TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Baby TV

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
Be afraid. Be very afraid. There's a new show on Direct TV aimed at 0-3 year olds.

Baby TV was free during the month of May, after which a monthly fee of $9.99 is required. Baby TV's website states: "A 24 hour television channel for infants and toddlers under 3 years old. Contains no commercials, no advertisements, and no promotions. Designed to enhance development and learning. Encourages parent - baby interaction ... for a pleasant experience in parenthood."

How nice, how considerate, perhaps even noble, you might be thinking. But, if you check their website (http://www.BabyFirstTV.com), you'll find that Baby TV's Board of Directors is comprised of men and women who have or are working for big corporations like De Beers diamond brokers; Columbia Pictures; a real estate development and acquisitions corporation; Time-Warner; the largest cellular operator in Israel; and an advertising executive whose accounts included those of PepsiCo, Kimberly-Clark, and Hertz. The latter executive is also an expert on market research.

Are you wondering how long it will be until commercials, or the somewhat-less-invasive "product placements," are included on Baby TV shows? How about after the infant to 3-year olds become addicted to it? Are you getting a little scared now?
Baby girl
Baby TV, whose motto is, "Watch your baby blossom," is not without immediately apparent benefits such as keeping your baby occupied while you do other household chores. It would be difficult to shy away from something that appears to be educational at best, and a built-in babysitter at least.

Except it could teach your baby things that might result in unhealthy attitudes later on in life. For example, the United States has the largest population of obese children in the world. Yet Baby TV shows the delights of ice cream, and even shows how to lick an ice cream cone properly, along with appealing illustrations and photographs of cones, sundaes, and sodas, accompanied by interspersed films of a young woman miming how to lick a cone properly. Icccceeeee Crrrreeeaaaammm, is murmured, much as one would say Yummmmmmm.

Another questionable segment, which Baby TV considers "rich, innovative educational content designed to enhance baby's development in a delightful and engaging way," shows a cartoon square divided into four closed doors. A soothing voice intones how we learn about things that are "different." The first door opens revealing a white sheep. The voice tells us this is a white sheep. The second door opens revealing another white sheep. The voice tells us this is another white sheep. The third door opens revealing a third white sheep. The voice tells us this is another white sheep. The fourth door opens revealing a black sheep. The voice tells us this sheep is different.

Scared yet?

If you are still wondering what there is to be afraid of, the fact that many of us who yearn for relief from baby talk and constant attention to infants, will turn to Baby TV for help, only to later face the results in the characters of our children.

It is bad enough to have Big Brother watching us. It is even worse to have our babies watching him.

Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus" >
June 1, 2006 column
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: June 1, 2007