Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For the fun of it

The New York Times pays tribute to the release of the first season of Sesame Street on DVD:

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. 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.

Indeed. Back then only Big Bird could see Mr Snuffleupagus. It was a reassurance to kids that direct observation trumps peer pressure every time. It certainly helped me deal with tinnitus. Contrast that with today's pre-chewed pabulum. Jeez, give me another hit of the 70's realism, risk-taking and acceptance: