Friday, June 17, 2005


The British web site, Mr. Snaffleburger...a great cartoon
Back in the stone age, when NPR and PBS were first launched, they were supposed to be a counterweight to corporate American media, aka, "The Great Wasteland." I am old enough to remember the hoo-ha about the study that showed TV land was not exactly an intellectually stimulating place. I do remember the very old days when RCA, for example, hosted Leonard Bernstein's Philarmonia Orchestra's Children's concerts. I adored that series and he inspired me to study music harder. I even remember regular TV channels running operas and high quality plays! Wilco Theater, anyone?

And the very scariest character on TV was the Bardol saving cream cartoon character. He terrified me.

Well, buy 1968, all the high fallutin' stuff was gone with the wind and we were hee hawing our way to stupifaction. So PBS was started. It was a DC conglamoration of all those college stations across the nation and the very first thing they sponsored and paid for came from that hot bed of culture/liberalism: NYC.

I vividly remember the first Sesame Streets for I was raising my niece, Gale. She took to the show which was only 1/2 hour long, like a fish to water. I spent the show laughing my head off at the Muppet's antics.

When I moved to NYC, I got to meet Jim Henson. A wonderful, delightful man who was truly charming to children all so naturally. His death was a sad day for us all.

And now this! This news really annoys me. As if the tentacles of the American corporate machines aren't already prying apart the bricks all over the place! Now this! N is for NAFTA, S is for Social Security Privatization and T is for Tax Cuts:
Yesterday, Sesame Workshop announced that it has teamed up with Merrill Lynch to teach kids about globalization and financial matters.

Maybe this is part of the new corporate takeover of public television. Merrill Lynch employees were big donors to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

As a part of the Sesame Workshop plan, "Merrill Lynch employees in North America, South America, Asia and Europe" will teach children in "pre-schools, community centers and child care agencies in their communities."
OK. What can I say about this? Blech? Geezus f*rking whoosis? Is Oscar Grouch going to be the Repro Man?
"The sooner you become familiar and comfortable with the concepts, the better able you are to be a responsible and successful citizen," Merrill Lynch's Chief Executive Stanley O'Neal told Reuters in an interview.

"The world is no longer a world of fixed interest rates or very slow moving interest rates, fully amortizing mortgages and easier choices in terms of retirement plans. It is much more complicated and much more personal."
Hahaha. Seriously, if the plan is to teach tots to not get trapped by corporate America, I will send them my resume and be one of the writers for Sesame Street!

For example, we can have Big Bird get a credit card solicitation. "Don't use it!" yells Mr. Schuffleuppagus. "It is a credit trap!" Then they sing, "Compound interest is compound trouble, every month your rates will double." The mind reels. The "personal" stuff is funny. Bert and Ernie discover they over drew their draft and now can't pay the mortgage and must declare bankruptcy only to find, "The big bad wolf is at the door and we can't go bankrupt anymore, Ernie!" Ernie then says, "I hocked the bottlecap collection, Bert! We can pay them off today!" The next episode, Bert sells Ernie to a bordello in Morocco.

Geeze. No more mamby pamby stuff for tots! We could show them little films instead of farm animals, kids in kindergarden being arrested for being unruly in Florida! Or tots being tasered for throwing temper tantrums. This will teach the little buggers the meaning of obedience!

I know that Jim Henson would never work with a proto or openly fascist organization. It wasn't his temperment. He did his own thing his own way. Now, it is all about making money as fast as possible. The Sesame Street thing went long ago from being a liberal oasis to being a corporate entity. This latest devolution is merely one more nail in a coffin that was built long ago. Don't let your kids watch a lot of TV.

It is a wasteland.

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