Monthly Archives: June 2011

My New Childrens TV Series: Yiddy Cat

Its the story of a cat with a big nose and a skull cap, who says “Oi vey” a lot and speaks in a Yiddish patois. He’s a money lender by day, but he’s always on hand to help out his friends.

Its going to be huge.

Well I really hope Yiddy Cat would never get made. I hope anyone with an ounce of cultural sensitivity would dump it in the trash before finishing the first script.

So I’m a disappointed with the BBC for screening “Rasta Mouse”. Its a children’s program about a Mouse with brown fur, who wears a Tam, and says “Rasta” a lot. He’s a reggae musician by day, but he’s always on hand to help out his friends.

Rasta is a complex and sophisticated religion, with a complicated relationship with Christianity and Judaism. It has a subtle theological vocabulary, or Iyaric, centred around a tension between the subjective self and the divine. Its adherents are discriminated against in the law of many western countries, including the US and UK, because of their use of Cannabis in devotional contexts.

But most folks know of Rasta only from their crude portrayal in the most primitive racial and behavioural stereotypes, in a way that would be obvious and highly politically incorrect if it were aimed at Muslims, Jews or Buddhists.

I’m most pissed at some of the reactions. Its fine, you know, because Rasta is fair game. Its only a children’s show. Rastafari is small, its adherents are vaguely ridiculous. And, let’s face it, they’re black, and they don’t get invited to Bilderberg meetings. And the best friend of one of the writers is a Rasta. Or at least, he wears red gold and green and smokes pot…

To me this is nothing to do with the validity or otherwise of the religion. I think we could all do with learning more about others’ beliefs. Though I’ve been interested in Rasta for a couple of years, I still know almost nothing. And we can fundamentally disagree with the Rasta concept of God without reducing them to stupid stereotypes. Reducing any group of people to crude stereotypes is insulting. Whether Rastas, Jews, Blacks, or Gays. Peddling that crudity at children is even worse.

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Amen Brother

Very touching speech. And I agree with his conclusions. God is the actions and attitudes of connected humanity.


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