The co-creator of the 300-million-copy-selling Berenstain Bears has gone up to that Bear Country in the sky. I was going to note that I find something annoying about the crunchy, pleasure-hating, vaguely Quakerish/hippie-ish vibe of the Berenstain adventures, which always seem to include some kind of bluenosed piety about not overindulging in sweets or taking the commercialism out of Xmas. But I realized that whatever unintentional comedy such a rant would yield could not match Charles Krauthammer's anti-Bear brief, which blamed Papa Bear for the plague of Momism that was sweeping the nation back in the dark days of First Lady Barbara Bush:
"I hate the Berenstain Bears," Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer fumed in 1989. "The raging offense of the Berenstains is the post-feminist Papa Bear, the Alan Alda of grizzlies, a wimp so passive and fumbling he makes Dagwood Bumstead look like Batman."
And here's another tirade against political correctness in Berenstain Country. So I'll just say that even though my kid never feels like watching the Berenstain TV show and is not a big fan of the books, The Berenstain's B Book was a winner in our house. Now let's hope the various PBS Kids/Sprout channels might reconsider their decision to cancel Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks—a move that clearly shows public television's anti-Irish bias (the last acceptable prejudice).