Team Geotrax

Team Geotrax, a fisher price production, follows the adventures of train operators and their trains in geotown. I’m not sure if the shows are on television, but you can find it on just about any toddler’s DVD collection. I don’t want to get into the details, but I’ve seen several discs and have come to rather a disturbing conclusion.

Geotrax is a racist show that promotes ethnic stereotypes. Here’s just a look at some of their characters:

Googles & Bunsen: they are the “smartest team”. These guys synchronized all of geotown with some special science they invented when they weren’t reciting the quadratic equation in ten different languages. He wears a lab coat and has glasses. They are white.

Bull & Bruno: they are the “toughest team”. Anything that needs to be carried or delivered, they can do it. If it means lifting thirty pallets of heavy wood, you can bet on Bruno and Bull to finish it singlehandedly. Of couse, as Brutes, they have to get some things wrong. For instance, in one show, there was a horse that was blocking them. They then went back a few feet and went on another track. However, beknownst to everyone but them, the track went around in circles. Bull and Bruno nonetheless kept going around and around, seemingly unaware that they were going in circles as they progressively became dizzier. They are heavily muscled, burly, and use copious amounts of some sticky wet substance to keep Bruno’s Sylvester Stallone haircut in the movie, Lords of Flatbush, in place.

Aero & Eric: they are the “fastest team”. They can run down the rails faster than anyone because they are the only trains that have their technology, although clearly he had nothing to do with it’s creation. In fact, we learn that Goggles & Bunsen created Aero the train. Unlike the other characters, who all seem like at least young men, Aero & Eric are without question boys, and pretty ones no less. His slightly sunbleached hair is effortlessly put together like that guy in High School Musical. He wears what essentially is a very form fitting white and blue one-piece leather motorcycle uniform. They are daring and adventerous. They are white and most likely from southern California.

Sheffeld & Genkins: they are the “most refined team”. They don’t do anything before tea. Sheffeld can make toast and then have it shoot it onto Genkins plate. Genkins wears white cardigans and has a strong English accent. They are white.

Woohoo & Ope: they are the “stupidest team”. Ope has a strong southern accent, looks perhaps inbred, walks like a fool, and is missing a few teeth. In one of the first episodes, they collect wood for the new geotown station by removing the wooden parts of their railroad tracks, causing three train derailments. And then at the end of the show when the station finally opens, they drop the big cake before anyone can eat it. They are white and probably smoke meth at nights between swigs of nighttrain.

Loopy & Loco: they are the “stunt flying team”. They are amazing flyers but they have an issue with keeping on their assignments. They have so much fun that they forget what their assignments were and often jeopardize the the geotrax mission. It’s when they get on the geotrax mission, and focus only on that and not themselves, are they able to succeed and gain acceptance. They are Latin American.

Stanley & Steamer:  they are the “hardest working team.”  My investigation reveals that Stanley’s family was the original capitalist owners of geotrax.  During the episode, “Stanley and Steamer Save The Day,” Stanley remarks that of the machines has “been in the family for years.”  He is an older white character.  He exudes confidence and stability and has that all-American, northeastern feel.  Stanley looks a lot like Nelson Rockefeller when he was younger.  Stanley and Steamer never gets angry and are always emotionally even keeled.  When Woohoo and Ope removed the tracks because they thought they were helping out collecting wood, Stanley calmly said, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.”  What a team.

Brutus and Victor: they are the “biggest bullies”. With strong Russian accents and blue and blue and gold imperial wear, they cause havoc to the geotrax team by unplugging the map that geotrax needs to coordinate their movements, puts a huge boulder blocking an important route for geotrax, and even steals cargo. But everytime, his plans, which seemed very creative and evil, fail with the utmost of predictability. Victor, who has a striking resemblance to Joseph Stalin, is white.

There are no women in the show.

There are no African-Americans that have their own trains. I have only seen one African-American on the show. He works with a heavy set white guy. They are maintenance workers who use one of those human powered platforms to move across the tracks. Apparently they don’t have what it tajes to operate real trains. Nor do they have the ability to speak. Everything he says rhymes.

Please write letters to fisher price and let them know that their show has to change.

We Will Miss You Amanda Bynes!

I opened up the internet yesterday and was flooded with news about Amanda Bynes who, via twitter no less, announced her retirement from acting.

Amanda Bynes… Who the hell was that again? 

Was that the chirpy kind of cute girl who was almost pretty but something about her was just a little off to be an A-list hollywood actress without talent on that half-baked What I like about you show?  Amanda Bynes seems like the girl who, left to her own devices, is more comfortable at 130 than the 100 pounds she is now.  Her face just seems a little bigger than the rest of her body.  It’s like her face was squeezed out from below, like a tube of toothpaste.

I quickly did a wikipedia search and saw a whole listing of, well, and I’m speaking honestly here, the crap stuff she’s been in since entering into the mix with Nickelodeon’s Figure it Out and All That.  It made me realize that there a lot of people who “make it” into the t.v. and film acting industry, but don’t actually succeed in it.  More power to these actors like Amanda Bynes that they got their foot in the door.  A lot of people have tried to get their foot in the door but end up waiting tables in New York City or L.A. and their big story when they get older is how they met Jack Nicholson on set while being an extra. 

But, really, Amanda Bynes, don’t go crying on Twitter that you’re “retiring”  because “it’s not fun anymore.”

Sure, I guess it’s not fun when everything you do is frankly mediocre.  I guess it’s a good idea to take a break from it all of the mediocreness that you’ve been involved in and come back ten years from now in some indie movie with an aging A-list actor and maybe then, just maybe, your career can then actually take off and it will be “fun” again. 

In the meantime, hang out at the library or take some acting lessons when you’re not eating oatmeal and wheatgrass juice at your parent’s house.

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Really Good For You?

Over the last few days, I’ve noticed more and more of these ads from the “Corn Refiners Association” (CRA) alleging that high fructose corn syrup, when eaten in moderation, is no worse for you than sugar.  It made me start examining my own assumed belief that high fructose corn syrup is bad.

High fructose corn syrup is bad . . . I’m not sure why but that’s what I’ve been told by the health food stores and health magazines and Oprah, too.

But in the end, it appears that the CRA is using a deflective argument tactic.  In a vacuum, the difference between CRA and sugar is probably nothing extremely significant, as the ads suggest.  However, we don’t live in a vacuum of “high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar,” and the CRA ads are making it seem like we do.

What our diets need less of is highly processed foods, most of which have low nutritional value.  These foods are often found in the center of our grocery stores.  And, you got it, the majority of the foods found in the center of our  grocery stores contain high fructose corn syrup or other added sweeteners, because of their ability to ‘stay fresher’ on food aisles for months on end.

In that regard, any discussion about high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar should not center on the merits of their chemical composition, but rather how sweeteners (whether sugar or high fructose corn syrup) have pervaded many of our food products and has caused an obesity epidemic because, in addition to lack of exercise, people are eating empty calories.  Not surprisingly, the processed food people eat nowadays doesn’t provide the proper energy blocks for people to do exercise, and a tragic cycle of getting fat without exercising continues.  If you’re in New York City, visit any subway car and you’ll see what I mean.

The issue of  high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar is a non-issue that obfuscates the real problem.  The real problem is that the use of any of these sweeteners is a symptom of our food policy that has moved away from affordable organic and natural foods to highly processed food products with limited nutritional value.