HOWDY DOODY infused a wacky imagination into our collective unconsciousness from 1947 to 1960. My generation has electromagnetically channeled the vibe, characters and those zany little melodramas from Doodyville— like when Howdy ran for President of all the Kids in 1948.
The imagination of our childhoods can help us to understand recent cultural and political events better as a very scary plot twist on the HOWDY DOODY SHOW.
“……Phineas has been trying to get me out of Doodyville for a long time……”
To further such an understanding, here is an open letter to BUFFALO BOB SMITH, the television generation’s first mass authority figure.
Surely, Buffalo Bob, above everyone else in our collective imagination, is the one to speak up for the kids of America today.
Dear Buffalo Bob,
Since you died in 1998, things have gone terribly wrong for the kids of Doodyville.
In 2000, Howdy ran again for President.
But the election was STOLEN by Phineas T. Bluster and his accomplices!
Mr. Bluster beguiled Dilly Dally, as usual, who now became his front man.
Howdy won the popular vote fair and square, of course, but Bluster and his henchmen figured out how to manipulate the technicalities to their advantage.
The Bluster Brigade declared a complete and utter victory. They claimed there was an overwhelming mandate for their GET RICH QUICK policies.
Their great moral crusade was to make the children of America take life more seriously.
That meant getting rid of Clarabell.
BLUSTER- TV first made up complete lies about the clown’s character. When that didn’t work, they promoted a so-called scientific report claiming that “hysterical laughing is bad for children’s health.”
Then Mr. Bluster personally chased all the kids out of the Peanut Gallery and ordered it jackhammered to pieces.
Your real “peanuts” were replaced by a bank of TV monitors displaying video loops of children playing in Pixar-created outdoor environments.
Mr. Bluster’s next big campaign was to get a new law passed making all the kids of America have to sit still in school for hours longer and take more tests.
American boys and girls of all ages stopped singing, dancing, reciting poetry and doing plays in their classrooms. Classes stopped going out to nursing homes, hospitals or day care centers on Community Service projects.
Bluster’s education reform schemes recognized only the kind of learning that is measured by paper and pencil tests.
Instead of inspiring teachers to make learning more joyful, Bluster’s so-called Reformers promoted programs paying cash rewards to teachers if their students achieved certain numbers on the tests.
They were mean to teachers, blaming their unions for blocking Blusterite reform schemes.
All at the same time, of course, while the U.S. Government was holding school superintendents’ noses to the grindstone and making them scrupulously accountable for test results, the bankers and financial people were let out of their cages and encouraged to be more “creative.”
Unregulated and unsupervised money-grabbing were endemic in Doodyville, but the Bluster administration was obsessed with controlling Reading and Math scores. Data was scrutinized to tenths of percentages, and used to punish teachers and principals for not doing their jobs.