If You Make A Star Wars Quilt Your Kid Will Like Katie Perry. And We All Know What That Means.

Dear reader: This post is very stream-of-consciousness. I'll flesh it out when you voice your objections to particular bits.

This hand-made Star Wars knit blanket is awesome. And I mean that. Awesome in every way the word is used today. It's fun. It's bright. It's unexpected. It's for kids but grown-up. It's knitting and space aliens. It's self-identifying and self-aware. It's self-deprecatingly ironic. Like I said. It's awesome.

You can find out how to make it right here. Patterns and everything.

I'm not joking about this, by the way. My initial reaction was "this would be cool to own".

Then I thought, "If I didn't have kids".

Which makes me think that maybe it wouldn't/shouldn't be cool to own.

Look how much like an icon each image looks. This goes beyond just having a Han Solo or Darth Vader blanket. The sheer amount of labor that goes into something like this elevates it to another level of importance. An objet that combines labor and iconicism to this degree, that is made for children, must be one (or both) of two things: religious or mythological.

We surround children with things like this "Bible stories" quilt because it reminds them (and us) of all the things we've been teaching them about who they are and how they should be. These are the things that we playfully use to reinforce their humanity.

And obviously we're not just talking quilts here. We're talking fairy tales and stories, from which come quilts and mobiles and board books and toys and games and cartoons.

So now we land back at cartoons and we're at Clone Wars. Dang it.

This must mean we as a people have got no good stories to tell, nothing good to offer our kids. Are you seriously going to trot out Yoda as someone who can teach your offspring to be human?

You might have to if you've got nothing better to offer. Maybe Star Wars is the only mythology you have left, which is to say that the only mythology you have is a bunch of pop-culture references. Which are self-references.

Which is why you think I'm brain-washing my kids. Because the things I'm giving my children must be just an older set of pop references. Using old pop culture references looks like work, and if I work at indoctrinating my kids, that's brain-washing. Star Wars dad uses handy-dandy easy-to-obtain spirit-of-the-age stuff. It's not work, so it's not brain-washing. It's just what's in the air.

An objet that combines labor and iconicism to the degree that Star Wars blankie does, that is made for children, must be one (or both) of two things: religious or mythological. Our pop culture is a religion, folks. We need to know this when we raise our kids.

Raising children using pop culture self-identifiers and self-references is masturbatory. Star Wars dad is part of the circle-jerk. Raising kids with Clone Wars makes for clones. Raising kids without fairy tales makes for drones. All those kids you send off to government school at age three are getting a whole new set of tales that completely lack in human touchstones. Kindergarteners don't get Little Red Riding Hood or Joseph and The Many-Colored Coat or Brer Rabbit. Well, maybe Brer Rabbit. We've got to wait a couple more generations to kill that, out of respect for African-American heritage.

So we're raising our children without any touchstones that go beyond our generation. Little Star Wars kids who grow up to be clones. Remember, the clones are the good guys. It's the robots who are bad. And if in the end we unwittingly bring down the Republic and usher in an age of Empire, well, that was unavoidable. There is nothing worthwhile beyond ourselves.

What am I saying here? I guess I'm saying that you need to give your kids worthwhile stories. Our kids have seen the original trilogy of Star Wars (the others don't exist to me), no big deal. But there are deeper and better stories to be told. Pride of place must go to other tales, to the tales that teach you to be a person. Sure, your kids might like Wolverine or The Avengers or Batman. But for their sake, put those things in their proper place.

The old stories point your kids outward, toward the rest of humanity. The new stories usually point your kids to themselves; "see yourself in these icons, kids!" The road is all one from Strawberry Shortcake to Babysitter's Club to Katie Perry. And let's just be the one to say that Katie Perry is a stop on the Road to Perdition.

So I've decided: Star Wars blanket equals AC/DC's Highway to Hell. Connection drawn. I'm out.