Apparently, Sesame Street is bad for us. Our kids that is. I don’t actually still watch Sesame Street…much. But a group of child ‘advocates’ (Lord help us) have come out against Sesame Street, saying the long-time children’s show is actually bad for kids. As a result, the makers of Sesame Street have started putting labels on many of their older shows, declaring the program is “Intended for adults, not children.” Um…sure. I guess you can’t blame the company for trying to protect itself from a frivolous lawsuit.
What’s the problem exactly? Well, the show depicts Bert and Ernie sharing a dirty and ‘deteriorating’ apartment. They say cookie monster was on the fast track to diabetes, and I swear I’m not making this up: Oscar the grouch had depression that went untreated! But my favorite of all: The show sometimes depicts children running around or playing with “dirty” farm animals, as well as climbing on “dangerous” rocks!
I’m not sure about you, but with video games, television, or the other recreational options available, I’d rather have my children climbing on rocks and playing with ‘dirty’ farm animals any day of the week. In fact, this particular person (who’s done quite a bit of advocating for children) would tell you that such experiences are healthy for kids to have. They should play with lots of ‘dirty’ farm animals, climb on many rocks, pick a whole handful of unsanitized daisies, and frolic around in the untreated water of lakes and streams. They should head outside and expose themselves to dangerous UV rays at least daily…sunscreen applied in necessary situations, of course.
Sesame Street taught us all important values. It has been fundamental in the education of millions of children. Oscar the grouch was a character which helped children step back and learn to manage their own temper tantrums or depressive behavior. If I remember correctly, the other characters were constantly trying to cheer Oscar up, and worked hard to counteract his pessimistic outlook. (A form of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, by the way.)
But no. Sesame Street is bad. But why stop there? After all, Barney teaches children to play with Dinosaurs. How safe is that? I bet if they tried playing with a real dinosaur, things would get messy. The little mermaid promotes friendship with crabs; swimming in shark infested waters, and depicts an often defiant teenager routinely breaking the rules. What about nursery rymes? In Hansel and Gretel, kids learn valuable skills needed should their abusive parents ever decide to abandon them in the forest and leave them for dead. Goldilocks sets a wonderful example…one can only wonder how many little girls walked into the houses of strangers and wound up in their beds because of her.
Then there’s Scooby Doo. A bunch of friends, living out of their van, constantly struck with the munchies…alongside their TALKING DOG. Need I say more? Pee-wee Herman, with his obnoxious laugh and tendency to scream everythi,ng may have single-handedly inspired an entire generation of hyperactive children. (We’re kidding…sort of.) The Telletubbies…well, they speak for themselves. And don’t even talk to me about what was going on with the Smurfs. Living in mushroom houses…poor little smurfette being the only female in the entire village. Don’t tell me she didn’t have a full schedule. The Mickey Mouse Club…well, just look at how good Brittney Spears turned out. (I’m kidding…We love you Brittney!)
Is all this really necessary? I can understand the outrage when an old Mighty Mouse episode aired which showed the almighty rodent doing a line of Cocaine to get power before fighting crime. Media often does have a negative influence on our kids. There is something to say about the effect of shows which glorify violent behavior. But this is ridiculous. Leave Sesame Street alone. Morons like this are the reason kids can’t play tag anymore, and giving your friend a hug could get a child suspended. I think I speak on behalf of most parents when I say this:
“Come kids. I’ve rounded up some Sesame-Street-hating crazy people and tied them to a tree. They need to be taught a lesson. Bring your farm animals and some rubber gloves. Today we’re going to learn some creative uses for a cow’s excrement.”
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