Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street!!

I couldn't let one of the few tv shows I was allowed to watch growing up without even commemorating its' Anniversary, now can I? Most of us enjoyed learning to sing the alphabet, count with the count, watch how Cookie Monster would always get more cookies all over the place than actually eating them.


The anniversary will be commemorated with Michelle Obama, planting a garden with Elmo and Big Bird tomorrow. I would imagine an effort to teach kids the values of being green. She will be the fourth First lady to appear on the show. Good on her.


However, all has not been A-OK with Sesame Street over the years. Yes, in a country with right wingnuts, an innocent TV show where pre-schoolers can actually have fun learning to count or sing along to the Alphabet was not without controversy. It had received criticism from paranoid parents scared that in promoting sharing, Sesame Street was indoctrinating Socialism.


Even a kids show is indeed not spared from the Right/left debate.  Here is one Right Wingnut's take on those evil Communist muppets and their 'indoctrination' of innocent school children. After reading from that wingnut, I can see how Obama speaking to school children would be frightening to these individuals.


Another controversy was a change to Cookie Monster's character. They decided to promote healthy eating and thus, scrapped the cookies. Inspite of good intentions, it was felt that Cookie Monster lost his identity.


My favourite character had to be Oscar the Grouch, who for some reason, changed colours over the years, it would seem. He ate trash, his favourites  would be things like spinach sundaes and pickle juice.  His pet was Slimy the Worm. Like myself, he was forever cranky. According to this blog, the controversy with Oscar was that he made folks feel depressed.


According to this opinion piece, however, quirky characters like Oscar the Grouch and the short tempered Bert served to show children tolerance to different temperaments.


The latest Oscar the Grouch scandal has got to be when, you guessed it! The Show took a jab at Fox News. Below, is the controversial skit. I think it's cute but it's getting right winged pundits in a  snit to say the least!


This of course, has got all the right winged bloggers in a tizzy. They're all fit to be tied!


The good folks of Sesame Street and PBS believe that this was  "just another one of the many parodies that 'Sesame Street' has done over the years."  At least, they're not running apologizing to Fox News like Desperate members of the GOP seem to keep doing.


Of course, Michelle Obama's guest appearance, planting that agrarian garden is also causing no shortage of grief for this idiotic blogger. OK, Ass-hole Adam Baldwin, time to dislodge that conservative coin from up your ass. Just because you're frustrated with your life is no need to take away the fun of learning from kids.


Sadly, it seems more and more obvious things will not continue to be A-Ok anymore as Americans go more and more to the right, what would their kids be allowed to watch? 


Happy Birthday Sesame Street! Thanks for those fun formative years!!

2 comments:

Torontonian said...

Sesame Street and much of what we call PBS got its start around that time. Lyndon Johnson was
president and the Democrats of the day wanted to improve the nature of television. Sesame Street is one thing that is right with television. Sadly, much of what's on the screen now is just contrived "reality" programs
and talking heads.
-------
I remember a teacher friend of mine telling me that he once asked a child what letter comes after R and the child had to go through the entire alphabet song to get the answer.

I wonder what would have happened if the teacher had asked what comes after 11.

CK said...

Wow, that is scary!
It's all scary today: I mean, promoting sharing is bad because it promotes big bad socialism. Multi-coloured muppets in all shapes and sizes and temperaments are also a bad thing.
Parents terrified of Obama's speech to school children, reminding them to work hard and to stay in school; to take charge of their education.
Kids are being taught to hate.
I was raised by flower children of the 60s: a teacher and social worker: I wasn't allowed to watch much TV because they said it would rot my brain. Sesame Street was on the short list of my parents allowable viewing list.