My Follow-Up on the Fax Comments

To: Grandfater Dall
Subject: Re: BARNEY
In-reply-to: Your message of Fri, 07 Jun 1996 08:36:00 -0800.

>Good Morning Baby Bop!

Not my name, Steve, but you knew that. ;)

>   Have been busy and will be leaving for Sacramento at noon for two

No problem.

>Couple coments:
>THE SHOW FOR HER."   Think about this, I'll bet you the kid wanted to
>watch Barney and either balked or cried and mommy said " I'll tape
>Barney and you can watch it when you get home from preschool."  Think
>about it, howmany young kids say NO! when they don't get their way.

Quite a lot, as you point out yourself. And how many parents will cave in to their kids and give them what they want? Quite a few.... You? Perhaps not. But I and those of us in the Jihad in general have seen far too many parents who would, as well as those who use Barney as a crutch to lean on instead of spending time with their kids. And we've seen too many kids absolutely hypnotized by the show to the point that parents have no idea what to do save let them watch it.

Obviously there can and will be exceptions--you may very well be one of them. But more often than not this is the case.

>The author of this article is using a personal prejudice against Barney
>to try to make a point.

Perhaps... Perhaps not. You can't really speak as to the author's intent from such a short snippet. Think about it though... I've heard and seen far more kids whining about Barney merchandise than any other single item in my life. Perhaps it has something to do with the popularity of the show; but on the other hand, maybe it's just because the show is so incredibly over-commercialized! Personally, I think it's the latter of the two. Why? It's a show produced by a massive for-profit organization (The Lyons Group) yet aired on public television for a fee of... nothing. The Lyons group has given back *zero* of their profits to public television in exchange for airing their show. And they've made *millions* each year from it. This past year Barney was in the top *5* money-making entertainers list.

>I don't see where you connect this article with Barney.  The article is
>written on an unproven theory.

OK, you don't like the theory and don't see any connection... how about this one:

Stella Chess, M.D., and Alexander Thomas, M.D., _Know your child: an authoritative guide for today's parents_ (New York: Basic Books, 1987), pg 123-4

This is based on the findings of one of the most ambitious Child development studies, the Harvard University Preschool Project, which was conducted by Dr Burton L. White and a team of fifteen researchers. They studied young children over a ten-year period in an effort to learn which experiences in the early years of life contribute to the development of healthy, intelligent human beings.

Dr James Dobson summed up the relevent findings like this:

"It is increasingly clear that the origins of human competance are to be found in a critical period of development between eight and eighteen months of age. The child's experiences during these brief months do more to influence future intellectual competance than any time before or after."

"The amount of live language directed to a child ( not to be confused with television, radio, or overheard conversations ) is vital to his or her development of fundamental linguistic, intellectual, and social skills. The researchers concluded, 'providing a rich social life for a twelve to fifteen month old child is the best thing you can do to guarantee a good mind.' " Dr. James Dobson, _Life on the Edge_ ( Word Publishing, 1995), pg 82

How about it? I'm willing to bet that the kids around you get attention and plenty of languange directed to them. But how about the others--the ones that are not in your perfect family? Remember! TV, Radio, and Overheard conversations *do not count!*

>  I would bet that you have either taken
>courses in journalism or statistics and you know both of these can be do
>in a sujective manner with all obljectivity thrown out the window.

**keep this quote in mind. I'll refer to it later. (#1)

>While in the Army I learned to write 'Information Papers' to help get my
>point across and I had very good results of swaying command to my point
>of view.

Interesting that you should bring this up while defending Barney. I'm not going to draw any conclusions that will undoubtedly be way off base; I just find it interesting.

>The article also has a 14 year test time, PBS added Barney
>& Friends to lineup in 1992.

Yeah. 14 years of testing the theory to see if it holds. 14 long gruelling years of research and analysis.

The fact that Barney came out in 1992 is irrelevant to whether the theory is sound or not--my point in this is that Barney provides instant gratification of a sort, that he hardly demonstrates patience. Since a pro-Barney poster was so good as to post information about the show "Falling for Autumn" I'll use it as an example. In that show, they plant pumpkins. They instantly receive their pumpkins without seeing all the work that goes into it during the summer, and without having to wait all summer for the pumpkins to grow. You may think this is minor, and I suppose it is a minor example, but the fact is that this kind of thing happens a lot.

As long as I'm talking about this show in particular, I may as well point something else out as well. You mentioned that you hadn't seen anything that could be construed as cheating on the show save maybe one exception. "Falling for Autumn" contains a good example of this. I'm sure as a parent, grandparent, scout leader, et al. you've seen and led games that involve carrying things under your chin or on a spood or the like. In this show, they play such a game, where they are supposed to carry something on a spoon as quickly as they can. One of the children sticks peanut butter on the spoon to make it easier. Instead of being informed he wasn't playing by the rules or at the very least with the spirit of the game in mind, he was applauded. This, to me and many others, is cheating, and not just cheating, but encouragement of it. Anyway, back to the topic...

>Therefore, I don't think this test targets Barney

Of course it wasn't a study just about Barney! I never said it was "A STUDY ON HOW CHILDREN WHO WATCH BARNEY BEHAVE" or anything like that. You jumped to that conclusion on your own. I just happen to think it fits the kind of behavior demonstrated on Barney's show quite well. If the shoe fits...

>   Ms Levy seems to have forgotten that we are talking about young

*** I'll refer back to this quote later as well... (#2)

>My family was selected as the Runner up in the world as the "Great
>American Family"  this was done due to our involvement in our
>communities and childrens activities.

And I'm willing to bet you don't need a TV show to help teach kids how to behave. As for your above quote, I'm not sure why you would say "in the world" when I seriously doubt that families in Iraq would be considered for the above prize.

Steve, I realize your family means a great deal to you--it should. But you shouldn't have to receive prizes or awards or cite things to prove how great you are. My grandfather (on my mom's side) has been the single most important factor in how I try to live my life, even now that I'll not see him again in this life. Why? Because I never once heard him brag. I never heard him criticize harshly. He was one of the most loving men I've ever known. He was forgiving and accepting; he'd welcome anyone into his home with open arms. When my cousin got caught up in some groups you'd rather not have anyone you know caught in (drugs and the like) he did everything he could to help him, to love and accept him, to bring him out. I'm sure you'd try to do the same, but I can hardly begin to describe everything he did--mostly because I was young enough yet at the time that I wasn't really told anything about it. He fought in WWII, though you never heard him speak of it. When my dad made a frame for him to put his medals in to display them, he shunned it; they were not something to be proud of--they were something he'd gotten in the process of righting a terrible wrong. And let me tell you--it was not something he could do easily; he lived in one of the largest settlements of Germans in this country. He and my grandmother even spoke german to eachother at the dinner table. This man knew what it was to love and accept people for who they were, and he cared for his family more than anyone else I've ever heard of. When he finally started to succumb to the ravages of cancer, his concern was not for himself or for the pain he was suffering. His concern was for the rest of us, that my grandma would be taken care of. I remember a conversation in the living room of his house between him and my own father to this extent. Up until then, I had no idea... he had never let on. And now that I think about it, it may have been something he did specifically for that purpose--a way of letting me know. I say again, this man knew what love was and how to show it. I could tell you stories for hours of how he spent time with me during the sumers, fishing, working in his wood shop, or just going for walks. But it would win him no awards, and even if it did he would not want them.

Everything he did and said taught me what love is, and how I should act towards others. And let me tell you; I see none of his loving and caring in a fake purple dinosaur. And I see no TV show in the world that could ever hope or aspire to teach me in 30 minutes what I learned by spending any *single* minute with him.

>The point of the above was, that I know a little about kids and how 
>think,  most of the problem kids that I have run across could be summed
>up best "kids with problem parents!"

I'll give you that one. Please listen though when I say that Barney is not the sole problem facing the kids--I never have said that. And of course there are many factors which lead kids to go astray. What I've said is that without parental supervision with the show, it *can* teach misleading things. And the show also encourages parents to just leave their kids in front of the TV for 30 minutes as a babysitter.

The show purports to teach love. I wish I could believe that a TV show could do such a thing. Personally, I think that teaching a false love is one of the worst things you can do to a kid. And that's what this show is doing.

>Well back to Ms Levy
>Why not allow children to have time of enjoyment and pleasure watching
>things they enjoy and relate to.

Reread the article. She didn't say they could not do such things! She even went so far as to suggest things that could be improved about the show. She had some good things to say as well as some bad. In her eyes, the show must be corrected though before those positive aspects can truly shine through.

>The illustrations are the same thing that most loving parents would say
>to their child.

I say to read the article again. Notice that she gave suggestions of what would be better to say in the given situations. But as the show is a profit-making device (and very successful as such) and not really a show directed at helping children, IMHO, I highly doubt you'll see it happen.
Remember those politicians you said were using children as pawns to make a point or to garner support? That's what the Lyon's Corp is doing with this show. Using kids to make a profit, whatever happens to the kids.

>FATHER"  Barney promptly responds " You have a mother and Grandmother
>who love you very much"
>What would Ms Levy said'  " Look you little bastard kid, your momma got
>knocked up and your daddy is a no account that skipped town, so make the
>best of it!"
>What would Ms Levy want him to say.  "So what, I'm not having such a
>great day myself, get lost we don't want you ruiningour fun."

Excuse me, but I must use profanity on this one. (Yes, my grandfather did use profanity on occasion, including the one I'm about to use myself...)
Reread the article, Steve! There are suggestions towards the end of the article! The above quotes tell me that you didn't even bother to take the time to read the full article!

>Ms Levy seems to have forgotton that this is a childrens show.  She
>would be critical of anything said or done.

*** Yet another quote to refer to in a little while... virtually the same as number 2. (#3)

>Aimee Yermish
>" Barney is *not* innocent, wholesome, good for-rug-rats fun."  I feel
>sorry for the family of this person.  I was really wondering about this
>woman by the time I finished the article, she says she's not stupid, I'd
>wonder about that, as well as paranoid and down right hateful.

Excuse me? Steve, I think you just blew it. Hate? Point to it in the article. Paranoid? how? And why do you feel sorry for her family? She didn't even mention herself or her family except in passing at the beginning of her essay...
She gives her motivation for wondering about the show--hearing the kids singing the song in the sotre. And she explains that she took the time to do this on a day she couldn't really do much else; she was stuck at hime with the flu. So I seriously question your "JUST BECAUSE YOUR LIFE SUCKS..." accusation. "...LET THE KIDS HAVE A LIFE!!" Excuse me again, Steve, but she didn't say kids could not watch TV. All she said was she would not let her own kids watch Barney. If watching Barney gives kids a life--well, it's a pretty sad life if a TV show can give you a life.
I think what you're doing here is what is known in debate as "poisoning the well" -- attacking the credibility of the author before their words can truly be considered. Reread this one too, and at least *try* to *consider* what she's saying.

>I watch Barney with my grandkids and my grand son who is only 3 years
>old says please and thank you when he asks for things.  He says excuse
>me and Bless you when he hears people snneze.  We reinforce this
>behavior and the two year old is picking up the same behavior.

I think you'll agree that these kids would have learned it without Barney. I'm sure your own kids did... they didn't have much choice, did they? Kinda hard, considering that if they saw Barney they wouldn't be anywhere near child-bearning age themselves yet... ;)

>Ms Yermish states her distaste for the conformity on Barney.  Ask any
>school teacher if they would like the kids in their classroom to conform
>to the acceptable standards like taught on Barney.

Now Steve, I think we both know that saying "please" and "thank you" is not the conformity to which she refers. Nor is behaving yourself. My question to you is this: how does it look if a program claims to teach that individuality is ok, and then everyone in the show does the exact same thing at the same time throughout the show? By the very definition of individuality, it cannot. In commenting on the classroom, you confuse discipline with conformity. Discipline is not the same as conformity, and discipline is something that I and most of my fellow Jihaddi believe in.

>I have seen conflict on Barney and I guess that ending a conflict with
>discussion instead of violence is against the beliefs of some people.
>She also states that she is childless, could it be that she has her oun
>preconcieved notions of the show then wrote her essay to match?

Hardly... This essay was written quite some time ago, and it's my understanding that she *does* have children of her own now. And if you look, at the beginning of the article she said she didn't know much about the show. And at the end she comments that she "tried to give it a fair shot." There you go trying to poison the well again!

>Then I'm not sure if you were pulling my leg or what with the article
>about the headbanger who claims that the five year old cut him with a
>knife.  First of all if this kid was a hemopheliac and he was supposed
>to keep an eye on him how did he get a knife in the first place.

I'll admit that he may not be an ideal babysitter. Does that make you happy? Good. Then you can go back and notice that *the mother* was there as well when she got the knife. I quote, "His mother tried to get him to go to bed..."
This is entirely a failing of the babysitter? hah.
Now for your own points about Barney... (This is where those quotes come in!)
>Here's a little research information that I have collected;

> There are 13.5 million viewers of Barney and Friends and one out of
>three persons watching are between the ages of 18-49.
>           PBS Audience Report, 8/95

Quote #1: Statistics can be used to prove more or less anything.
Quotes 2 & 3: You seem to forget that we're talking about a kid's show.

>Yale University childrens television researchers Drs Jerome and Dorthy
>Singer declared that the Barney & Friends series to be " Nearly a model
>of what a preschool program should be," offering many opportunities for
>preschoolers to learn the skills necessary for success in school.

From your own information, the show was released in 1992. Hardly enough time to know how kids are really going to do in school... And I think that Dr. Dobson's point comes into play here, too--that kids need to be talked to *directly* rather than by the tv.

>Barney makes visits to childrens hospitals to uplift the spirts of
>children in the United States and other countries.

Correction: Some guy in a Barney suit that's getting paid a great deal to do so visits hospitals...

>Childrens developement is broken down into four key areas. cognitive,
>social emotional and physical.
>The producers of Barney use a team of early choldhood specialist to
>develope the show.
>Yale University researchers has also found that the show particulary
>influences language developement, one of the indicators of future
>success in school.

Go back and read the bit from Dr. Dobson. TV cannot affect language development as they claim. The children can echo what Barney sings, and sing along with him. Hardly language development in my book.

>The show was also found the show to have a positive influence on
>children of all groups especially of culturally diverse and low income

Oh? Refer back to quote #1. How did they figure this? What was the person doing this trying to prove? What did they expect?
Back to conformity--It shows that they can be and are the exact same as everyone else on the show. Surprise, but in the real world someone in a minority is going to face different challenges from someone in the majority like myself. More so in some places than others.

>Also teachers who took part in a study conducted on the influence of
>Barney found that after viewing Barney & Friends episodes of
>violent-type play were reduced among preschool students.

"teachers who took part" can mean anything. Refer to quote #1. Your study quote means nothing to me. Oh, and for that matter, I'm going to point to something else you mentioned earlier. The show's only been around for a few years. Hardly anything to base any kind of study on! This goes for the Yale researchers as well!

>Also Barney has proven it is possible for young children to 
>have fun while learning.

So did Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Mister Wizard, Electric Company, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, et al. Your point is...?

>I could go on and on, but as a grandparent who has grandkids and have
>personnaly seen the positive effects and reading the results of the Yale
>University research and seeing first hand the behavior of children
>exposed to Barney,  I will have to continue to disagree with you
>concerning Barney.

You can disagree if you like; that's your right. But ya know, you kinda shot your own case for Barney. You say that problem kids have problem parents, and that the opposite is often also true. And then you cited example after example of how great you and your family is. I cannot credit Barney for the success of your family, and I cannot lend much credibility to a yale study done in such short time. Further, I cannot stand the fact that you twisted the words of a couple articles the way you did: you either did not read the full articles or chose to ignore parts of them.

>Feel free to respond, but take into consideration that I'll be unable to
>respond until 6/24.

So be it.