Does anybody else remember that fruity pebbles commercial in the early 90’s where Barney raps? “I’m MC Rubble and I’m here to say, I love fruity pebbles in a major way?”
I just remember, even as a kid, feeling that embarrassment you feel when you see someone make an utter ass of themselves: basically the entire 2 seasons of Ricky Gervais’ The Office (which I will never watch again, so good it was). There are some things you don’t need to be taught are wrong, some things you know just shouldn’t be done. Barney Rubble rapping about fruity pebbles tops this list.
I could almost exhaust the bandwidth available to Cooper & Kid just enumerating the many, varied people who should never, ever be allowed to rap, but this is not my point.
The point is, growing up, I felt that same revulsion (if to a lesser degree) towards educational rock ‘n roll of all stripes. Now, 25 years later, I want to say that I withdrew from the artifice of it: that a music, so rebellious in nature, could be shoehorned into an agenda. Like Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life as the soundtrack for an ad for cruise ships. Nothing says package vacation like struggling with a heroine addiction.
Of course, that could just be my barely restrained inner hipster purist flexing his bachelor’s degree. I swear, I walk around trying to be tolerant and non judgmental, but then something sets me off. I’m like the Hipster Hulk.
Is it possible to be a Dad and not do a 180 on almost every opinion you viciously defended as a young man?
Professor Fizzy’s Lunch Lab on PBS Kids: food and nutrition and all that. Not the first cartoon to tackle the topic, not the first one to do so with a rock band. But the first one my kid’s seen. As a show for the under-fives, it’s not my favorite, but there’s nothing really wrong with it, and my dude’s rocking out to the Professor Fizzy soundtrack. “Don’t Forget the Nuts,” “Fruit Rainbow,” “The Feast of the Seven Seas.” All songs that would have my barely pubescent dying of empathetic shame, now are the audio backdrop for daily dance parties.
And the guy’s dropping vocab from the songs like an undergrad with a chip on his shoulder. Hydrate, calcium, sodium, it’s like having a four year old gym rat talking about his workout diet.
It’s not, actually. It’s adorable. And I will buy the album.
But cartoon characters from the 60’s should never, ever rap about breakfast cereal. Some positions you can’t surrender.