Barney Hatred

One day when Jacob was about 5 years old,  John and I got a babysitter.  We were alone driving down the road, when we saw a man in a Barney suit  ahead of us, crossing the road.  He was obviously heading to some lucky child’s birthday party.  Hoo-hoo!

John slowed down, smirked, and turned to me and said “That is one brave man to cross the street in front of us.”

Google, Natch

Google, Natch

We hated Barney.  Jacob, at that age, loved him.  He wanted to watch Barney all the time.  Naturally we didn’t allow it, because really, who can handle that much Barney?  We knew that too much Barney would damage our young son.

John and I we continued our day out, away from our son, with the Barney song, and thoughts of homicide, stuck in our heads.  We were delighted.

We, like most parents, were relatively lucky, though.  We could turn it off.  We could say “no more Barney.”  We could have banished Barney completely.  We had control over the situation.

But this morning I read an article about someone who didn’t.  Who couldn’t.  Someone who was stuck, day after day, watching and listening to Barney.  For TWELVE YEARS!

Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful article about Martin Pistorius, a South African man who fell into a coma at age 12.  After several years, he began to emerge, but not in ways that let anybody know he was “there.”

His recovery began with Barney, the big purple dinosaur he was forced to watch on loop at the special care center where he spent his days, according to NPR.

“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney”

Pistorius decided he’d had enough and dedicated his thoughts to something that offered some modicum of control over his reality, such as telling time by tracking sunlight in a room.

As his mind improved and Pistorius learned to “reframe” and “reintepret” his “ugliest thoughts,” his health improved, too, according to NPR. By age, 26, he was able to use a computer to communicate, shocking his family.

I don’t want to give away all of it, but trust me:  The article is fascinating.  I think the book he wrote of his experience sounds like it is too.

It’s a wonderful story of revival.  And, of course, proof, that when we hate Barney, we can achieve great things.

Please fall on your knees to me.

I could have added Barney video.

 

 

91 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Taking Care of Each Other

91 responses to “Barney Hatred

  1. I will be forever grateful to you for not putting a Barney video in this post! I am happy to report my kids are all too old to have been swept up in Barney so I escaped this saccharine purple blob!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Elyse, I just read his story, which was incredible. Funny post. We found Barney insipid (I save the ‘H’ word for a few certain politicians). Our kids didn’t watch much TV at all–better to read them a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hate is too strong, you’re probably right. I did want to hit the gas when we saw him walking on the side of the road, though. Good thing I wasn’t driving.

      And good for you with your kids. Jacob didn’t watch too much, but he was never into books. Makes me sad.

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      • It’s never too late. My sister’s son never picked up a book until Harry Potter came out and then he read them all one after the other from cover to cover.

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          • Ha ha! Even so, Elyse, it’s never too late. Maybe he needs someone to read aloud to him, just to get him hooked. He can then ease into it with books on tape while doing some mindless task. But there are excellent, intelligent, thought provoking movies out there, and it’s okay to simply enjoy being entertained by a good story, however it finds its way into your head.

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            • Actually, I’ve always thought that I read to him for too long. It was great together time, and I did it until he was in his early teens. But he never wants to pick up a book. He does watch some interesting stuff, though, so you’re right there. (And also a lot of serious CRAP!)

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see how twelve years of Barney could force your mind into wanting to communicate — simply to say “Stop! Enough with the purple creature!”

    The upside to not having kids is that one is not exposed to such trauma as Barney — I know enough about Barney to know that I don’t want to know more. 🙂

    The article was quite fascinating … I think I might have to purchase the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brings back memories…my daughter loved Barney when she was little. Had all the movies, watched the TV show, had Barney books, and even a Barney costume for Halloween when she was 4. Thanks, Elyse, for confirming that it really was me who screwed her up…thanks so much, really. You just go have a good night now and you think about what you’ve done

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Count me in on the Barney hating. Shear torture! I’m off to read the article.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had the same thought when I read that article! Oh, how my baby sister adored Barney. Nothing made her happier…. unless it was Baby Bop. I never thought I could hate any character so much (until the day I met Caillou!) but I always pretended I liked him, too, to spare her precious little toddler feelings. When I read about that poor man’s experience, all I could say was “The horror! The horror!”

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  7. I’m going to read the article. Yuck to Barney. When my mom was coming out of her open heart surgery she says she remembers seeing my sister crying and then the Simpsons on tv. We noticed her reaction and made the nurse change the channel. Mom hates the Simpsons.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fascinating, but hey … we didn’t have kids … so no Barney, Raffi, Disney movies, etc. … and I want you to know I intentionally didn’t add a Barney video here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for not including a video of that blasted song! I was lucky. Alex was just old enough to not be watching those kinds of shows when Barney was making it big in the kiddie TV circuit.

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  10. Not a Barney fan either. Thank goodness you didn’t include the music.

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  11. That’s the stuff of nightmares, Elyse. I will not read it before I go to bed. I refuse.

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  12. Nobody hates Barney more than me… my one dream in life is to dress Rush Limbaugh in a Barney costume and run over him with a road grader

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  13. What an amazing story! The article left so many questions unanswered. I’m also adding the book to my list. I can understand having the TV on one channel all day but the same show? I agree with Carrie–torture.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Absolutely incredible story! I am definitely going to read this book. The hell he went through boggles my mind. I read the article and I’m thrilled he went on to live a good life (Barney-free!)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You have to remember: You’re not the target audience for Barney. It’s not SUPPOSED to appeal to you.

    I always hated Clifford the Big Red Fucking Dog. The illustrations were awful. Clifford was always changing his “bigness.” Sometimes, he’s a big as a house, sometimes, as big as a car. And the stories were inane. Don’t get me started on that fucking Clifford.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My daughter was IN LOVE like no other with this purple fucker! She has no memory of this obsession, or so she says, yet I can sting a duet with my husband of every single nails down a blackboard fucking tune!!
    Can’t wait to read the article and perhaps be medicated myself…the hate runs deep over here.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So much Barney hate abound! I’m with Carrie, didn’t mind him too much, but then I never had to overdose on him. My daughter watched him a little bit as a toddler, but not enough to make me want to run him down.

    The story of that guy is incredible, I bet the book is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it a cool story? Sort of like the incredible hulk — you don’t wantto force me to watch Barney. You won’t like me if i watch Barney …

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  18. I loved that article Elyse and Ghost Boy is now on my must read list. I can see how hating Barney could do that, I surely can see that.

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  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elyse. The article sounds fascinating!

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  20. My response to you went astray. It’s down below. Ipad Schmypad

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  21. Yes, Elle, i’m glad too for both of us. The stuff that came later was great. Jacob (and i) LOVED Wishbone. And yes on the story. Imagine being trapped inside yourself like that.

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  22. AC

    Pistorius? South Africa? Non-stop Barney? Sounds like a lethal combination. Did he shoot anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I read that article too! Great story! Yeah, I’m glad my Barney days are over. Andrew loved him. 😉

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  24. I’m also a Barney survivor from the 90’s. Our kids made it through but I think my husband and I acquired post-traumatic stress disorder from listening to Baby Bop and that big dumb purple lizard.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. As much as it must have been incredibly tempting to include a Barney video, we all, collectively, appreciate your restraint. Yes, I was an avid hater of the purple and green, (not that I have anything against those colors specifically, but rather, only when combined to bring that annoying dinosaur to life). The thought of being subjected to a constant loop of Barney, Barney, and more Barney is nauseating. Thanks for the heads up on the book, as it sounds like it would be a fascinating read.

    p.s. I can’t help it that in one of my favorite photos of my grandson, when he was just a tiny toddler, he is wearing his Barney house slippers. He would have worn them to play school if we would have allowed it. He lived in those slippers, and being the tolerant and indulgent Nana that I was, I never even blinked sideways when he asked to wear them to the grocery store, or to the movies, or to church (when we were still going to church, back in the day). Wherever he went, so did his puffy Barney slippers. Happily smiling the entire time. I should have had them bronzed. Thanks for resurrecting that particular memory. As much as I hated that purple dinosaur, I absolutely adored my grandson, so it was Barney all the way.

    p.p.s. Is it wrong of me that allowing him to wear them to church tickled me in entirely too many ways? Back in those days, there was much talk of Barney the dinosaur “spreading the idea of atheism, and evolution, and of course, homosexuality”. They were lucky I wasn’t wearing a Barney costume, and it was only my grandson in his purple and green slippers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Never hold it against the kids. I imagine your grandson was adorable in them.

      As for the church issue, i had never heard that! What a hoot. Funnier still letting him wear his evil slippers to church. Confession mY be in order. Or a good belly laugh. One of the two!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I hated Barney, too. Especially when the twins were young. Luckily, their fascination didn’t last long.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I saw that piece in the WaPo about Martin Pistorius and thought it was a little short on details (I guess I’ll have to buy his book!)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. NotAPunkRocker

    I was grateful that M got his Barney fix at the sitter’s house, so I never had to put up with him at home.

    Blue’s Clues, on the other hand…

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  29. I didn’t mind Barney simply because my son loved him so much. But hearing the show on a continuous loop? Don’t they use methods like that for torture? How horrible. But the article was indeed fascinating. I’ve added his book, “Ghost Boy” to my to-read list. In fact, I have my book club tonight, and I’m going to suggest this one as a read even though it’s nonfiction. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. What a horrible existence that must have been for him. Amazing to see him come out of it so admirably.

    Like

  30. Paul

    Thank you for not adding the video -definitely a case of less is more.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. rabid Barney hating is an integral part of parenting – nice to see it worked out for someone

    Liked by 1 person

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