"His voice betrayed a craving for terrible things." -- Don DeLillo

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February 06, 2004

Drug-Inspired Psychodelic Exercises for Kids!! -- OR --
My Encounter with the Great Boohbah

Okay, I'm still a little freaked out. So, for work today, I found myself at the studios of our local PBS affiliate, WHYY. While waiting there, I started watching this strange show they were broadcasting. An old white woman and a younger black man were in a green field surrounded by pink bubbles. They, disjointedly and a little frenetically, started running around and leaping up to pop the bubbles one by one with looks of intense glee on their faces. The whole time, weird plinking sound effects played with eeriely soothing music in the background. This in turn led to four blob like figures making more strange humming noises while taking turns sucking their heads into their bodies. Eventually, one of these blobs flew off into the sky, across a cityscape and landed in a park where it transformed into a little boy spinning in circles with another Cheshire Cat smile. Only one thought remained in my mind as I took in this sight, unable to look away: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?? I ended up asking the engineer I was working with what show it was, just to put a name to it. After checking his schedule notes, he told me it was Boohbah. I'm really scared. Now, Barney, as unwatchable as he is and despite the seething rage some people hold for him, at least in my mind made sense as a sort of spiritual followup to Mister Rogers. Even Teletubbies makes sense from a pot-induced point of view, but I don't know what the hell's going on with Boohbah. It's like the creators of Teletubbies got hammered one night, woke up the next morning with a horrible hangover and killed it with a batch of uppers and some LSD. Then, after watching eighteen hours of Japanese anime, sniffing some glue and speaking in tongues, they conceptualized and storyboarded every episode of Boohbah using a jar of glitter and some pastels. I don't understand this.

Of course, after waking from this drug coma, they discovered they had the perfect followup to Teletubbies, but now they only needed a way to sell it to parents (their fall-back plan, of course, being to sell it to marijuana cafes in Amsterdam). So, let's pop over to the Boohbah Parents and Teachers Guide for our answer. Right off the bat, "Boohbah is different from most educational TV." No big revelations yet. Here's the real deal: "Woven into the design of Boohbah are opportunities to help children build skills in five different learning areas: Movement, Mathematics, Problem Solving / Science, Language, Imagination." Hmmm. "The Boohbahs begin their day with a 'warm up,' doing a single movement that is easy to copy. After the visit to Storyworld, the Boohbahs put several movements together to create a dance. That is followed by real children experimenting with different kinds of movements in a special 'Look What I Can Do!' segment...So don’t just sit there! Do a Boohbah dance or two. Celebrate your child’s physical abilities, like being able to balance on one foot or clap and march at the same time." Ohhh, so THAT'S what I was doing wrong. All I needed to do was get up and dance along...too bad I was too busy gyrating on the ground in an epileptic seizure to take advantage. This one's the best: "Dance also offers opportunities to begin learning more complex concepts. When one Boohbah starts dancing and then another joins in, your child is seeing addition. When the music plays a four beat measure and your child takes one step for each beat and then changes to taking two steps for each beat, she is going twice as fast. So she is dancing multiplication (x2)!" Doesn't "Dancing Multiplication" sound like an awesome name for a shitty college band? You heard it here first. Though, I will say, if someone could invent a show where they "dance derivatives and integrals!", I would watch that in a second. Stupid kids, I can dance multiplication in my sleep (I don't think my sarcasm is coming through quite well enough here).

I'm still confused. Granted, I was sober at the time. Honestly, I think this stuff would play just as well at 1:30am as 10:30am. Just a slightly different audience. But with the right state of mind (meaning MOUNDS of outside "influence"), just imagine how fun it would be to experience the joy of learning with spastic dancing and yelling the magic word: BOOHBAH!
(What the hell am I talking about?)

Hollywood Bullshit #8352
This stuff writes itself. From the Celebrity News section of IMDB's Movie/TV News (which is always good reading everyday): Brad Pitt is going to be in a "hot" sex scene with Angelina Jolie in their new movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith where both appear partially nude. They write, "A source says, 'Men are finally getting a bird's eye view of Angelina's breasts in a steamy encounter. This is going to be one hot movie.' FINALLY! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for that coveted Bird's Eye view of Angelina's breasts. I mean, we've seen them before, in clear view in Gia, in Original Sin, even a couple crappy movies she did in the mid-90's, but never from above! Oh, I've bought my ticket already, woohoo! (by the way, I in no way want this to sound like I DON'T want to see Angelina topless in another movie, lest you think that for a second--apply my sarcasm to the source's comment, not the general idea here--just wanted to make that clear before I offend the Celebrity Nudity Karma Gods--thank you)