Things aren’t like they used to be. ..This is not about walking up the hill to school in the snow both ways – although I did do that for a while in third grade, except school was downhill – I walked uphill in the snow to get home and that sucked just as much. No, what I would like to talk about is sesame street and how it’s ruining the youth of today.
When I was a kid Sesame street was a place, a comfortable stomping ground you visited every like day at 10:00 am (I might be getting some of these details wrong.) But my point is, it was a familiar place with familiar people who taught you to spell and count in catchy repeatable rhymes that stuck with you and made you smart. I remember curling up in front on the TV with mashed eggs in a bowl (this was my childhood’s equivalent of egg salad, because my Mom is way TOO smart to ever tell me I was eating salad – thanks Mom) and sing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 and watch the ball roll around the screen and it was cheesy and fun.
The sesame street of 2011 is barely recognizable anymore, first of all you get no sense that they are on a street or even in a neighborhood – the intro song is basically a rapped out version of the original song (and not in a good way). The whole show is a nightmarish collection of small attention deficit segments where they cut from fairy school to Elmo’s world, back to some inner city play ground. There is no homey feel of muppets hanging out together and learning valuable life lessons from Gordon and Maria – half of it is animated and rarely to you see the best characters at all – you know snuffleupagus and the count (who, by the way, when he is shown has undergone a serious transformation and barely resembles the count of the late 70’s).
Maybe I’m getting old and jaded – maybe I’m not real good with change (actually I can attest that both of those things statement are completely true.) But, I really think that a lot the problem with today’s youth and one of the reasons that there are so many of them diagnosed with ADD and put on medication, might just be that the TV shows they watch have reduced their attention spans to a miniscule amount. When I was an undergrad I took a communications class where my professor lectured about how the average american adult only really has an attention span of a half hour at most because that’s how long our “shows” are, but what happens when our kids only have to pay attention for 3-5 minutes at a time, what happens when they go to school and their teachers lecture for an hour at a time?
I don’t have any answers. It’s clear I should probably go play outside.