"Barney: Beat'im Up or Blow'im Up?!"
by Susana Rosende
copyright 2000


("Boys with Sunflowers" is a cartoon caricature of my boys,
Brian and Joey. I drew it with the mouse, using Windows Paint, in 1994)


(Photograph of Brian and Joey sitting on Barney's lap
at a neighbor's birthday party in 1993)

My boys have long since outgrown Barney, along with tricycles and building blocks.
But, I fondly remember watching the show, a child on my lap, as we sang along with the songs.

I even drew a cartoon caricature of my boys, with my youngest holding his favorite stuffed animal,
none other than Barney. A reader once critiqued my drawing.

His comment, "Barney? Beat him up or blow him up!"

I've never understood the Barney backlash.

Is it because he's too sweet? Does the show bother grownups because it is so unrealistic?

Barney recalls a more innocent age when children used manners and respected their elders,
instead of sassing authority figures (including parents) and shooting up their schools.

Most cartoons and family shows today show powerful, intelligent-but-rude kids running amok
with clueless or indifferent parents (The Simpsons, Dexter, Rug Rats, Malcolm in the Middle, etc.).

Barney the Purple Dinosaur teaches love, respect, manners, friendship,
peace, and accountability. What concepts!

Keep in mind the age level of Barney viewers: One, two, three, and possibly four-year-olds?
What would we prefer these toddlers watch if they are to watch T.V. at all?

And how do Barney-Haters -- the"mature" adults-- react to "hands-across-America-Barney"?
By suggesting violence (beat'im up or blow'im up).

I ask you, dear readers, what is WRONG with this picture?

Seriously, I suggest all "Adults" look deep inside themselves for the root of their fears.

(The reader also admits to fears of the dark and spelling errors.)

Being afraid of the dark is natural. You cannot see what is in front of you.
Many are afraid of the unknown.

Being afraid of mis-spelling a word is also common.
Many are afraid of humiliation or embarrassment.
(There is a solution: Use the Spell Checker or carry a pocket dictionary with you.
Eventually, you won't have to look up the words.)

But why would anyone fear Barney, the innocuous purple giant?

  • Is it the fear of recalling one's cruel or neglected childhood? (Read "On Forgiveness".)

  • Is it anger at the loss of innocence? (Allow yourself to grieve; then, move on.)

  • Is it the yearning to go back to Mommy's breast or womb? (Grow up!)

Then remember for whom this show is intended: toddlers...
young innocents who are still in diapers...
those learning to say "please" and "thank you."

Logic dictates that one would prefer for these wee ones
to watch such a show (if we allow them to watch television at this age).

Think carefully, Barney-Haters. Analyze your fears.

If you STILL feel hatred, fear, and anger toward Barney after this analysis,
visit a shrink.

And I say the following, with heartfelt sincerity and caring, to all those Barney-haters
and my reading public:

"I love you...
You love me...
We're a happy family!"

"With a great big hug
and a kiss from me to you,

Won't you say
you love me too?"

And for my fellow Latinos:

"Te amo
Me amas
!Somos una gran familia!"

"Con un abrazo y
Un beso para ti
Dime que me quieres tu a mi."

(More heartwarming songs can be found on Barney's Greatest Hits CD.)

PEACE and Paz,
--Susana

Readers Respond:

"I guess Im just afraid of big sickly sweet characters like barney! He gives Ned Flanders
[from the Simpsons] a complex!! Imagine how bad he makes everyone else feel!
Really he's just way out of his time..or way too late! Ever heard of Humphrey.b.Bear ?!"

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"Well written! Finally, a sensible defense against all those folks who despise Barney!
My two kids love that purple dinosaur, too. He's non-threatening and a source of amusement
to them (as well as educational!). I never did understand why some people felt the need
to destroy Barney.

I guess they have issues..."--Amy :)

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"Watching Barney is fun if you have a kid in your lap soaking up the good messages.
Alone it is a pill."

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"The corrupted song goes thusly:

I hate you
You hate me
Lets go out and kill Barney"

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"If you can't beat him up, blow him up is my motto!"

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"Barney is great :) Long live Barney!!"

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The Barney I LOVE YOU song and his Greatest Hits CD was not that great at first but then
after i drank 6 beers it sure sounded cool. And it got even cooler after the entire case was consumed
and i was giggling like a fool face down in a pile of my own vomit
singing that song about the lemondrops before i passed out.

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OK people, it has come time to grow up.If you are going to say something like a toddler enjoys this,
thats fine.But if your gonna say that you enjoy this, you are inhuman.Barney is the antichrist,
so that means you must stay away from his music CD and tv show at all costs.

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My seventeen year old loves Barney's Greatest Hits CD.He is always listening to it.
He even brings it to college.All his friends sing along with it for hours.This CD is a great buy
and is one of the jolly good ones. Barney is great. He even helped save my marriage!
His good and pure ways made me and my wife realize that atheism is wrong.
The way to go is Mormon.

He also helped teach my 3 year old daughter quantum physics.

Barney bless you!

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Good for toddlers through elementary school kids!

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I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old. They both love Barney's Greatest Hits CD.
We have to turn it up loud on "If all the Raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops."
And we all stick out our tongues and catch the drops!

This is a great CD for calming kids down
in the car or for getting them to dance in the house.

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