Inspired by Erin's post on the subject, which we had discussed before in a BlogHer forum post about kids' music, said forum discussion apparently landing Erin some hate-mail for her comment about wanting to (metaphorically, you understand) "rip out [Mindy's] vocal chords," I can no longer keep silent. I felt kind of responsible that first time, being the one who brought UP the horrible "Absolutely Mindy Show" in the first place.
How big a write-in campaign to XMKids would it take, do you think, to either get this horrible "radio personality" either replaced or just convince her to TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH...or TEN?
Now, please understand, I LOVE XMKids. This channel ALONE is worth the price of the XMRadio subscription to me. Where else can you hear Kate Winslet and Weird Al singing "I Need A Nap," or I kid you not, MARGOT KIDDER and UNCLE KRACKER in a chorus of, "I want it, I want it, and I've got to have it, it's MINE and I WANT IT NOW!" (Margot and U.K. do ultimately learn to share their bicycle and drum set, you'll be glad to know.) Or Bella's current fave (sorry, artist unknown by me), a liltingly lovely song that starts out being all about sharing and being nice and making friends, and then breaks down into a raucus punk-rock chorus of the shouted lyrics, "YOU'RE GETTIN' ON MY NERVES!" repeated overandoverandoveragain. She breaks out into that one every time we're in Walgreen's. Every. TIME.
Seriously: The morning show with Kenny Curtis and all the animal characters? Bear E. White, the Bi-Polar Bear, love god of the arctic circle? Lorenzo Llama, who can’t bear to be touched, but lives in a PETTING ZOO, so is in constant neurotic fear of being touched? (Seriously, I laugh like a loon EVERY time I hear Lorenzo's signature line, a frantic "Don't touch me!" It's the voice.) Vinnie da Pooh, a cross between Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas" and Pooh-Bear, who says "Bada-bing, bada-boom" when introduced? Dirk, the Fourth and Forgotten Chipmunk, who fakes a British accent? FORREST SKUNK? As in, “Stinky is as stinky does?” Who sounds just LIKE Forrest Gump, even down to pronouncing "Kenny" just like the original Forrest did "Jenny?" You are made of stone if you don't laugh at Forrest, and HOLEEE COW, I love that morning show. It. Is. Brilliant. The beauty of it is that, it's entertaining to adults, while also cracking up our children, and playing lots of music that they love. GOOD music (except for the occasional, and inexplicable, Raffi selection).
Kenny Curtis, the resident grownup of the XMKids morning show, "Kenny Curtis and the Animal Farm," has got the balance JUST RIGHT. He doesn't pretend to be a kid, like the ever-grating "Mindy." He plays himself as he is, a balding grownup, trying his best to wrangle good behavior out of the unruly residents of the Petting Zoo every morning. He teaches good manners, kindness, and hygeine, and is not above a good fart joke. And the characters--oh, merciful heavens--the animal characters on the show just slay me. The first time I heard Bear E. White's revelation that besides being "the love god of the arctic circle," in maintaining homes on both the North and South poles, he had become a "bi-polar bear," at which point he went from joviality to tears...good grief, even living in an actual bipolar family, that cracked me right UP. And there's a bloodhound who sounds like Sean Connery as James Bond, a sloth that does everything, well, slooooowly...and just tons of great music. In my opinion, Kenny definitely slings the best tunes on XMKids. He's a father of FIVE, so I'm figuring he knows what makes a kids' hit.
But hear me now. Not to impugn the character of the "radio personality" who plays the titular character (because I don't want hate-mail like Erin got), but “THE ABSOLUTELY MINDY SHOW” ABSOLUTELY SUCKS. That is the ONLY time of day that I switch off XMKids. Whatever good music (which is not much, because she seemingly never SHUTS UP long enough to PLAY any music) might be played is NOT worth subjecting me or anyone else to that nails-on-a-chalkboard voice screeching over my subscription radio speakers. NO THANK YOU. Even my daughter, when she was three years old, said, “Mommy, I don’t like assoluty Mindy. She sounds too loud and yucky.” And yes, we called her "ASSolutely Mindy" from then on. Well, just to ourselves. Little pitchers, and all that.
(Oh, and just an aside: "Mindy's" voice is SO loud, that even if, for whatever deranged reason, you wanted to listen to her show, you'd have to constantly be turning the volume DOWN while she's speaking, and then back UP to hear the music. She's that loud.)
But yes, my child. You are sooooo right. Awards, schmawards. That show, along with the inexplicable career of Raffi, is the epitome of what is WRONG with children’s music programming. The INTRO of "The Absolutely Mindy Show" makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots, with its reference to TOE JAM, etc. Gag. Get a grip, XMKids. Pull/change that show, and STOP PLAYING RAFFI. EVER.
Now, what gets me, is that it turns out that my XMKids hero, Kenny Curtis, is actually DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING for XMKids. So, in a way, possibly a big way, he is responsible for inflicting those not-so-dulcet tones, the ones that make me wish I were having a ROOT CANAL instead of listening to that one-woman, high-volume screechfest, upon my child and myself. That is NOT COOL, Kenny.
Look: All the other XM programming is pretty darned cool. HiJinx, Inc.? A-OK. ShortWave? Thumbs up! Shushaby Show? Awesome. Even that noontime segment that is just spoken storytelling can hush up our whole carload and have everyone spellbound. But "TAMS?" Dude, just puncture my eardrums and pull out my eustacian tubes while you're at it, if that's all I had available to listen to. This is when we turn OFF the XM and switch to the iPod. Which, by the way? Loaded with XMKids programming burned onto a CD off of DirecTV. I think. Technology is the Husband's department--he loads the thing with music, I listen to it. But my point is that it's all from YOUR show, Kenny. YOUR SHOW. Yours is so good, and you're in CHARGE, so why can't it ALL be that good? Why, Kenny, why?
So I'm asking...Erin and I can't be alone in this, can we? Seriously? And if we're not, and you agree, and you happen to be an XM Radio subscriber, couldja take a minute to shoot off an email to Kenny Curtis, asking him to reel "Absolutely Mindy" in a bit--I mean, a LOT? A makeover more in his own image would be great. I know that she is supposed to skew toward "older" kids. But I also know that I would have been insulted by the stupidity and horrible racket of that show by the time I was...well, my daughter's age. There are things in the show that work, that older kids like, particularly the interactive nature of it. I see NO reason you can't keep things like that while getting rid of the things that make us want to rip that XM box right out of the dash and toss it onto the freeway.
How 'bout it, Kenny? Can you help a mom (or several thousand) out? And while you're at it, knock Raffi out of the XMKids rotation. For good. For reals.
Our only XM alternative is "Radio Disney," which makes my ears bleed, what with all the Aaron Carter and his ilk, and all the not-EVEN-disguised Disney product-shilling via song. It's up to you, Kenny, to save us satellite radio customers. Please help. Don't make me send Erin over there. She's already on a government watch-list, so she has nothing to lose.