November 20, 2007

Come and Play, Everything's A-OK.....

Sweeping the Clouds Away by Virginia Heffernan in the NY Times magazine. Props to Fyregoddess for passing this one along; I've caught some NPR stories about it in the past few days but she linked me up.....

Sesame Street, huh? I never got the Bert & Ernie gay thing, but yanno, I'm a product of 12 years of catholic education. I had no idea that the gay even existed until I got into college; I never even knew real gay folk until well into adulthood. (Thanks to a certain bovine coworker, and an ex who dabbled in show tunes).

I was a bit old for Sesame Street, I was 8 when it launched and I am sure it did not get to rural south central PA in those pre-cable days until a few years later. But my brothers did watch it, and television was the ubiquitous background noise of our home, so it seeped into my pores. To this day I can sing many of the signature songs and jingles verbatim.

The article reminds me a bit of bike helmets. Did we lose a percentage of my generation to death or traumatic brain injury? Maybe we did. But I rode a bike all over the neighborhood, to and from school for 5 years, and though construction sites, abandoned quarries, and other dangerous places sans helmet. And somehow survived. My pants legs did not, however, getting caught in the derailler way too often.

So, is today's sanitized, less gritty, and less problematic Sesame Street better for kids? Or is there some hidden, second level negative coming out of this. I am reminded of a WSJ story from back in July, by Jeff Zaslow, Blame It on Mr. Rogers: Why Young Adults Feel So Entitled
. What's the downside of a kinder, gentler, Sesame Street?

Only time will tell.....

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