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Car Culture Indoctrination Through Nursery Rhymes 7

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Driving in my car – YouTube video by Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes 

It is difficult in our society for a person of legal driving age to avoid the systematic indoctrination that car culture forces upon us. From car advertisements on television & billboards, to celebrities showing off their fancy wheels, to “auto” sections inside newspapers, to social peers who define “success” by the type of car you drive.

But car culture doesn’t just inflict itself on people who are of legal driving age. Car culture indoctrination starts at a very young age.

In an article in 2010, we talked about how children in China are being introduced to luxury car brands through educational materials:

cars1

Photo courtesy of Patrick Chovanec

This evening my 2-year-old daughter asked if she could watch a particular children’s program on YouTube. I put the show on for her while I finished up some work. In the “related videos” section, she saw a video with a car in it, and asked me to play it. I curiously obliged.

The video, from Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – features a girl around 9 years old – who is singing a rather annoying song that celebrates car culture and car dependency.

The “Driving my car” video has garnered more than 13 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded on April 19th, 2013.

Here is a transcript of the lyrics in the song:

Driving In My Car

Vroom vroom. Beep beep.
Let’s pretend we’re driving.
But first, we have to buckle our safety belt.
Here we go!

[Music starts]
Driving, driving in my car
Going very far
Down the street in my car
Driving, driving in my car
Feeling like a star
Bouncing down the street in my car
Driving, driving in my car
Turn the handle bar
Speeding down the street in my car
Yeah, woo hoo

Bouncing on a bumpy road
Stopping for a hoppin’ toad
Going to my favourite park
Hurry, before it gets dark
In my car
In my car

[Repeat verse 1]

Hooting tooting on the horn
Driving round from dusk till dawn
Going near and going far
I’m a superstar, woo!
In my car, vroom vroom
In my car
Driving, in my car
Driving, in my car
Driving, in my car
Driving

This video illustrates how deeply ingrained our obsession with cars really is. Many of us grew up with this indoctrination from a very young age. This is what our young children are exposed to.

Thankfully the song – which encourages speeding and glamourizes driving everywhere – is profoundly annoying, so its effect on children is hopefully minimized to an extent. Here is the video for those of you who relish in self-inflicted pain:

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

i share the road

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  • http://www.bartleyridgecondo-sg.com/ Bartley Ridge

    Hello there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

  • SJF

    I prefer the message about car culture from The Wind in The Willows, I love the image of Mr Toad flanked by two police officers after he has gone mad in the car!

  • Kathy

    Cars are deeply ingrained in children’s toys and many books as well. I would love to see bicycles and bicyclists in children’s books and bicycle-culture toys.

  • Graham

    I echo

  • Graham Roe

    I echo Kathy’s statement. I’ve been wondering for a while if the Cars Disney Franchise was funded by the automobile industry, it is so overt in personifying cars and trucks that it’s message is dangerous.

    Hence I’ve taken to review books for kids that encourage the bicycle. Are there any movies / tv shows for kids out there that are bicycle friendly? Below are two of my favourites kids books.

    http://waterloobikes.ca/2013/09/19/book-review-the-bears-bicycle-by-emilie-warren-mcleod/

    http://waterloobikes.ca/2013/02/02/when-will-disney-make-the-movie-bicycles/

  • Kevin Love

    How about showing children this video instead:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34FyWCutqvw

  • Shannon Gray

    It’s really necessary to expose our children from videos which they can get and learn values. Showing your child a video like that is not a great idea and it gives them confusions. custom stickers