Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and wants to corrupt your child’s soul? If you believe Kazakhstan’s education ministry, it is the one and only Saturday morning child distraction method otherwise known as SpongeBob Squarepants. When you are finished laughing, keep reading to find out why Kazakhstan warns against Spongebob and feels he is a grave threat to your children in all of his yellow, absorbent glory.
The Central Asian republic regards the “self-absorbed” character as a bully who “regularly inflicts violence on others in his community and seems to enjoy what he does,”
Zabira Orazalieva, chair of the Protection of Children’s Rights, who oversees children’s rights for the state, said: “SpongeBob beats up his neighbor, misbehaves and enjoys that.
“This hooligan behavior stays in the child’s minds. They [see Spongebob] as a role model and try to re-enact [ his behavior]in real life.
Now, I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of SpongeBob and if given the choice, there are many other shows I would prefer for my kids to watch but of all things to clutch pearls about, really? I can think of at least a dozen other shows with values and characters that bother me a lot more than SpongeBob (hello, Caillou). And if we want to talk about characters bullying each other and taking joy in it- hello, Looney Tunes. Roadrunner and Coyote? Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? Cartoons depicting violence and “naughty” behavior is nothing new and I find it very humorous that SpongeBob is where Kazakhstan is directing it’s efforts at cleaning up the TV that children watch.
I am not saying Kazakhstan is completely off base in it’s assessment of SpongeBob and the messages he sends but there are many other issues facing the children of the world that deserve our attention a lot more than the somewhat questionable cartoons they are watching on TV. Why isn’t Kazakhstan warning against the risk of childhood obesity associated with excessive TV watching? That seems like something reasonable to warn parents against where government action might make sense. I’m sorry, Kazakhstan- I just can’t take you seriously when you think a fictional sea sponge is a tool of the devil that we must keep children away from.