April 08, 2007

two fathers

This is just so cute.

9 comments:

bat dor said...

That was, like, eight different kinds of adorable.

prince eric said...

i am moving to holland. like right now.

garçon-fille said...

Prince Eric, take me with you, please!

Katharine said...

This video made me grin like I haven't grinned in a long time.

But...

As much as I love it, I can't help but feel like parts of it try to normalize a queer family by making it seem 'safe' (read: white and middle class). One of the first lines says something about how they live in a nice house with a lot of nice things. And obviously race in Holland isn't the same as race in the U.S., but this little kid's Aryan looks still reinforce a certain image of the respectable son of a respectable gay couple (both of his fathers are white, I assume, given there's no indication to the contrary and white = default, but maybe they're not and that'll be the subject of the next song). ;)

So as someone who really wants to see culture change for the better, I really appreciate this song. But part of me feels sad knowing that it *has* to be a rich white face acting as the icon for progress. Do other folks struggle with similar tensions? Any insights/suggestions?

icarus said...

I understand what you're saying about normalizing queer families and stuff and I somewhat agree. But like, this is that kid's life. And he's proud of his fathers, and promoting a message of acceptance. The song doesn't claim to represent all children of queer people. In conclusion, it's cute and people should be allowed to choose their own identities.

tea cozy said...

just some context: "two fathers" is from a Dutch TV show that uses musical numbers like this one to address a number of complicated social questions for kids. They have a really great one on "ADHD" (which sounds really cool in dutch!) which I believe is also on youtube. I'm guessing they get into the question of race from time to time, but I'm less confidant that they ever address class... but on the other hand, do you know any children's shows that do?

icarus said...

"Kinderen voor Kinderen is the name of a children's chorus maintained by public broadcaster VARA in the Netherlands. The name means "children for children" in Dutch.

The chorus has issued one album of new children's songs every year since 1980. The ideas for the songs generally come from children who write in. Well-known Dutch lyrics writers then turn a submitted idea into a finished song."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderen_voor_Kinderen

Katharine said...

Right, I didn't mean to say (and I don't think I said) that the kid shouldn't be making songs about his experience. I'm just pointing out that his race and class probably make it easier for him to market that experience as representative. Whether or not these shows occasionally 'get into race' in an explicit way, race always plays an implicit factor even when it goes unacknowledged. In this case, I think the kid's race (white) plays a major role.

And yeah, off the top of my head, I can't think of any kids' tv shows that would touch class with a ten-foot pole. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that this child's whiteness is part of what makes his story less threatening to mainstream viewers but I didn't hear anyone dispute that.

The way children's shows and class relate are really quite interesting.

For example, Sesame Street envisions itself as part of an anti-poverty agenda (see http://www.city-journal.org/html/5_4_on_sesame_street.html I have also heard that this documentary is awesome http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/World-According-to-Sesame.html but I have not seen it.) I want to see that documentary but I am unsure of who started this sesame street agenda and what their motivations are.


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