Saturday, December 26, 2009

40 Years of Sesame Street: Still a Lot to Teach?

After first airing back in November 1969, does the world’s most beloved children’s educational show Sesame Street still has something left to teach to the world’s children?

By: Ringo Bones

Back in November 2009, the world’s most beloved children’s educational show – the Children’s Television Workshop’s Sesame Street – celebrated its 40 years on the air by having the current US First Lady – Michelle Obama – as the special guest. But after continuously teaching the world’s children during the past 40 years, everyone – including the show’s first generation fans – are now probably thinking if Sesame Street still has any wisdom left to teach the world’s children?

Ever since the show’s inception, Sesame Street’s raison d’être has always been teaching the kids as low as 5 years of age to acquire the wisdom to handle “complicated” issues at their own reading and learning level. From the passing of Sesame Street’s beloved storekeeper Mr. Hooper back in 1982, where it was the first time that a children’s educational show on network TV tackled the subject of death of a close associate, to the topic of détente when Big Bird goes to the People’s Republic of China during the time when Ronald Reagan ruled the free world. Sesame Street even tackled the “thorny” topic about military deployment of US Armed Forces to Afghanistan and Iraq during the turbulent days of the Bush Administration – especially those whose kids are Sesame Street fans.

Does Sesame Street still has some of its timeless wisdom to dispense in the supposedly more enlightened Obama Administration-era America? Fortunately, Sesame Street still has a lot to do when it comes to the understanding of other ethnic groups that had became naturalized American citizens like it did 40 years ago. Especially now when someone like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and their ilk - who mimic the pre World War II Nazi Ideology of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh – are gaining more popular support, especially when the catchphrase “Can we even afford cultural dive5rsity in times of recession” is now used in contemporary American society to belittle ethnic groups who had recently been naturalized into American citizens. Even Oscar the Grouch had grown sick of watching the “POX News Network”.

No comments: