Goldilocks Wears No Clothes

On more than one occasion I have been accused of getting a little too worked up about things that maybe don’t warrant the teeth-clinching, finger-stabbing, sphincter-puckering diatribes that I have been known to perform.  I am a passionate person and, for that, I will not apologize.  There are things in this world that are unjust, immoral and misguided that need to be called out and I have often appointed myself Head Caller Outer.  I’m all right with that.

I must admit, though, that sometimes I may go a weensy bit overboard.  Maybe Alanis Morissette isn’t a talentless hack with only a marginal understanding of the English language.  Maybe the Jim Carrey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” isn’t the “indefensible bastardization” that I claimed it was.  Maybe pink lemonade isn’t a global conspiracy. Nah, I can’t go that far – ‘pink’ isn’t a flavor, people.

You get the idea.

Now that I am a father I have found a whole new field of focus for my rancor.  Once spared my fury, the capitalistic shit-storm of princess paraphernalia, talking toys screaming for attention and lazily worded literature has become a target rich environment.  Television is a rarity in our house, but it does happen on occasion and some of that blather leaves me dumbfounded and seething (I’m looking at you, Wiggles).

As The Dad, I am the protector, the teacher, the guide and all of that, but I just can’t get worked up all of the time over everything that isn’t perfect and pure.  Not every movie is Citizen Kane.  Not every writer is Vonnegut.

The Wiggles are extraordinarily stupid, but they mean well.

Some things just don’t really matter.  Some things are irritating, but benign.  Some things don’t deserve the venom that I feel compelled to spit.

But, some do.

Enter “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.

So, let me get this straight.  A little girl breaks into these bears’ house, steals their food, breaks their shit, passes out and, when they come home, she bolts out the back door?

The End?

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Of course, I had heard this story my whole life, but it wasn’t until I read it to my daughters as an adult that I realized just how mind-numbingly ridiculous this story is.  One girl alone in the forest, two felony counts (at least) and three bears wearing pants aside, there is no discernible point to this colossal waste of time.

It doesn’t even make sense, for cryin’ out loud.

Why do the bears go for a walk when their food is ready?  Why does Mama Bear get shafted with the cold porridge?  Why would anyone sober decide to take a nap after breaking and entering?  Maybe that’s it; maybe Goldilocks is a junkie – that would explain some of this tripe, but still not all.

Then it just ends.  After her reckless disregard for these poor, be-trousered bears she just leaves with no consequence and no restitution.  Like that cub will be able to sleep in his bed again anytime soon after it’s been soiled by this apparent junkie with a runaway sense of entitlement.  It’s appalling.

No point.  No logic.  No moral.  And this friggin thing is a CLASSIC?  As far as I can tell, it has been in heavy fairy tale rotation for at least 100 years.  On behalf of Western Civilization, I am embarrassed.

Now, at times I may over analyze and over react  to things that don’t really amount to much, but this is not one of those times.  We have interwoven this brazenly stupid tale into our cultural fabric and it must be stopped.  Our children have been heretofore unwaveringly raised on this nonsense and it cannot continue.  Just because something is deemed to be a classic doesn’t mean it’s good.  Without examining that which we are being fed, we could starve to death.  Quit reading this garbage – yeah, I said it.

There are better things out there.  We are better.

Curious George, I’m coming for you next.

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About Mitchell Brown

I am a stay at home dad with my two daughters who are a lot stronger than they look. When I'm not cooking, cleaning, dancing, reading, teaching, playing or protecting my eyes and groin, I am writing about this whole experience in all of its ridiculousness.
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21 Responses to Goldilocks Wears No Clothes

  1. Jared Karol says:

    Dude, I was just about to go to bed and I checked my email one last time and here is this post form you. So worth staying up late to read. I laughed a lot! And while I didn’t have the intensity of feeling that you have, it resonates with me deeply. . . What passes for established children’s literature is obnoxious. And then if you don’t like it or don’t want it to be your kids’ primary learning material, then there’s something wrong w/ you. . . This has definitely inspired me to write a few similar type pieces. . . Thanks, as always, for speaking your mind, so that my mind can grow. Peace.

  2. Jared Karol says:

    oh, and thanks for the links too. Always in need of new and improved books for the kids’ library. . .

  3. Meka says:

    Very nice!!! You know I follow a curriculum for my kids and most of the so called “classics” they offer to read. I skip! They are just downright scary. I don’t get it. I agree there are far better stories to read. Zen Shorts and Zen Ties, in my opinion are wonderful! Why are there so many books with no point? I end up “telling a story from my imagination”, as my kids call it. Well by the end of the day when I’m putting my kids to bed, my imagination goes about as far as “once upon a time”, then it shuts down!

    and for the record…there is just something very wrong about the Wiggles, even though they may mean well……WRONG very very wrong.. (not allowed at my house)

    • It’s interesting how we start looking at these things more critically when we are looking at them from a parent’s perspective. I would love to hear some of your stories – can I come over next story hour? As always, thank you for sharing your time with me, Meka.

  4. Meka says:

    yeah reading before coffee apparently is like drinking and driving….I didn’t realize that there were links to many wonderful books. I just saw one!! Thank you, thank you for the ideas. I have most but I’m very excited to get the others!!! I get each of my kids a special book from mom each year. Jon Muth has been my favorite to give and now I am inspired for this years selection!!!

  5. Scott Barnes says:

    Hmmm. Mitch, I appreciate you command of whit and the English language, but I want more out of you, buddy. Tell me more about the historical context of the story. These things are oral traditions passed down through generations, usually based on legend and myth. Like the bible, it’s ridiculous unless you know the context (or have the intelligence of a 5 year old) So, rock-a-bye-baby is about the black plague, do some research and tell me what Goldie Locks and the Three Bears is about.

    • Thanks for taking the time, Scott. It’s funny that you mention origins because that was the first place I went when I started questioning this whole Goldilocks thing. As I discovered, the story was a prose piece published about 150 years ago in England. If memory serves, it originally had a fox in the role of “Goldilocks”, which makes waaaaay more sense with respect to the sneaky thievery. At that point it probably did serve to teach about the nature of animals, etc. It didn’t really become so ubiquitous in our culture until around 100 years ago when it was included in a few prominent anthologies of children’s stories and Disney made it into a short film. The fox became Goldilocks somewhere around this time due to what seems to be a misinterpretation of the word ‘vixen’ in one version – and the felonious napping little girl has been there ever since. Really, this is where my problem with it lies – it has now been perpetuated all of these years without regard to content or moral or even accuracy to the original story. And seemingly without questioning why it is perpetuated at all. I absolutely appreciate where you are coming from – there is no point in getting on my soapbox about something of which I don’t know the roots. I decided not to include this stuff when I wrote the piece and, after reading your comment, maybe I should have. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts with me, my friend.

  6. Dawn says:

    Very funny stuff…and so true…most of our children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes are downright disturbing. How about about the “lullaby” that has baby in a cradle in a tree until the branch breaks and “down will come baby, cradle and all”. Now baby is supposed to have some warm, cozy, sweet dreams? How did this stuff become classic and make it into every nursery in America?

  7. Adam says:

    I love that you take on Goldilocks without fear! Great post, and good on you for calling out the lack of depth and meaning in what our children get exposed to. There are definitely things that really freak me out, and at the same time my wife tells me I need to pick by battles (sorry, Goldie didn’t even make my top 100, but to each his own).

    What really disgusts me is how a company like Disney can get away with being so shallow in virtually all of their offerings (I cannot count how many crap Disney books we have thrown out that are meaningless, have no morals, or are really selling poor morals on our children. My 5 year old does NOT need to worry about who she is going to get married to). Yet like Wal-Mart they are everywhere, pushing their poorly-made crap to the masses (only not at bargain basement prices). They should feel a moral responsibility to use their power for good, not for capitalism, but there I go again thinking Idealism and logic has a place in this crazy reality we live in…

    You’re doing the right thing by raising awareness and calling out better options. The same can be applied of children’s music as well. And yes, the Wiggle’s are weird, but at least they’re Australian. I’ll take them over the Teletubbies any day… They just flat out scare me.

    • Thanks, Adam. In terms of things I find repugnant that are sold/fed to our kids, I don’t think Goldie would make my top 100 either. However, the blind faith that we as a society have in ‘classics’ and ‘tradition’ is infuriating and well represented by Goldie. I’m quite sure I will find time on the ol’ blog to comment on Wal-Mart, the Teletubbies and Disney, including but not restricted to their princessification of our daughters. Yeah, I have yet to find where capitalism and morality intersect.

      And I love your wife, but the Wiggles’ Australian roots do not make them more palatable. 🙂

  8. daddygreen says:

    I thin you may want to check out The Cat And The Hat before Curious George. I don’t think the feline is on the up and up. Great post!

    • HA! It’s hilarious that you mention that – I am a HUGE Dr. Seuss fan but just don’t get the Cat at all. Ummm, why are you trashing my house? And can you get those freaky little Things back in your box before my fish loses it, please? Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by – I’m headed over to your blog as soon as possible.

  9. Adam S. says:

    The only thing that’s creepier than those damn Wiggles and teletubbies is that super nasty oompah loompah from the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…it actually looked like he was wrapped in shiny cellophane pants without any underwear… Talk about seriously disturbing!

    Mitch.. Thank you for another worthwhile rant.

    • As regrettable as the fact is that I have seen the Wiggles and Teletubbies, I am happy to report that I haven’t seen this plastic wrapped oompah loompah. Good God.

      Thanks for letting me get that one off my chest. As you well know, there will be more rants to come.

  10. mudly says:

    Funny that this post should come up now. It might have been this exact day we were at the library and I decided I wanted to re-read “The Stinky Cheese Man” because I had fond memories of reading it as a kid. So I hunted it down and checked it out, only to flip through the pages on the way home (my mom was driving) and decided that it was an utterly despicable book that I wouldn’t even contemplate reading to kids. I had no idea why it was even in the children’s section!

    Book I do recommend, and still LOVE – Jack Prelutsky’s poems – particularly “Something Big Has Been Here”

  11. Pingback: Why? | Thoughtful Pop

  12. rhetor says:

    For an assignment in forensic rhetoric years ago, one of my students wrote the case for the prosecution against Goldilocks. B&E for sure; also theft, mayhem, destruction of property, and “besmirching the good name of little girls everywhere.” And yet, GL is still at large!

  13. Pingback: Give Me Everything in the Bowl and No One Gets Hurt | Thoughtful Pop

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