The outcome of that research has just been published in the journal, Crime Media Culture. It’s called “‘Whenever there’s trouble. Just yelp for help’: Crime, Conservation and Corporatization in Paw Patrol.”
Paw Patrol, an animated series that began in 2013, is about a group of do-good dogs who are led by a 10-year old boy, named Ryder. Together they rescue various people who find themselves in tricky situations. The show has spawned a run on franchise toys, as well as a travelling stage show.
“I’ll start with the depiction of the state. Mayor Humdinger and Mayor Goodway — kind of the representatives of the state or the government — are portrayed negatively,” Kennedy explained.
“Mayor Humdinger is portrayed as unethical or corrupt. Mayor Goodway as hysterical, bumbling, incompetent.”
Plus, Kennedy takes issue with Paw Patrol as a kind of stand-in for a government-funded police force. “I would argue that the Paw Patrol, as a private corporation, is used to help provide basic social services in the Adventure Bay community.
“That’s problematic in that the Paw Patrol creators are sending this message that we can’t depend on the state to provide these services.”
Not to mention, Ryder should be in school, Kennedy added.
Kennedy said it’s possible these kinds of messages affect the children who watch the program.
“I just think that as time goes on, children might be less likely to critique the capitalist system that causes environmental harm in the first place and reproduces inequality,” Kennedy said.
But what about the “No job is too big, no pup is too small” message so often quoted on the show? Kennedy has a problem with that too.
“To me that’s an individualist message. Pull up your boot straps, you can do it if you just try hard enough. That kind of message ignores structural barriers in our society and not everyone can do it,” he said.
“The Paw Patrol creators are sending this message that we can’t depend on the state to provide these services.” But yes, let’s defund the police.
The mob cannot be appeased, neither will any amount of capitulation and penance for thought crimes ever be enough for the left. Ever. They will always want more.
Every single law enforcement-centric show could be cancelled and the people mad about PAW Patrol would still be angry. And then all the networks would collapse because people love them some crime drama.
They could have absolutely everything they’re demanding, everything they claim will bring an end to _____ injustice and it won’t be good enough or pure enough, etc. Why is that? Hint: It’s not about ideology nor justice. It’s not about racism or law enforcement.
In the event you’re interested, an episode (which happens to feature a black, female mayor):
But seriously, if you’re after helpful, fictional, animated puppies, and view them as emblematic of great evil, you might want to rethink your life choices.DONATE
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