Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lou and Lou safety violations

I have a love–hate relationship with The Disney Channel. I love some of the weekend stuff, especially the movies. However, I hate the morning programming. The Little Einsteins drives me absolutely up the wall. That horrible little blond girl is always flat. I can only assume it's on purpose; it's probably supposed to reassure kids who can't sing on pitch that they're still perfect, unique little snowflakes who shouldn't let their inability to sing keep them from doing it on national television, thereby ensuring the popularity of American Idol (and the Idol-based attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park). I also hate Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, with its contrived lessons and weird animation.

But most of all, I hate Lou and Lou: Safety Patrol. In addition to being smug, self-satisfied know-it-alls, Lou and Lou are often just WRONG. They issue pointless "safety violations" for things like their preteen sister Lulu singing along with her iPod (oh, wait: I'm sure it's a Mix Stick) in the car, because it might distract the driver. Like having the most annoying twins in the world sitting in the back spouting safety violations isn't distracting. And is nobody allowed to talk or listen to the radio in the car? Wow. They get my vote for Dreariest Family EVER.

That was in this morning's episode, wherein Lulu also gets a safety violation for not buckling up, so she buckles her lap belt. Apparently the twins aren't at all concerned about a related safety violation: Lulu is using a lap belt alone, without a shoulder belt. Using a lap belt alone is NOT safe; in an accident, you need a shoulder belt too, to prevent head, neck, and abdominal injuries. In front-impact and rear-impact crashes, shoulder/lap belts are considerably more effective than lap belts alone in preventing fatality. Note that the statistics I just linked to are for outboard seats; Lulu is sitting in a center seat (and apparently in a booster). But since 2004, vehicles like the one Lou, Lou, and Lulu's parents own (a minivan) have been required to have lap/shoulder belts in the center back seat. As a frugal person, I don't necessarily recommend going out and buying a new car every couple of years, but seriously, those kids' parents are so obsessed with safety that I would think they'd want to, now that Lulu is old enough to ride in a booster instead of a car seat with a harness.

At least Dad gets a safety violation for talking on the cell phone while driving. I guess that would violate the "no talking in the car" rule.

[EDIT: Yes, I know I could just turn off the TV. But that would mean I'd have to actually play with the child instead of using the 7:30–8:00 time slot for reading my RSS feeds, checking my email, and updating my Facebook status. I suppose I could change the channel over to Sprout, at least.]

No comments: