Youth Outreach

I like the picture of a peasant girl on this Russian chocolate-bar wrapper, and not just because she looks like the long-lost child of John Candy.  For one thing, she looks nothing like the sort of kid you’d see on American packaging, a greedy-eyed little bastard with a maniacal grin who puts his love of consuming the product he’s advertising above life itself.

With this child, you’re not exactly sure what’s on her mind.  She could just be off in her own little world.  Children are prone to do that.

That would be nice.

Then again, perhaps her blank stare comes from little mind working overtime trying to process a visual no child should ever have to see.  Like her father bound and gagged while her mother does the horizontal bop with a cossack, Stalinist komissar, or Vladimir Putin, depending on the era.  With a culture and history as rich as Russia’s, there are so many to choose from.

Too extreme?  Disturbing?  Foreign?  OK, picture the kid safe and sound in her Amercian suburban home.  Mom and Dad are downstairs watching “American Idol.”  The kid walks into the home office, climbs into a desk chair, and starts surfing the internet.  Her mother and father are very responsible parents and installed a filtering program so any attempt to access adult content will redirect the browser to the Disney’s Little Mermaid Fun Page.  It’s a very sophisticated piece of software but not without its limitations.  It can’t know about every objectionable site out there.  It does not know about Poison Spur.

This is a very precocious child, able to read even as a preschooler, but too innocent to know what all those words mean.  She takes in as many words as will fit in her brain and desiring explanations, ventures downstairs.

“Mommy, Daddy, what’s a pug room?”

A guy can dream, can’t he?

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