June 2, 2015

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Unaccountable Surveillance Society Do You See?

eric_carle_brown_bear_watchers.jpg

I'm still fighting off the chills from reading a review of Bill Martin & Eric Carle's childhood classic, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, which was posted only yesterday, while the world was distracted by Caitlin Jenner.

If the animals were looking at the children this whole time, why don't they say so? When the bear was asked what he saw, he mentioned only the bird. When the bird was asked what she saw, she mentioned only the duck. Every single character in the book is looking at the children and yet every single one refuses to admit that they see them. It's only the authority figure who has the courage to acknowledge their presence.

How scared must the characters be to live in unified submissive silence? The children have complete control, for they not only know everything about the world the characters inhabit, but they also have the power to destroy that world (as many of this book's youngest readers undoubtedly have).

It is the proverbial bear who is not to be poked. But through the bear's opening omission we learn that even he is too scared of the children to publicly acknowledge that he's aware of their existence. The more important answer to this book's opening question is not that the brown bear sees the red bird. It's that he also sees the omniscient, omnipotent children, but is too terrified to say so.

But they know that he knows.

I urge everyone to read the rest now. Hurry, we only have hours, or maybe a couple of days, before the bulk metadata surveillance dragnet starts sweeping again, and then they'll know that you clicked through the Daddy Types Amazon Associates link, and the tiny kickback from your diaper order could be considered material support! Fight the power!

Who Watches The Watchers? An Amazon Review of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? [amazon via dt comrade nathan]
Previously, but still cracking myself up: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Communists! [dt youtube]
[image: eric carle print flannel detail from etsy, sold out because eric carle]

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