Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sesame Street: Back in the Day


Virginia Heffernan has an excellent piece in the NY Times about Volume 1 and 2 of "Sesame Street: Old School" being released on DVD, focusing primarily on how non-PC those original episodes were, and how those characters got from there to where we can still see them today (e.g., Snuffleupagus could be seen by everyone in 1985 as not to exacerbate Big Bird's condition into full-blown mental illness).
What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.
The only part of the article that didn't ring true to the spirit was a single snippet on the first page:
Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time.
The point of running through the grocery list of "atrocities" was to show how PC we've become, but the single farmer's careful handling his organic milk is something that rings PC/"social conscious" true in the light of today's Big Box stores and farm factories.

Excuse my literary nitpicks. Read the article. It's worth the walk down memory lane and stuffed full of things I was never aware of concerning a show that helped me grow, read, write, and eventually become this blogger that you're reading right now.

No comments: