Wiggles, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
For those of you who do not have children or are fortunate enough never to have come across the curse of the Wiggles, what follows will mean nothing. To you I apologize. But to all the rest of you, I reaffirm my detestation of everything Wiggles. They are the most banal, most imbecilic, most inept, most bereft of charm or talent children’s entertainment I know. Well, I guess that leaves out Teletubbies and they’re a close second…
When my 5 year old was somewhere about 1 or so some benighted person gave him a Wiggles video. We, without knowing the foolish mistake we were making, played it for him. It was instant addiction–literally like giving candy to a baby or crack to an addict. Thereafter, he would watch nothing but Wiggles. After watching the moronic video 10 or 20 times you can literally feel your brain cells dying of some sort of toxic syndrome.
What is it that’s so bad about them? Well, first they appear to be lip-syncing the idiotic lyrics which pour out of their mouths. They appear to be playing air guitar instead of really playing their instruments. The Wiggles’ gestures and movements appear robotic. Their smiles seem insanely over the top (witness the picture above). Everything about them screams: “Fake, fake, fake!” Their gig is a blatant insult to the intelligence of children, as it seems to posit an average audience age of 4 months or even 4 days.
There are clearly parents who adore the Wiggles. Otherwise, these four leaping lads wouldn’t be as wealthy as the U.S. Mint. When I last wrote a snarky post jokingly imagining that a Wiggle had died, the true believers were incensed on behalf of their beloved Wiggles. It was as if I’d cursed Our Lord and Savior (I’m Jewish btw). And they’ll probably come running here once Google gets wind of this post.
But with this semi-hilarious story in the NY Times Arts section today, I couldn’t help myself:
A Wiggle Retires
The yellow shirt has been passed. Yesterday Greg Page, right, one of the members of the phenomenally popular Australian children’s-music group the Wiggles, said he would stop performing because he has a chronic condition that causes dizziness, fatigue and nausea, The Associated Press reported. In a video-recorded statement Mr. Page, 34, said he had been debilitated by orthostatic intolerance. “It’s not a life-threatening condition by any means,” he said. “It means that I’ll no longer be able to sing and dance as I want to, and as a result I’ve decided to stop performing with the Wiggles.” Mr. Page, who helped found the group 15 years ago, handed his signature yellow shirt to his understudy, Sam Moran. Last year the Wiggles took in a reported $45 million from CDs, DVDs, books, toys and other products, and from the group’s busy international touring schedule.
I don’t have a clue what orthostatic intolerance means (well, after looking over this link I do but you get my drift), but I wonder if anyone’s ever given a thought to the fact that the nausea and fatigue may be a psychosomatic reaction to prancing around a stage like an idiot before hundreds of thousands of children for over a decade or more. Maybe his body was telling him it’d had enough and wanted him to return to being a genuine person instead of a dancing robot.
And yes, you read it right–possibly the most untalented musical performers in the history of the world earned $45-million last year! It just goes to show–something there is in people that loves a mediocrity. Remember the raging success of Springtime for Hitler in the fake Broadway show in The Producers? You get my drift.
So if you need to play a video for your children turn off those Wiggles and slide a classic Disney film into that VCR or DVD player. Your saved brain cells and your own child will thank you for sparing you from Wigglitis and not insulting their intelligence.