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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:56 PM

"Swiper, No Swiping!": The Demonology of Dora the Explorer (aka witch)

Indeed, children become empowered by Dora the Explorer. Children are asked to memorize directions and repeat phrases, often at disarming decibels—watching Dora’s adventures rarely coincides with quiet time. But if problem-solving skills are the desired outcome, then what problem-solving skills are children actually being taught when it comes to Swiper the Fox?

After many more viewings and readings of Dora the Explorer than I can ever count, the figure of Swiper began to seem hauntingly familiar to me. To me, a professor and scholar of the history of Christianity, I saw this problem-solving strategy of dealing with Swiper within a larger, historical contest. He is an archetypal image of the diabolical fox-spirit in the history of religions. The words to ward him off are similar in pattern to spells or exorcistic formulae used to ward off evil spirits throughout history. And not only may children be learning how best to deal with the demonic, but they’re doing so in a very sophisticated way. For Dora does not completely cast out her demon, but rather allows for its redemption.

The fox holds a peculiar place within our collective consciousness. In Aesop’s Fables, the fox is often the trickster, and a dangerous one at that. Take for example the story of the Hare and the Fox, when, after the fox invited him to experience his culinary arts, the unfortunate rabbit discovers that he is the main course. Indeed, the fox appears throughout world cultures as a trickster, often with sinister implications. The common English expression “like a fox” implies both sly and powerful; Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” made him “wanna get up and scream!”

..

Through such portrayals, perhaps children might see that such “demonic” presences are not absolutely evil, but have a value and worth beyond simply being ostracized and counted as “other”. We tend to use the power of words today to demonize rather than exorcise. If we could get children to treat all such “old enemies” with compassion and understanding, they might indeed understand one of the central tenants of the Christian tradition, unfortunately lost by the most “pious” among us: “Love thy enemy.” Then, perhaps, we adults may all learn from our children to do the same to our foes, whether we conceive of them as demonic or not.



http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/swiper-no-swiping-the-demonology-of-dora-the-explorer/

12 replies, 1811 views

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Reply "Swiper, No Swiping!": The Demonology of Dora the Explorer (aka witch) (Original post)
The Straight Story Nov 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Nov 2012 #1
The Straight Story Nov 2012 #2
The Straight Story Nov 2012 #3
NYC_SKP Nov 2012 #4
MrSlayer Nov 2012 #5
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #9
The Straight Story Nov 2012 #10
regnaD kciN Nov 2012 #6
NashvilleLefty Nov 2012 #7
d_r Nov 2012 #8
The Straight Story Nov 2012 #11
d_r Nov 2012 #12

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:57 PM

1. alerting for promoting witch propaganda.

And I am, of course, just kidding.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:58 PM

2. Hell, with the juries here it would probably be hidden

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:00 PM

3. It get's worse, movie trailer



ROFL

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:07 PM

4. She has matured. nt.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:11 PM

5. Brilliant. College humor is excellent.

 

I'm the map, I'm the map……ahhhhh!

Cut the crap Map, where's Swiper?


Love it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:28 PM

9. why does dora have breasts?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:29 PM

10. Hmmm hadn't noticed them....

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:12 PM

6. Definition of...

..."WAY too much time on one's hands."

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:23 PM

7. Sometimes, a cigar

is just a cigar.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:02 PM

8. they wrote this before

the christmas carol episode was made. I noticed this was written in 2008, and I checked with google and that episode premiered in Dec. 2009. Anyway, Swiper finds redemption in that episode. It should be airing around this time of year.

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Response to d_r (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:28 AM

11. So he swiped Jesus?

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:11 PM

12. but he had to go back in time and put him back

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