Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Honestly Want to Know How to Get to Sesame Street

Being that I'm a stay-at-home mom for the most part (I do venture out to Needville to dance occasionally), I've become engulfed in children's toys, clothes, and entertainment. And all I can say is there is a lot of trash out there. Cheap toys that break so you have to go buy a new one so your kid doesn't freak out, bibs with sayings like "Brat in Training" or "Daddy's Diva" that we can certainly do without, and a whole lot more on television than I am definitely interested in watching.

I've criticized people before for sheltering their kids... mainly by sending them to private schools or homeschooling them. Sue me, I'm a public school kid and public school is where my heart is.

I won't hate on them anymore. I get it. I may not shelter my kid that way, but I do control what she watches on TV. She, for example, will never know Barney the Dinosaur exists, if I have my way. Is he evil? No. Well, it's debatable. But annoying is an adjective all parents can agree on.

It's easy to only allow her to watch certain programming because guess what? We don't have cable in the budget. Netflix, which I have already praised in a previous blog, serves us just fine. As far as Brooklyn knows, Sesame Street comes on in the mornings while she eats breakfast, Blues Clues comes on in the evening just before dinner and SpongeBob or English Premier League soccer comes on Saturday mornings. Also, football must seem awfully important to her, because that's on a lot too.

Recently I've started putting in DVD's to watch with her. For those who haven't been to our apartment before, just know that we've got a wall of movies comparable to a small town Blockbuster. We're extremely proud of the fact that they are all categorized and alphabetized, unless it's a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick or Akira Kurosawa (greatest Japanese filmmaker EVER)- those are under the TV for easy access. Oh yes, and our Best Picture shelf that currently houses about half of the Oscar Winners from 1928-2010.

We've also got a huge Disney collection that we love because we both grew up on Disney movies. Brandon and I even spent our Honeymoon in Disneyworld. We're definitely Disney children at heart. My heart was broken when I learned in a film class in college how racist Walt was. Sign of the times, true, but still... I can't watch Dumbo or Jungle Book the same (In "Dumbo", while putting up the circus tent in the rain, faceless black men sing about blowing all their pay... the crows are super stereotypical...in "Jungle Book", King Louie, an orangutan who sounds an awful lot like Louis Armstrong sings to Mowgli about how he wants to be human... Hmm...) He was a great filmmaker. He has given joy to countless number of people all over the world. I can forgive his bad judgment and prejudiced views.

So I watched "Beauty and the Beast" with Brooklyn a couple of days ago because she always points to Belle when we see any Disney princesses. For some reason, Belle seems to be her favorite. She was actually really good and sat with me for a good chunk of the film. I was happy :) Many movie nights with popcorn and pajamas are in our future!

But as I watched, I was reminded of a Facebook status I posted about this time last year, the last time I watched B and B. The gist of my argument is this: The timing is all wrong! Supposedly the beast has been in his castle for 10 years before Belle gets there. The fairy/witch gave the prince the rose and said he had until his 21st birthday to learn how to really love. So if he was alone for 10 years and turned 21 when Belle was in his castle... it means he was 11 when the witch came to the castle door in the first place. Herein lies the twofold problem: 1)What was an 11 year old doing ruling a castle all by himself? Poor kid- where are his parents? Did the king and queen die in a horrible battle? and 2)For crying out loud, he's 11. Of course he's not going to let you in the house you old hag! His parents, God rest their souls, have told him not to talk to strangers. He would have already been in trouble for opening the door if his parents were alive to scold him for it. Certainly not worthy of being turned into a beast. Maybe ground him for a week, but geez. Harsh.

 There's a lot of things like that in Disney movies. Example?

Snow White:

"My evil mother wants to kill me! Whatever shall I do? ..... Oh look- deer and birds! Let's sing as we clean up a random forest cottage. Lalalalalala"

Um, hello? Did you forget about your plight? You almost died. Someone tried to murder you. And you have a fast enough turnaround to "whistle while you work"? You're crazy.


But I shouldn't pick on Disney. They're not the only ones who do ridiculous things like this. What's currently bothering me is this:

Sunny days
Sweeping the clouds away
On my way
To where the air is clean
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?
Come and play
Everything's a-okay
Friendly neighbors there
That's where we meet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?

They describe this wonderful place in the happiest show opening in the history of public broadcasting, and then tease us by asking how to get there AND NOT GIVING US THE ANSWER!

I've actually found myself watching the introduction to see if there are clues to where the real Sesame Street is located. It's in New York. Past the Brooklyn Bridge. Next we see the Bethesda Terrace and then the Empire State Building. But from there we just fly on to a park and then I've lost it. I have no knowledge of random city parks in New York.

It's just cruel. I honestly want to know how to get to Sesame Street.

Photo from beta.wosu.org

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