Skip to main content

The World According to Sesame Street

I recently decided to make use of my Netflix account for something other then renting terrible horror movies, and have added a bunch of documentaries to my Q (I can't spell that word, and I'm not even going to try.) The first of them arrived this weekend, The World According to Sesame Street, which is about efforts to bring Sesame Street to children all over the world, particularly in places where education may be lacking or places embroiled in societal strife. The doc itself was not really put together all that well--it was a bit choppy and kind of badly organized. However, it was fascinating to me to see how the "Sesame Process" works. There were three places featured: South Africa, Bangladesh, and Kosovo, each with its own particular struggles and needs. The South African segment detailed how they had used Sesame Street to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, the US backlash about introducing an HIV+ muppet on the South African show (Hello, Bill O'Reilly, you intolerant douchebag), and the benefits the show has produced. The Kosovo segmant show the attempts to develop a show there that would benefit both the Serbian and Albanian populations and perhaps try to promote tolerance between the groups. The Bengladeshi part showed process from development to construction to production. I'd highly recommend watching it (even if the production itself isn't stellar) just because it's so interesting to see the whole thing come together.

I consider Jim Henson to be a totally underrated revolutionary in American history. His ideas about using TV to educate children who might not otherwise have the opportunities for a preschool education were the first of their kind, and led to everything from Reading Rainbow to Dora the Explorer. The man was a genius. Not to mention that it was probably the first fully-integrated chilren's show, the first to take place in an urban setting, and the first to incorporate not only letters and numbers, but also issues like tolerance and coping with adversity. And the fact that his ideas have now spread to more than 120 countries around the world is mind-blowing.

Who knew that puppets could be so influential?


Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…