Barney is The Hitler of My Generation 1992 marked a dark year in our nation's television history. That was the year a small production company brought to life an over-sized, giggling buffoon on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Barney & Friends was born. Oh, if only we had known better. Barney rode the crest of a dinosaur wave that swept the country in the early 1990's. Since then, researchers have proven Barney to be the spawn of Satan, and even educational leaders ponder the validity of his Nazi-like teachings. Barney & Friends is a show that PBS should definitely remove from its television line-up. Following the film Jurassic Park and TV shows such as Dinosaurs, Sheryl Leach, a Texas school teacher frustrated by the lack of "quality interactive and educational entertainment," created a fat purple dinosaur named Barney, and a dragon sidekick named Baby Bop for her two years old son(Tolentino 2).
Thus, the Barney phenomenon was born. Conceived as a show that would help little children celebrate childhood and understand the complex business of growing up in a world where sixth graders carry guns to school, Barney & Friends has achieved a cult-like following among toddlers who swear upon their mother's graves that he is God himself. Barney has become a marketing win-fall. With an international fan club of more than six hundred thousand and video sales that outnumber copies of Cannonball Run and Playboy's Lingerie Video combined, Barney is slowly taking over the world. Barney has brainwashed the world's children into thinking he is a god, when truly he is the spawn of Satan himself. Recently, a student at Duke University published a theorem about Barney being the spawn of Satan: Given that Barney is a CUTE PURPLE DINOSAUR, Barney can be shown to be Satan. The Romans had no letter 'U', and used 'V' instead for printing, meaning the roman representation for Barney would be CVTE PVRPLE DINOSAVR. Extracting the roman numerals, we have: C, V, V, L, D, I, and V. Their decimal equivalents are 100, 5, 5, 50, 500, 1, 5. Adding those numbers produces 666. 666 is the number of the Beast. Barney is Satan. ("More" 1) Another example comes from the Bible: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, his feet were the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him power, and his seat great authority" (Revelation 13:2). Based on my interpretation, that passage says that Barney has spots, not unlike a leopard, his feet are large and broad, just like a bear, and his mouth is large and protruding creating senseless noise, like a lion ("Biblical" 1). As we know Baby Bop, his sidekick, does take on the form of a dragon, and toddlers will scream and cry, forcing their parents to travel many miles just to watch his purple majesty sing at any given shopping mall. Barney is now coming under scrutiny from researchers asking whether the overstuffed purple menace makes the grade as a teacher. A study by Yale University suggests that "The show contains many positive educational elements that aid young children preparing for school" (Walsh 1). Barney teaches ideas such as sharing, respect for different cultures, and washing your hands after you go potty. However, other observers argue that the show suffers from unfocused educational goals. Gerald S. Lesser, a professor of education and developmental psychology at Harvard University, said, "I'm not sure what the strong attraction is, because it does not make much use of the television medium. If there is an organized curriculum, I haven't figured it out" (Walsh 2). Some more reasons that Barney hurts, rather than helps, children are as follows: Barney presents a candy-coated, unrealistically nice view of the world. Barney does not promote individual thought. Rather, you are condemned for going against the wishes of the majority. (Just like a certain German leader once did.) Barney replaces parental figures with himself in the 'I luv you' song. Barney emotionally cripples children by forcing them to repress negative emotions. Human beings have to be able to express all of their emotions to be functional in today's society. Barney tells children "A stranger is a friend you've never met" when the rates of kidnapping and molestation are rising. Barney encourages children to place boxes, and other objects (such as bags), over their heads, despite child mortality rates from suffocation. ("Hate" 3) Barney is turning our children into sissies, raising them with a false sense of security and universal harmony that bears little resemblance to reality. What is going to happen when those children grow up and find out what it is like in the real world? Will Barney be around to pay for all those psychiatric bills? I would venture to say not. We see quite clearly that the show Barney & Friends is detrimental to today's children. Parents should use the television more as a tool, and less as a babysitter. Barney & Friendsclaims to be educational when the producers admit it is escapism for a child. It teaches children to repress their emotions and conform to his will. Barney has formed his own legions of toddlers and is planning on domination of the earth. It is time that we must unite against a force that is covering our planet like a dark cloud. Barney is evil, and if you see him do not make eye contact, or listen to his songs. For if you do, you too will become one of his minions. He must be stopped, not just for the collective sanity, but also for the children. Laugh if you must, but when your brain turns to sponge, don't come crying to me. You have been forewarned.