Unanswered Question: What’s wrong with Spongebob?

I revisit this question now and then. There was a trendy campaign by budding ‘super-moms’, around the time when my first granddaughter was born, to vilify a cartoon character.

In their defense, they imagined themselves having the long sought perfect recipe for ‘creating’ the next Einstein. Little did they realize that Einstein was born, not created. But, however frustrating, newbie Moms have only good intentions.

Having watched many episodes of Spongebob at the time, I was often scratching my head and wondering, “What’s wrong with Spongebob?”

For those who have never had the pleasure of watching, I’ll list Spongebob’s major characteristics:

He’s innocent and a bit naive.
He loves his pet snail and dotes on him.
He’s an eager and trustworthy employee at the “Krusty Krab”.
He’s a loyal friend to Patrick (a bit of a ‘special needs’ character).
He always projected a positive attitude that never quit.

So, what was the cult following of Moms finding fault with? The most often repeated complaint about the cartoon was that it was “mindless”. Here’s a modern-day response I wish I had known…IT’S a CARTOON, KAREN!

But there I was, watching, laughing at, and enjoying Spongebob with my grandchild supposedly doing her great harm? For years, we’ve even quoted that cartoon as its subliminal wisdom came through to anyone who bothered to watch it.

I don’t know whether any of the Moms who were loudest about their Spongebob boycott ever ‘saw the light’ but it seems ominously a silent arena now when it comes to newer cartoons promoting ‘gender fluidity’ and out right intolerance of “non-woke” themes.

It was a startling glimpse into the upside-down future we’re now dealing with for sure.

Mindless in America

A telemarketer called a few days ago. He was promoting a new organization and hoping to sell wholesome family films.

The idea was admirable. No one can argue, against the fact, that there are too many images of violence and “adult” subject matter available to children on prime time television. Soon enough, it became clear that he was reading a script.

It was a time, in my work day, when I was getting my day care charges ready to go home so I was distracted and rushed. My manners have always kept me from just hanging up, so I listened. I also always figure that the person,calling, is earning a living and deserves, at least, a few moments.

As I listened, he repeatedly said,” Studies show…” . Then, he started saying that Spongebob was an example of mindless broadcasting to be avoided because “Studies show, this is also a poor choice.”

He had my interest, at first. But frustrated from not being able to get a word in and the time constraints…after all, I was “on the job”… made me lose my patience. This is what I told him:

“I believe you are promoting a worthy cause and this call is your job, but when you have said repeatedly, “studies show” and have expected that you could convince me without telling me where the studies were conducted, who did them, and how many people were studied, suggest that you are the mindless one here or you believe that I am. I grew up watching the Three Stooges and never once was tempted to hit someone with a hammer. There is definitely too much violence on TV, sir. The greater problem, in my opinion, is the cultural break down of the American family. If you have any interest in the success of your organization, I suggest you change your speech and get real. I have no extra money to invest and I thank you for trying, good-bye.”

Now, I wonder, how many people are willing to believe the rhetoric “studies show” without pause?  I don’t really want to know because it scares me too much to consider further.

The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts
The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)