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Title: Spongebob Sinpants!!! Credit: Craig Young Comment Saturday 22nd January 2005 - 12:00pm1106348400 Article: 582 Rights
 
So the US Christian Right is upset about the appearance of popular childrens cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants in an inclusive schools video against homophobic and racist harrassment. Although sponges are supposed to be intersexed anyway, this isn't the first time this has happened. Since the friendly yellow porous and oblong one appeared, we have harboured suspicions he might be one of us. He spends a lot of time holding hands with Patrick, his pink (!) starfish friend. His co-worker Squidward is a classical music buff and inhabits a tastefully furnished bachelor mollusc pad. Although the producers deny that he isn't a heterosponge, we like the little chap. This latest controversy is reminiscent of the anti-Teletubbies hysteria of the late nineties. Our communities have had a soft spot for the antennae-topped little creatures since US televangelist Jerry Falwell 'outed' Tinky Winky five years ago. He argued that the purple Teletubby wore 'gay' colours and sported a triangle at the top of his head. Oh, and he sports a handbag at regular intervals. On one segment, he threw it, and danced around in a tutu! Moreover, not only is Po a lesbian, but she is a lesbian of Chinese descent, and can speak fluent Cantonese. We don't know about Noo Noo, the robot vacuum cleaner, but it has a strong suck response. Ahem. Moving right along... TVNZ said that it recently got rid of Destiny Television' half hour early morning paid "programme' because it needed that timeslot for Charter compliance and educational children's programming. It would be most interesting to obtain relevant viewer data, though. Was there a discernable surge of viewers for TV3 during that particular early morning timeslot? Was TV2 disadvantaged by Brian's belligerent bigotry in terms of advertising revenue? After all, I'd much rather watch the Teletubbies, One's ASB Business aside. Sorry, ASB. It is an interesting and informative programme, but I refuse to watch it in its entirety until something heinous happens to Ira Goldstein on that irritating series of adverts. However, the latest childrens programme controversy may have some amusing outcomes. Given the current Spongebobophobia, will New Zealand fundamentalists dust off their copies of silly American fundamentalist bool titles like Turmoil in the Toybox, alleging that the nation's youth were under threat from LGBT cultural subversion? According to Joan Hake Robie and Phil Phillips, Barbie, the Care Bears and the Smurves are also implicated. And don't forget, those suspiciously (ahem) fruity Bananas in Pyjamas participate in LGBT Mardi Gras Parades in Sydney! Actually, one fundamentalist Queensland doctor did object to those pendulous, erect, jutting yellow icons. Will the Teletubbies giggle and run away from the raving reverends? Will B1 and B2 decide that it's Sleaze Party attendance time? Will Patrick and Spongebob grant an interview to the Advocate? In the meantime click on the link below for another commentary on this bizarre case and to view the offending video! Recommended Reading: National Liberty Journal (February 1999): Tinky Winky Comes Out of the Closet! www.liberty.edu/chancellor/nlj/ feb99/politics2.htm Strange Conservative Christian Conspiracy Theories About Children and Popular Culture: Phil Phillips: Turmoil in the Toybox: Starburst Books: Pennsylvania: 1988. Joan Hake Robie: Turmoil in the Toybox II: Starburst Books: Pennsylvania: 1990. Phil Phillips: Saturday Morning Mind Control: Thomas Nelson: Arlington: Virginia: 1991. Craig Young - 22nd January 2005    
 
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