Watching the Colbert Report late one night last week I was dumbfounded when host Stephen Colbert ripped a relatively new Toys “R” Us commercial to pieces on his show. I wasn’t surprised that Colbert ripped it, but rather the message that Toys “R” Us portrays in the ad. It shows a busload of kids who thought they were going on a field trip to the forest to learn about trees, and everything else the forest has to offer. You know… rivers, lakes, animals, fishing, hunting, awe, wonder, etc…

Instead the “ranger” leading the field trip tells the kids that they are headed to a Toys “R” Us store. I couldn’t believe it… It was in my opinion everything that’s wrong with the world today. Not that I have anything against toys, but to portray the outdoors as boring, and condemning a day of education for a trip to a big box seems incredibly irresponsible to me. As Colbert says, he wants to give a “Tip of the Hat” to Toys “R” Us for reminding our kids that “nature sucks.”

I don’t know what the answer is to messages like this on TV, but something tells me if we took a kid out fishing for the day it’d be a whole lot more productive than shipping them off to a fluorescent lit warehouse full of cheap plastic.