Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

“Scientifically Accurate Barney” is much less cloying, still quite educational

Illustration for article titled “Scientifically Accurate iBarney/i” is much less cloying, still quite educational

The tireless destroyers of childhood whimsy at Fox ADHD, who already did their best to ruin Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers with scientific accuracy, have now turned their gimlet eyes toward Barney & Friends. That long-running and much-mocked PBS children’s series, which stubbornly persists in reruns several years after airing its final episode, depicts a gregarious, helpful Tyrannosaurus Rex who routinely interacts with (and ostensibly educates) a group of very young children in a schoolroom setting. In reality, however, a dinosaur of this species would make an exceptionally poor elementary school teacher, a point handily illustrated by “Scientifically Accurate Barney.” This brief but potent animated video retains the “Yankee Doodle”-derived melody of Barney & Friends’ original theme song but adds entirely new, considerably less optimistic lyrics, with graphic and gory visuals to match. Instead of being a gentle, cuddly, and basically human-sized prehistoric plaything, this Barney is depicted as a soulless, 40-foot-tall mauve killing machine who devours children without a shred of conscience.

Even though this reality-based incarnation of Barney will not teach children about the ABCs and 123s, his theme song is still quite educational. “Barney had a septic bite, evolutionarily perfected,” go the lyrics. “If you got away, you still would die, ‘cause the bite would get infected.” This, naturally, is accompanied by a scene in which a wide-eyed, overall-clad toddler collapses, rots, and dies in a playground, vile green liquid spewing from his open mouth. The song also calls into question the wisdom of putting defenseless children in close proximity to such a dangerous and prodigious carnivore. “I hope the state takes you away from your irresponsible parents / Barney’s jaws were like a vice, crushing 5000 pounds per square inch.” Meanwhile, connoisseurs of Fox ADHD’s “Scientifically Accurate” series will not be surprised to learn that Barney’s genitals are also depicted in graphic detail here. Obsession with disturbing, non-human penises is a time-honored ADHD staple, going back to 2013’s “Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man.”

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