Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Ask any American child that question, and I’m sure a majority of them will know the answer. Debuting in 1999, “Spongebob Squarepants” slowly won over the hearts of millions of American children. The smiling, optimistic, and (few will argue) obnoxious sea sponge shares his underwater adventures with America everyday. Surprisingly, this seemingly harmless children’s television show has caused controversy several times over the years, despite its successful 15-year reign. Just recently, the show has again hit headlines, but this time in a negative light for an apparent political message.
In its most recent episode, which premiered on Monday, Spongebob is fired from his long-term job at The Krusty Krab, just so that his boss Mr. Krabs can save a few cents. In response, America’s political sector has blown up with accusations that this episode is attacking the government, specifically the social services it offers to Americans making a lower income. Why is it though that the media is so focused on deriving some sort of political undertone out of everything lately? Politics have no place in a child’s television show like “Spongebob Squarepants,” and yet, people are finding so many hidden messages in what simply may have been an episode about a fry cook losing his job.
The dispute has been an ongoing battle between the left and right-wingers. Just over the past few years, especially with the heavy controversy circling the proposal of President Obama’s healthcare plan, the accusations and attacks between the two political parties seem endless. Not only have disagreements been at an overwhelming high, but the opposing parties have made a point of finding every possible opportunity they can to call out the other. It’s mind-boggling that it’s actually reached the point of exploiting the plot of a children’s television show such as “Spongebob Squarepants” to get another chance to criticize our government.
Another children’s television show that has been targeted for its apparent “political messages” is “Sesame Street.” This well-known children’s morning show has a long list of episodes that apparently promote left-wing ideas such as anti-war post 9/11. Some movies have even been criticized for hidden political messages. For example, Pixar’s movie “The Incredibles” has been rumored to have messages based on the flaws of communism and how a society of perfect equality and fairness isn’t possible.
Let me ask this, though how many of you noticed these implications when watching these movies or television shows? I sure as hell didn’t. And do you want to know why? Because they’re meant for children, not for political commentary. The main objective is not to brainwash your offspring to fall into one or another political party’s hands. Their objective is to entertain and educate the young.
American politicians have grown so consumed with their constant struggle to agree that they’ve managed to push politics into every portion of American life. Can’t our children watch an episode of “Spongebob Squarepants” or a Pixar movie without us having to worry that they’ll wake up the next morning as conservative or liberal extremists? It’s bad enough that Congress has such a hard time compromising with each other, that instead they reach the point of shutting down the whole government for over two weeks. It’s time to reconsider how much influence we let politics have on our lives these days. Perhaps it isn’t the movies or television shows that are brainwashing us to believe certain things, but actually the politicians themselves. So next time you’re watching Spongebob, let his optimism inspire you and his humor make you laugh. You can leave it to the politicians to decipher how a cartoon sponge is telling us how to run our country.