Now that Silas’ desire to watch Spiderman and Batman has exhausted, and occasionally out-witted, our utopian dream of limiting his exposure to violence, he and his friend have been talking in raspy voices about finding bad guys and “getting them dead.” Usually the method is cutting someone in half with a shovel or rubber sword; both startlingly gory ways to go.
I know they’re just pretending, but it’s still disturbing to hear a human who can’t yet wipe his ass or sleep by himself, boast of slicing his enemy in two. I watch the shows with him occasionally and have never seen such a medieval execution. I must have been staring at my phone and missed the episodes of Spiderman directed by Quentin Tarantino.
They don’t know what “getting dead” really means; at least I hope not. We live in New Jersey, not Somalia (right, Danny?). Being dead just means you get a really big owie and don’t wake up for a long long time. Sometime around 17 or 18 years old, he’ll start considering the heaviness of an eternity of non-existence. The panic attacks will follow, then the drinking, and before he knows it, he’ll be me. For now, though, I wish he’d go back to watching Caillou, because as whiny as that balloon-headed crybaby is, at least he’s not thwarting evil with amazing feats of violence. Unless, of course, you consider his high-pitched voice to be a form of torture used to hypnotize parents into extending bedtime and making more cookies. I see this as a real possibility, but luckily, it’s hidden deeply enough to go unnoticed by younger viewers.
I’m alienating my child-free readers who live in a safe, calm, and quiet world where Caillou doesn’t exist. Imagine if Charlie Brown was bipolar instead of clinically depressed. If you’ve ever heard the ear shrapnel of a child whining, that’s how Caillou sounds even when he’s happy. As grating as he is, Caillou is innocent, and his emotional dilemmas relatable. Superheros in comics and cartoons are written for adults, but animated for children. I would prefer to teach my kid about the real bad guys like billionaire hedge fund managers, sweatshop operators, and pharmaceutical lobbyists.
Maybe for every episode of Batman, I’ll make him watch a Michael Moore documentary. He’s really just Caillou all grown-up.
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