Thursday, December 22, 2005

Daytime TV

It's been a few years, but this morning I turned the television on to Teletubbies. I stood, oddly transfixed by the serenity of picture and sound. I've missed Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po, and Tinky Winky. I could feel my jaw go slack as I moved to sit on the edge of my bed, not tempted in the slightest bit to change the channel.
"This series introduces young children - ages one to three - to the wonders and magic of high-tech in a safe and friendly way." - From the PBS Parent page on Teletubbies
For the Tubbies, technology has replaced "parental units". They are cared for by their Home Hill (Tubbytronic Superdome) technologies and advised by various unseen entities without family connection using "public address system" voice trumpets. Many adults have suggested that the Teletubbies live in some future dystopian society. They are cared for, but the conflicts that occur are suppressed.
"Each program features the Teletubbies in Teletubbyland, which hums with the play technology that supplies their every need - Tubby toast, Tubby custard and a conscientious comic vacuum cleaner, the Noo-noo." - From the PBS Parent page
It's the Noo-noo that gets me. The Teletubbies romp and play, dropping Tubby Toast as they will and spilling Tubby Custard across various and sundry surfaces. When these accidents occur, the "conscientious" Noo-noo appears from nowhere to clean up the mess. Here is the sand in the vaseline: the oppressed working class. In this way, Teletubbies represent the Eloi of H.G. Wells' "Time Machine" with the Noo-noo taking the place of the Morlocks. It makes one nervously curious about what might lie below the Tubbytronic Superdome.
At this point I had thought too much, so I grabbed the remote and switched to ESPN. Ah, sweet relief.

1 comment:

mrs. id said...

Here is a dangerous conversation-starter: "Who's the Noo-Noo in your family?"