Aug 28, 2007

A tad askew

by Will Mayer

Well, this is it — A Tad Askew is back by popular demand. That is, if popular demand consists of one guy telling me he read it last semester. But, demanded or not, it has returned. You will be able to expect a similar column to last semester’s, but since it has moved to the opinion section I suppose I will actually have to make some sort of point on issues I have a strong opinions about. That is why we are beginning with Dora the Explorer.

Dora the Explorer has become an increasingly popular cartoon on Nickelodeon. The show features a young, bilingual girl by the name of Dora who goes on adventures reminiscent of Indiana Jones. But don’t picture a young girl crossing bridges as they collapse, outrunning giant rolling booby-traps or being played by a dashing young Harrison Ford. Instead, Dora is a very realistic young cartoon girl with brown eyes roughly the size of hubcaps.

But is all this promotion of exploring safe for children? What good has ever come from exploring, aside from discoveries of minor importance like, America, oil, polio vaccines, and a few other relatively unnecessary revelations? But Dora keeps teaching American children to stray away from home on epic Lord-of-the-Rings-style quests, all the while indoctrinating them on the importance of speaking Spanish.

This is America. Why do children need to learn Spanish? It is not as if Santa Anna defeated the forces of the Texan army at the Alamo or that Christopher Columbus claimed America in the name of Spain….

Wait — I am being told that, in fact, these very events did unfold. But that is not important.

Here in the United States our Declaration of Independence from England was written in English, or forefathers wrote our Constitution in English, and English was the language used when the United States was the first country to pretend to land on the moon. Are we to throw all of that away for a little girl whose most profound and celebrated statement might actually be “Swiper no Swipey?”

I think not. To stay successful as a nation I believe we need to speak one language. To be the United States, we must be united, so to speak.

Dora attacks our national identity, while at the same time, a new foe rises to attack our security. Dora’s cousin: Diego.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know very much about Diego Márquez, but what I do know is frightening. I know he’s seen as a savior of animals, which gives him powerful charisma among children and respect among left-wing environmentalists. But what may be most alarming is the title of his spin-off: Go, Diego, Go!

Just the very title of this cartoon inspires images of children, already far away from home on quests begun to emulate Dora, coming upon a virtually unguarded American border wondering, what would Diego do?

Contact Will Mayer at

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