Tomorrow will be the two-week wedding anniversary for Ashley and me, and we're hoping to get out and use some of the gift cards (along with writing Thank You's) this weekend. I finally got some of the wedding pics posted in the sidebar of the Lunchbox, and will update them as I get more in.

This week I spent the last part of the week working with the girls at home, which meant facing the challenge of balancing work/job hunting with engaging the girls. I don't think I did too bad, but I did make the worst batch of chocolate chip cookies ever while getting a chance to critique a few cartoons (which you will read about). My boys actually were in Texas this past week visiting their other grandparents, so I got to hear of their adventures in the backwoods of east Texas as they went off-roading with their mom's dad, and watched tons of Wheel of Fortune.

I'm adding a few different items to Clark's Inbox this week including the resurrection of the Kreepy Bay-Beez.

So as, I mentioned, I spent time watching cartoons with Allie and Avery this week and was struck by the various political, environmental and economic undertones running throughout the various episodes I watched. I don't recall the cartoons of my day being so complicated. Who wants to see Bug Bunny as a vegan carrot-muncher chiding Elmer Fudd for hunting down and eating meat or Scooby and Shaggy advocating the use of hemp-made products? Today's cartoons, however, aren't afraid to jump right in and tackle today's pressing issues. This week I watched The Fairly Odd Parents address the current housing crisis, urban sprawl and suburban conformity with in-your-face tenacity.

The Fairly Odd Parents: In this Nickelodeon cartoon, Timmy Turner, a manic, 7 year-old boy, gets into loads of trouble due to the ridiculous antics of his god-parents, Cosmo and Wanda who happen to be magically mischievous fairies that only he can see. In the episode I watched Timmy's mother, who's a real estate agent worries she's lost her touch selling as it's been months since her last sale (it's not you, sweetie, it's the market). Cosmo and Wanda, thinking they are helping, secretly give the mother a magic ability to sell any home to any person (ya, but can they qualify for a mortgage? That's where the real magic is). Of course she sells a ton including the family's own home so they can now move to Dimmadore Acres. Dimmadore Acres is a master-planned community developed by a Texas residential development tycoon (no doubt a reference to national builders DR Horton and Centex Homes, based in Dallas). Upon moving into the community, the Turner family quickly fall prey to the extreme standards of conformity, enforced by the home-owner's association, who as it turns out, work at night for the same Texas developer in his milk factory. Timmy, who's a prime candidate for massive amounts of Concerta, manages to magically restore everyone back to their senses as well as transforming all of Dimmadore Acres back to its original state with flowering meadows and woodland creatures (an obvious reference to environmentalist concern over urban sprawl... thanks Al Gore).

I've devised a scoring system for cartoons to determine their accurate depiction of the heinous world child viewers can expect once they grow up. It's on a 1 to 5 point scale with 5 being heinously accurate and 1 being mindless drivel suitable for only children. Here's my assessment.

Economic Awareness: 5 Using the housing crisis as the story's sub-plot was a stroke of Nick-Genius! Bravo!

Environmentally Conscious: 5 Commenting on the evils of urban sprawl was right on target, and although the magical restoration of the development to it's natural beauty was a bit unrealistic, the sentiment brought a tear to my eye.

Promotes Diversity: 2 Low marks here. Even though the god-parents are 'fairies' (not the ones you're thinking of), the lone representative for diversity was Timmy's African American friend, AJ who dresses and acts like a little preppy cracker.

Politically Awareness: 3 Average is the only score I can give since there was no direct political references, which is pretty darn sad in an election year. However, the show's indirect indictment of corporate CEO's (represented in Texas businessman, Doug Dimmadore) running amok without the oversight of the federal government, kept it from receiving a lower rating.

OVERALL SCORE: 4 I was pretty impressed with realistic the show was in depicting the bleak world we live in.

Theeeeeeeey're baaaaack! Due to their popularity the Lunchbox has resurrected the Kreepy Bay-Beez with the intent of posting a weekly pic as part of the Friday Inbox, and we invite all of you to submit pics of your own, which we will pick as the most "kreepee" and post along with our own.

... and in case you missed it, this week I reflected on what my dad's resume has taught me (thanks Ness for sending readers this way), I got "tagged," almost got caught in an alien encounter, and confronted the issue of nudity.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the Lunchbox, and have a great weekend.

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