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8:07 AM EDT, June 26, 2013
My nine year old son came home one day: "Can we go on YouTube and watch 'Dumb Ways To Die'? My friend was singing it at school!"
I had no idea what he was talking about...and whether or not this oddly-named video was remotely appropriate for kids to watch.
So, I logged-on to check it out...and was surprised at what I found.
This clever animated video is actually a public service announcement, produced by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia to encourage safety around the rails.
Apparently, it won a bunch of awards and went viral in 2012...but, we parents are busy people. I missed this web phenomenon...and I'm betting many of you did, as well.
According to Wikipedia, the video was censored by the Russian government which removed it from a blog, citing: The song's lyrics contains a description of different ways of committing suicide, such as: using drugs beyond their expiration date, standing on an edge of a platform, running across the rails, eating superglue and other. The animated personages demonstrate dangerous ways of suicide in attractive for children and teenagers comic format. The lines such as "hide in a dryer" and "what's this red button do?" contain an incitement to commit those acts.
Yikes. Censorship is scary.
Well, I let the kids watch it...they thought it was great...especially the bit about "using your private parts as piranha bait". My 7 year old, Ben, is known to make impulsive decisions which sometimes risk his safety...and make me want to jump out of my skin.
I think the video made an impact on him...while he laughed and danced around...he continued to sing the lyrics throughout the next few days...and I think it did teach him about the severity of rash acts.
But, I'm not going to lie....it still feels kind of weird and uncomfortable to be humming: "Eat a two week old unrefrigerated pie. Dumb ways to die...so many dumb ways to die."
Funny or creepy? Not sure.
Watch the song and weigh in!