Thursday, January 25, 2007

Baby Einstein Sux

I hated on Baby Einstein a while back on my other blog, but my loathing was rejuvenated last night when, glancing up at the State of the Union address, I noted Bush congratulating Julie Aigner-Clark, the founder of Baby Einstein. Quoth he:

After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child. So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement. The Baby Einstein Company was born — and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales. In November 2001, Julie sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company, and with her help Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business. Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America. And she is using her success to help others — producing child safety videos with John Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Julie says of her new project: "I believe it's the most important thing that I've ever done. I believe that children have the right to live in a world that is safe." We are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur — Julie Aigner-Clark.
That's one perspective. I too want "a world that is safe"; that's why I voted for Kerry.

Anyhow, here's another view, to which I'm more congenial, from Silicon Valley Moms via the estimable Strollerderby:
This is the woman that convinced parents that it's perfectly OK to prop up babies in front of the television because it's educational (they don't even have to be old enough to sit)! The woman that found the perfect combination of music and colors to hypnotize a baby into complete docility, to ensure that the next generation really will be passive observers, not interacting or caring much about the people around them or their environment. Or, perhaps, this is the woman that has found the way to raise the perfect Republican...
Now that's a conspiracy theory I can get behind! (Timothy Noah at Slate was also spurred by Bush's speech to rag on Baby Einstein.)