Our friend Cordy has graciously accepted the request to submit an article to Nerd Lunch. We like it so much, we're going to spread it out over two posts. I'll let PLee introduce Cordy...
Cordy "The Red-Headed Stepp Child" Stepp designs forklifts for a living, perhaps as a result of his traumatic forklift accident as a boy. He has spent long hours trying to reconcile conflicting canon about the rank of Miles O'Brien and has written surprisingly explicit fan fiction on this theme. We saw "Batman and Robin" in the theater and have agreed never to discuss it. He might kill you, but he will never lie to you. -PLee
As nerds we often find ourselves deconstructing (yeah, I know this isn't really the proper use of the word but it just sounds good in this instance) everything from books to movies to tv shows. We dedicate websites and online communities to picking apart the tv shows we love and hate, discussing the theories behind our favorite authors' works and "re-do"-ing movies that should have been good but just plain stunk. Where does it end? Where should it end?
It's even worse if you happen to be a nerd who is also a parent. Personally, I don't want to ruin what little magic remains in the world for my children. Sometimes it is almost too hard to resist making snide comments about the shows they watch, though. Allow me to provide a couple of examples of the things I would love to point out to my kids.
This is a show about four little kids who inevitably help some sort of bizarre object perform a series of musically-related tasks necessary for said object to reach it's goal. I love the show because it introduces children to classical music and art but the story lines are pretty far out there.
These kids have a toy Rocket that helps them along the way. Rocket's very nature causes me to speculate as to what principles allow him to operate as he does. First of all, Rocket's size seems to vary according to the Einstein's needs. He appears larger or smaller according to the situation and their surroundings. Rocket also has the ability to transform into various modes of transportation, also according to need. He can take the form of a boat, a train or even a...ROCKET! When he transforms I really want to know where the extra components come from and where the ones that are no longer needed go. Is Rocket like the Hulk and somehow gains or loses his extra mass from and to some sort of pocket universe? I have yet to broach that subject with my kids.
A recurring theme among current children's shows is the amount of space available inside an object like Rocket. There always seems to be much more room inside Rocket than one would think upon viewing his exterior. This has got to be technology akin to the TARDIS used by the Time Lords of Dr. Who.
Another of Rocket's aspects that causes me to speculate is his power source. There are times when the Einsteins are riding around in Rocket that he isn't moving quite fast enough or nimbly enough for them and they need to give him more power. Usually at this point the leader, Leo, will ask for audience participation in the form of patterned patting and clapping to power-up Rocket. I can only assume Rocket's power source is based on the conversion of sound waves. It seems that Rocket converts this vibrational energy into kinetic energy which can be used for thrust or maneuvering. In the real world we would have seen Rocket imprisoned and experimented upon by the government.
Finally, where are all the people? The world which the Little Einsteins inhabit seems to be devoid of any other humans. This makes me wonder if these four children have somehow been transported to a pocket universe with Laws of Physics which differ greatly from our own. Or have they somehow traveled to an alternate reality or timeline in which humanity has ceased to exist yet the great artistic works of Man remain?
Come back tomorrow for Cordy's review of another children television show. In the meantime, follow Cordy on the Twitter or check out his blog.