Pop culture luddite

by | May 6, 2009 | Henry | 5 comments

Is it wrong of me to encourage Henry when he gets facts about kid culture wrong? Today he was talking about how some of the kids in his class have Wepkin pets, and why don’t we have any Wepkin pets? (For the uninformed, he’s talking about Webkinz, which are these stuffed animals that have a whole online gaming component.) I didn’t correct him, because I don’t really want to buy any Webkinz, and also because I like the way Wepkin sounds like Rumpelstiltskin’s jolly cousin.

Henry has also gained a basic knowledge of Pokemon from the neighborhood posse, and he has taken this Pokemon framework and made up everything else to suit himself. So he draws his own Pokemon cards, and will sometimes venture into the yard as a Pokemon hunter and will return with a scrap of paper, or a bit of garbage, or, once, a dead bug, and say, “I found a Pokemon!” My knowledge of Pokemon is maybe 2 on a scale of 1 to 100, so maybe a lot of what he’s saying is true, but it sounds insane, and I’m pretty sure the whole point of Pokemon is to buy the cards, not to draw your own and collect dead bugs. However, I fully support self-made Pokemon cards and random garbage cleanup, so I don’t really say anything one way or the other.

He’s not going to be traumatized later on when the Other Kids realize he doesn’t know his Elmo from his elbow, is he?


  1. SereneBabe

    i SO worry about this! nak though so can’t comment more now

  2. Christina

    i dont think Henry is going to be traumatized at all. He sounds like he’s one of those kids who is totally content with himself and his own world. That’s so funny about the Pokeman!
    I had to laugh that you said “elmo from elbow” as we have a little bowl that has elmo on the bottom of it. Sometimes I’ll say to Nora- “oh look here’s elmo beneath your yogurt” or whatever. So one day at a meal several months ago we were playing “nora where’s your head, your shoulder? etc” And i said “nora where’s your elbow?” and she grabbed the bowl and started tapping the bottom…

  3. Lisa van Oosterum

    The exact same thing happened to us. Neighbor boy keeps giving Willem Pokemon cards…drives me nuts. Willem asks me what they are and I always make something else up. But now I have to admit a deep dark secret that I used to be one of the voices on the show when I lived in NYC. Such a shame because it would be so cool to show them the tapes of the episodes if the show wasn’t everything I hate about TV!!

  4. Julie

    Lisa, now I’m totally picturing you, Japanese-cartoon style. I know you say you were just one of the voices, but sorry, I can only imagine it as them basing a character on you. What is the show like? Did you have to say all kinds of crazy things that made no logical sense?

    This is why we’re sending them to farm camp though, right?

  5. Lisa van Oosterum

    Ha. I actually played human beings so I got to speak English instead of shrieking screams of nonsense. I was usually the little boy going on a Pokemon adventure. Do you remember there used to be news stories about kids in Japan getting siezures from watching it? It doesnt surprise me because the images move so fast is makes you ill. It is all product driven..meant to get kids to buy the cards. Ick.


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