Have You Seen Balloon Boy's Rap Video?

What Women Really Think
Oct. 16 2009 12:08 PM

Have You Seen Balloon Boy's Rap Video?

It’s looking more and more likely that the "balloon boy" drama of yesterday was a big hoax-not only is there the comment by 6-year-old Falcon Heene that it was "for a show," but video footage shows the dad launching the balloon himself. Even if it wasn’t, I don’t think we’re done talking about the Heenes yet.

We’ve heard about their quest to discover extraterrestrial life and all about the storm chasing, but has anyone else seen this video? CNN’s morning host John Roberts played a brief clip from it and asked father Richard Heene about the boy’s use of profanity.

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I’m bad at making out rap lyrics when they’re performed by the pros, and I can’t decipher everything going on here. But the boys do say "pussified" and "shut the fuck up." That’s not even the worst, though. After a line about dumping "a big load" on the side of the road (with one of the boys waving a roll of toilet paper, just in case you didn’t get it), they flash to another one of the kids sitting in a toilet "dressed up" as Mr. Hankey, the Christmas poo , from South Park . (Please let that be chocolate pudding.) The parents even make cameos.

I understand there’s a legitimate debate in this country as to whether we overprotect and coddle our children. I admit that while I will always stick up for the parents who let their 10-year-old walk to soccer practice or ride the subway, I’m probably in practice a little overprotective of my own kids. (I about fainted when I realized my 6-year-old could stand up on the crossbar of his bike. I’m so not ready for him to be in the X Games.)

But the Heenes aren’t just letting their kids be adventurous. They’re abdicating their responsibility to teach children how to conduct themselves in polite society. And if the Octomom can get a reality show , the offers can’t be far behind for the Heenes, even if they admit this is a hoax. Jon Gosselin finally came to his senses and is trying to get his kids off television because he’s worried about them (though I’m not convinced it’s not at least partially about the money). If even he can see that putting his kids on TV might warp them, how awful would it be to put these kids on television precisely because of their already warped upbringing?

Rachael Larimore is Slate's managing editor.

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