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Rod Dreher: The Wiggles “are trying to colonize the minds of pre-schoolers with gender ideology that seeks to destroy the essence of man”

Yes, these Wiggles

The Wiggles are coming for your children.

Well, technically they’ve always been coming for your children, in that they are a bunch of musicians who write and perform music intended to entertain and educate preschoolers.

But now they’re really coming for your children — at least according to Rod Dreher of The American Conservative, who in a column this past Sunday ripped into the Australian kids’ band, declaring them to be subversive “soft totalitarians” trying deliberately to warp young children’s minds.

What you are seeing here is another manifestation of soft totalitarianism. I know what some of you are saying: there he goes again, that right-wing nut, getting bent out of shape over a kid’s show. Sorry, but this is a big deal. They are trying to colonize the minds of pre-school age children with this gender-ideology lie, which seeks to destroy the essence of man. It’s disgusting. They really are coming for our children. Do not be fooled. This is culture war at its purest: to conquer the minds of kids so small they don’t even know that they are being indoctrinated.

So what exactly have these dastardly Australians done? In an attempt to appeal to a more diverse audience, the band has added four new members, three of them women, and one of them an indigenous woman. They’ve also added some new characters to their show, including a non-binary unicorn who uses “they/them” pronouns.

It’s this last addition to the WIggles that’s got Dreher so pig-biting mad. “Why can’t kids just be kids?” he asks. “Why do the sick, twisted elites of Anglophone culture have to force their obsessions onto little ones?”

To Dreher, this means (culture) war.

We are living through a great unveiling. You can only live in denial for so long about the rottenness. Nobody can be neutral going forward. You must choose. Refusing to choose is a choice.

Well, it’s Team Wiggles for me.

Oh, and here’s the scene of their YouTube show featuring the new unicorn and their pronouns. (It should be set to start playing right where Shirley Shawn the Unicorn makes their first appearance.) This may not be for everybody; I found it a bit like listening to fingernails scraping on a blackboard. But hey, I’m not a 4 year old, and the 4-year-olds apparently just love this shit.

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59 replies on “Rod Dreher: The Wiggles “are trying to colonize the minds of pre-schoolers with gender ideology that seeks to destroy the essence of man””

My kids watched the Wiggles sometimes when they were preschoolers/kindergarten age. I always thought they were annoying. The Wiggles, that is, not my children, although my children were sometimes annoying. Other than that, I have no comment, other than the far right is afraid of everything and thinks most forms of entertainment “turn children gay.”

Pfft. That clip was nothing. Does this guy expect the generation who grew up with Pee Wee’s Playhouse to fear their children watching that?

@weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Heck, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse had a Church of the Subgenius reference (there’s a picture of Bob on the wall at the end of the show). My family being strange, even as kids we caught the reference.

If the Wiggles destroy all the Essence of Man, what will all those louche females on Lythion smoke from those neat hookahs?

Because my father yelled a lot and never made any sense at all when it came to raising children, I was very touched by the pirate-narrator, who showed that he understands a child’s needs by pointing out to the viewer that the break would be a good time to use the bathroom or get something to eat.

*ahem*

there he goes again, that right-wing nut, getting bent out of shape over a kid’s show.

That will be all.

No wait:

Nobody can be neutral going forward. You must choose. Refusing to choose is a choice.

A broken clock is right twice a day, I guess (except the ‘going forward’-part). And a pretty solid summary of Sartre’s Existentialism.

Rod Dreher wouldn’t like the fabulous cartoon show Bluey then either, as the dad (Bandit) works from home, and the mum (Chili) has a part time job at the airport, and the two girl pups (Bluey and Bingo) are very imaginative and playful. I mean, both blue heeler pups are girls! Their dad plays games with them and he loves their mum! How can such happy loving families even exist?

The irony is, theres always been gender non-specific characters in childrens shows. Usually the mute characters (as voice depth gives away the game). The idea being is that the child is free to assign whatever gender they wanted to the character (If the child wants them to be a boy, its a boy, or if the child wants them to be a girl, its a girl, and any creative variation on that, too.

Conservaives really do have a paranoic mindset, alas.

Well, I guess someone had to replace Tinky Winky in the ongoing moral panic over Who’s Brainwashing The Children Into Thinking They’re Okay Just The Way They Are?

Wait till he finds out that Thomas the Tank Engine, the most stodgy, authoritarian kids show ever, has a character who appears to be genderfluid:

Lexi is an eager and excitable engine. She is proud of being experimental and ‘cab forward’ – even though she is convinced this makes her an un-useful engine.

Lexi is upbeat, cheery and outgoing, and likes to experiment with how she presents herself, often trying out different voices and how she phrases her expressions just to see which one she thinks works best. Lexi is not always confident she gets things right, but she loves the excitement of anything new, is very sociable and keen to explore new things.

The more things change the more they stay the same. All this malarkey about little kids getting confused about sexual identity-roles-activities is just rubbish.
Waaaaay back in 1966, I taught Sunday School. One of the other young teachers had been going out with her boyfriend since they were both about 14. She got pregnant, They were busily arranging for a quick “shotgun” wedding when he went home to his country family. Dad persuaded him that she probably had slept with some other bloke and he wouldn’t want to bring up another man’s child, would he. So she was stuck with being single and pregnant (back then the presumption was that she’d have the baby adopted, but we’re not to that point yet). We all secretly rejoiced that she’d dodged a bullet with a bloke we’d never much liked being so weak he couldn’t stand up against this, but she was pretty unhappy.

Anyway, the joyless, heartless elders of the church tried to decree that she couldn’t continue teaching Sunday School because being pregnant and unmarried would ‘influence” innocent young minds. We tried – successfully in the end – to point out that all these little ones universally called all grownup women Mrs despite the fact that most of us running the Sunday School were under 20 and unmarried. They had no real idea that grownups would be anything else. If you’re a teacher then you’re a Mrs.

It doesn’t matter what the prevailing social circumstances are, these morons always, always, get it wrong. You’d think that people who claim to be so keen on children would understand something about the way little minds work, but it seems not.

I, too, found this clip to be like fingernails on a chalkboard and could not watch more than 20 seconds. However, I was able to determine in this time that Shirley Shawn is not Death, Destroyer of Cultures, but in fact a yellow and pink plastic figurine being moved by a dude in a pirate costume. What a gross disappointment after all that buildup by this guy. 😖

Shirley Shawn might be named after Shirley Strachan of the Skyhooks, and Shirl’s neighbourhood. Does Shirley sing?

Early boomers withstood a male clown named Clarabelle on Howdy Doody. And Generation Jones somehow survived Lidsville, with the late Billie Hayes’ portrayal of the male Weenie(!) the Genie.

Speaking of Sid and Marty Krofft, here’s another message I imagine Dreher would deplore (although perhaps he’d approve the Nazi-coded rat?):

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i7rAaYFFeZk

This is culture war at its purest: to conquer the minds of kids so small they don’t even know that they are being indoctrinated.

As opposed to this guy who is totally unaware that he was ever indoctrinated.
I nearly wrote “blissfully unaware,” but he doesn’t sound blissful.

As for corrupting young minds, I remember Captain Pugwash, Master Bates and Seaman Stanes.

@Alan, @Moggie
Oops. Sorry.
Probably what I remember is the controversy.
Thanks for putting me right.

“Essence of Man” sounds like Jordan Peterson’s new fragrance line. A pungent melange of boot leather, “musk”, and fresh Nantucket lobster.

Somehow, I really don’t think a unicorn that uses they/them will affect the “essence of men” at all. A toy unicorn. A toy of an imaginary creature.. This is just too stupid for words.

re: Legendary scandals
Probably not even in the same ballpark, but there is an urban legend of sorts her in Finland that the local Donald Duck magazine (Aku Ankka) was “canceled” in the seventies because Donald doesn’t wear bottoms. There are several versions of this, mostly that places (like libraries or clubs) had ended their subscriptions, and some versions say it had nothing to do with clothes but was because of Donald and Daisy’s sinful relationship. In reality it was just a rumour that got started when a youth center canceled its subscription because for budget reasons.

Having read of this, I once corrected a teacher who recounted some version of this as a true story and got countered with, “I was there! I know it happened!”

For an example of urban legends interacting with previous folklore, a major irritant for me is when people depict wendigos (a monster from Algonquian legend) as having the antlers or even head of a deer, sometimes a deer skull. It shows up especially often in those “true encounters with the paranormal” creepypastas.

This idea originates with the terrible 2001 film Wendigo, for which the writer/director admits he did no research and basically pulled everything out of his rear. But ever since, you have idiots insisting that their Native American grandparents told them stories of antlered Wendigos back in the eighties.

(My favorite was the guy a month ago who corrected my facts by citing his Cherokee grandmother… when the Cherokee are an Iroquioan-speaking people, not Algonquian-speaking, and have no wendigo legends to begin with.)

Dr. Emily Zarka, Monster Expert, sets the record straight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guiuXIMZ2vE&t=1s

Rod Dreher? More like Clod Dreher, amirite?

For real, I wouldn’t trust this guy to tell me what time of day it was, let alone offer any kind of semi-coherent viewpoint on gender identity.

I hope that “essence of man” isn’t destroyed, because cooking with whole man is so wasteful.

@Masse_Mysteria:

…some versions say it had nothing to do with clothes but was because of Donald and Daisy’s sinful relationship.

I’ve heard the usual speculation to the effect that Huey, Dewey, and Louie were Donald and Daisy’s illegitimate offspring, but Al Taliaferro and Ted Osborne accounted for that way back in the 1937: they were the children of Donald’s twin sister Della Duck. The recent Ducktales reboot has expanded Della from an offscreen footnote into a vivid character in her own right: she’s a badass pulp adventurer, aviator, and astronaut, and Donald’s been raising the kids because she went missing on a lunar mission:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Della_Duck

(Disney remains silent on the question of the triplets’ paternity; a popular school of thought holds that Della, visiting her brother on the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, had an affair with a disreputable Little Black Duck.)

As for Donald’s wardrobe offenses: I have personal knowledge of an itty-bitty who insisted on going bottomless in homage to Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat (https://i.pinimg.com/736x/79/e0/55/79e05525daffbcf867442247f41a439f–comic-book-supe.jpg ; ) and friends; my parents straightaway made it clear that there were different modesty rules for cartoon animals and human children.

(The show was in English, but attracted a massive Mexican following; this was the best image I could find.)

@ Full Metal Ox
I legit didn’t even know people thought the nephews were Donald’s children (perhaps because I was a bit of a Don Rosa geek growing up). I think the “sinful” they meant here in the seventies was just that they weren’t married and apparently weren’t going to marry. I may be missing something, though, since they live at different addresses and are a bit on-again-off-again.

The thing that bothered me as a kid about Donald’s clothes was that if he lost his shirt, he’d shield his crotch. I assume that it was just a visual shorthand for naked and embarrassed, but it looked silly.

@Masse_Mysteria:

The thing that bothered me as a kid about Donald’s clothes was that if he lost his shirt, he’d shield his crotch. I assume that it was just a visual shorthand for naked and embarrassed, but it looked silly.

So what bothered you was the inconsistency: is lower-body modesty an issue with these cartoon animals, or not? (The 80’s U.S. cartoon SilverHawks really bugged me in that regard: after 22 minutes of things like humanoid characters roaring merrily through the vacuum of space with the top down and the term “galaxy” used when “solar system” or even “planet” would suffice, they’d end with an astrophysics lesson to appease the demand for educational content—which I found jarringly dissonant: just what are the ground rules governing this show? Pick a Disbelief Suspension Bridge Weight Setting and stick with it.)

@Nequam:
<blockquote>music done for them by The Residents!</blockquote>
Holy crap.

Going to have to check with a friend of mine to see if he knew about this. He probably did. (Said friend did early website design for both The Residents and Nash the Slash. It’s thanks to him I got to see Nash the Slash doing a live performance of music he’d composed to accompany the 1922 silent film Nosferatu back before the new owner of the film started clamping down on anybody else trying to show it.)

I’ve heard the usual speculation to the effect that Huey, Dewey, and Louie were Donald and Daisy’s illegitimate offspring, but Al Taliaferro and Ted Osborne accounted for that way back in the 1937: they were the children of Donald’s twin sister Della Duck. The recent Ducktales reboot has expanded Della from an offscreen footnote into a vivid character in her own right: she’s a badass pulp adventurer, aviator, and astronaut, and Donald’s been raising the kids because she went missing on a lunar mission

I saw some episodes of Ducktales as a kid on Finnish TV; however in Finland Disney Ducks is primarily a literary (comics) franchise, and as such, more popular than just about any franchise in the history of anything ever. I’d never heard of Della’s reappearance until now. I’ll hereby continue subscribing to Don Rosa’s canon where she remains mysteriously absent.

Disney remains silent on the question of the triplets’ paternity

Oh, I recently wrote a Finnish literature crossfic for that. I might eventually post it on AO3, though it’s in Finnish and wouldn’t really make any sense translated into English.

@Allandrel Can confirm no wendigoes. Though it is possible my grandmother was holding out on me. Most of her stories were about her misbehaving growing up. Or my dad misbehaving when he was growing up.

I was never that into Donald Duck or anything like that, but when they go around addressing him as “Uncle Donald”, wouldn’t it follow that he might actually be their uncle? Some people are strange…

Just a reminder that this is the same Rod Dreher who wrote an article about how his wife got “posessed”, among other ridiculous things. His articles are infamous among listeners of Chapo Trap House, who often do “reading series” of such stupid articles, and Rod’s articles have been very frequently roasted in them.

@.45

I was never that into Donald Duck or anything like that, but when they go around addressing him as “Uncle Donald”, wouldn’t it follow that he might actually be their uncle?

To be fair, not necessarily. I have three aunts that are not actually my aunts, they’re just my mom’s best friends. I called them Auntie _____ and their husbands Uncle _____.

Although in the absence of specific information like this I would definitely assume an uncle/nephew relationship, not a convoluted disavowal and distanced re-adoption of illegitimate children.

I was never that into Donald Duck or anything like that, but when they go around addressing him as “Uncle Donald”, wouldn’t it follow that he might actually be their uncle? Some people are strange…

Curiously enough, Finnish uses different words for paternal uncle (setä) and maternal uncle (eno), and of course early translators got the convention established wrong for both Donald and Scrooge. Likewise, nephew/niece is literally either “brother’s son/daughter” or “sister’s son/daughter”.

Besides, in Finnish setä can informally refer to any familiar older man. When I was a kid, we had an old neighbor named Aku, as in the Finnish rendering of Donald’s name. My dad once pre-emptively warned me against calling him “Aku-setä” as a joke. That idea had never occurred to me, but I was then left wondering why it should be inappropriate.

As the saying goes “A priest is a man everyone calls father; except his children, who call him uncle.”

And there’s Uncle Frank and Pike in Dad’s Army. So I guess there is precedent.

But, to get Freudian, sometimes an uncle is just an uncle.

As for inconsistent nudity, Bungle walks around starkers. Until he’s about to go in the bath. Then he wraps a towel round himself.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOU3AJuXsAAd3ly.jpg

ETA: I love that George wears a shower cap; even though he’s a hippo.

I kinda like the idea of a unicorn not sticking to a gender binary. Other species, other culture, other rules.

This asshole – and I say that in its most boring, petty sense – wants what all “conservatives” (“” are always because such people have no intention, or even ability, to “conserve” anything at all) want, and something literally impossible for the world to offer them: to forever be fawned upon.

That’s why T—p is their living god. however obvious his feet of clay are, even to them.

Mr. Dreher – I will not harm you and will not wish for your illness or death. That is all you can ever expect from me, except resistance and resistance and resistance. Because you are an evil, petty shit.

@Brony
I’ve long ago given up trying to correct people on this. They always cite “real encounters” or stories they insist they heard decades before the trope appeared.

@ Full Metal Ox
So what bothered you was the inconsistency
To be fair, the Donald Duck stories are so rife with inconsistencies that this one probably stuck out to me because it was so blatant and in-story, whereas most inconsistencies were between stories, as they’d been made by different people at different times. (This is robably why I so enjoyed Don Rosa: he had a timeline that he stuck to.)

@Lumipuna, setä/eno
Growing up, I was amused by that Don Rosa follow-up sotoru for Christmas on Bear Mountain, wheree Scrooge told Donald, “I am actually your eno, but it makes no difference. Setä will suffice.”

re: calling someone Aku-setä
Absent all other information, I’d assume that it would just be annoying to the person, since he’d probably have heard it a lot of times before.

They are trying to colonize the minds of pre-school age children with this gender-ideology lie, which seeks to destroy the essence of man.

Are we created with a fixed gender that saturates every cell of our bodies and cannot be changed? Or is it something that is so feeble & fragile that watching a plastic pony with a horn will waft it away like the TFG’s pompadour in a light breeze?
We don’t have to pass laws or brainwash horses & crocodiles to walk on 4 legs because walking on 4 legs is NATURAL for them. How natural can something be if we have to indoctrinate, punish and medicate people to keep them toeing the line?
And I have to edit to ask a question: When do we realize what gender we are because I cannot recall EVER saying to myself “I am the female gender” like it is a great revelation?

@Nequam: that GIF says it all

So “that right-wing nut” is upset that a fictional creature doesn’t fall into a rigid gender binary? Please don’t tell me he thinks unicorns are real. And that toys are real too.

@Sheila, Alan et al: Master Mates and Pirate Willy are a bit sus, though, and that was real.

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