Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Does this disturb anyone?

I'd love to have people weigh in on this new dilemma of mine. So please comment if you have an opinion, whatever it may be.

My son loves computer games. He'll spend hours playing Robots and Shrek. Of course I don't let him do this for hours, but if I did let him, he would be in all his glory. I personally find the games boring. In both of them there are these main characters going on some journey somewhere. Along the way they pick up coins and tools and such. You have to figure out the keyboard combinations to make the do certain moves, etc. etc.

A couple months ago, when the movie came out, a video game for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also came out. Now Cameron was not at all interested in the movie, ("It's too scary"), but he wouldn't stop asking me for the computer game.

So finally, I found it at Target...for almost $30. But I decided I wouldn't just give it to him, but rather he would have to earn it. So we have this little chart system set up, and when he gets 30 stars, he earns the game.

HOWEVER, tonight in my grad class, I overheard a student mention something about an article entitled Willy Wonka and the Racism Factory. (Click on the link to see the article). I asked her about it, and she briefly described it to me, and I also looked it up when I got home. Basically, the original version of the Dahl book included vivid racism, as indicated in the article. This deals mainly with the darkskinned oompa loompas who were "rescued" from Africa, basically to be slaves in the Chocolate Factory. The author was actually asked to rewrite the book to make it more socially acceptable, and he did. The original movie was based on this newer version of the book, where the oompa loompas are orange and come from Oomapa Land. However, the latest version is based on the Original Book.

And although I don't read into the depiciton of the Oompa Loompas as much as the article does, I do find it disturbing. Although I haven't seen the movie, I am looking right now at the box to the video game I purchased. And on the cover is a white Willy Wonka, a white Charlie, and a handful of little black Oompa Loompas. It's just bothersome and feels wrong.

So now what do I do? If I open up the game to see whether my uneasiness rings true throughout the game, then I can't return it because it's open. And also, how in the world do I explain to a four year old boy why he can't have the game he can't stop talking about, and he's worked so hard to earn?

I guess what's most disturbing is that this movie has been out for months, and I've heard nothing of the racism involved.


At 4:59 PM, Blogger LH said...

i read a bio of Dahl last year. He wasn't the nicest guy in the world. He had a little problem with antisemitism too.
but his publishers let the book go out with the oompa loompa racism in it too. Later, the racism was pointed out by reviewers and the book was revised in later editions. Jeremy Treglown wrote the book and it's a great read.


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