Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweeping The Clowns Away

Kermit the Frog. Bert & Ernie. Big Bird. Grover. Elmo.

I mention those names, and what image appears in your head? Soft, fuzzy puppets, the Muppets, who teach pre-schoolers and elementary schoolchildren, some of whom cannot afford books and can't get to the (now shut) libraries of the inner cities and rural counties, how to read, and how to do basic math.

Oh. And give them tools and teach them good Judeo-Christian messages of peace and harmony, of getting along in your community. Of how you don't need to fear differences, because underneath it all, we're all just people.

For forty years, these messages have been brought to you courtesy the Children's Television Workshop.

You think, "How can anyone find fault with the basic messages inherent in any church service?"

You'd need to think again. Meet Adam Baldwin:
Our tax dollars by the $tens of millions$ have been redistributed to the CPB/PBS for decades to ‘help’ its social change agents reach into our homes and preach the gospel of multiculturalism.

It is both ironic and hypocritical that the folks producing and airing such socially conscious segments for “Sesame Street” would certainly be among the very first to intolerantly decry the holy leftist “separation of church and state!” political canard.

In fairness to Alec Baldwin and that family, this is not a family member, but is desperate to hang onto the coattails of his in-name-only family.

Baldwin goes onto to point out that the Star Spangled Banner is never sung on Sesame Street, nor is God Bless America. Nevermind that the message it teaches, without referencing any church, is precisely identical to the secular messages he received while wearing his "big boy panties" in Sunday school at Our Lady of Whateverthehell.

Nope. Sesame Street, because it is publicly funded, MUST be part of the Islamofascistcommiepinkohippiefaglesbowymnist movement.

Well, Bert & Ernie DO live together, after all.

I guess Ol' Adam missed this while wearing his (faux) uniform, filming Independence Day:

And indeed, I pointed this out to him in comments and challenged HIS patriotism, since Sesame Street has been to military bases around the world.

But I digress...

Not every patriotic effort has to be borne in with flags waving and guns blazing, or morons in red, white, and blue clothing shouting "USA! USA!" at a sporting event or concert.

Sometimes, a patriotic effort is a matter of teaching a fellow countryman a fact he did not know before. How to count. How to read. How to look at the family down the street wearing yarmulkes and understanding that it's no different than the cross your daddy or older brother wears.

I admit, when Sesame Street started devoting a portion of its show to teaching in Spanish, I got a little uneasy.

Until I thought about it: how do you reach a kid who's parents may not even speak English, yet have thrust him into an English language school system?

And notice, this isn't about illegal immigration. Foreign language students have been in school systems for the past century and more. And we're fortunate here in America that much of the world, much of the wealthier parts at any rate, teach English in their school systems too.

But it's the poor that need our help, it's the poor that need to be given the tools to compete in society, to fully engage in the American dream of getting a job and paying taxes and buying a home and building a life.

It's sad to think that Baldwin, himself just one or two generations away from being a "filthy Irisher" doesn't understand this. A chicago native, a truck driver, and a representaitve of the target audience of Sesame Street, an inner city working class kid, he apparently has forgotten the lessons of the street: pick on someone your own size.

It even appears that in his cups, Baldwin has forgotten the lessons of his own movie debut My Bodyguard. Sometimes, kids in scary situations need a hand from a friend, no matter how tough they think they are.

Even if that friend is a fuzzy little puppet.