Friday, January 26, 2007

What did they do to you Slim Goodbody?

People of my generation . . .

(and by my generation I mean those a) not "lucky" enough to be touched by God and placed in the Baby Boomer group and b) lucky enough to have a few years of childhood before being bombarded with targeted marketing--i.e. those kids whose early childhood included Watergate and Jimmy Carter, or what I will now call "The Malaise Generation." ANYWAY . . .)

People of "The Malaise Generation" remember Slim Goodbody, that slightly creepy guy with the Brady Bunch perm and the body stocking screen-painted to look like those Human Torso models from science class. His mission in life was to get kids to eat healthier, exercise, and give a crap about their bodies.

Well, he's still around and still wearing the same body stocking. His face is a bit more lined and his curled locks are shorter, but he's still talking to kids.

But now, he's not talking about healthy eating habits--at least not exclusively. His PBS short series "Life Lessons 101" that I saw this morning with the girls focused on how kids can educate themselves against the tricks and manipulations of advertisers.

I LIKE advertising, but I realize it's manipulative and I realize that kids don't have the cognitive awareness to separate the truth from the fabrications, so what I'm about to say doesn't stem from a POV that says advertisers are OK . . .

. . . but Slim Goodbody has gotten cynical, man!

He's still out there fighting the good fight, but it seems that he's been beaten down a bit. Maybe he's upset that childhood diabetes is growing rapidly in America. Maybe he realizes that all those pleas for healthy eating in the 1970s and early 1980s were swallowed up in the rise of MTV and other engines of cultural destruction.

But, there seems to be an edge in his voice today (or maybe Xtreme Kids of Today need that edge?), but he's not so happy-go-lucky anymore.



Sven Golly said...

Really interesting before-and-after looks at the young/old Slim. He doesn't exactly fill out the body stocking like he used to, does he (said the pot to the kettle).

Anonymous said...

I wonder what he would say about that f'ing spammer luccy