Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I want to be grumpy about public broadcasting fund drives. But I can’t. And it’s all because of Sesame Street.

I started contributing to public broadcasting the morning I heard the woman on the pledge drive say that Sesame Street had been on the air for 30 years. I remember stopping in my kitchen in the midst of a busy morning trying, and failing, to picture a world without Sesame Street.

Now, Sesame Street is almost 40 years old, having premiered on November 10, 1969. It’s watched in over 120 countries and has won 109 Emmy’s. It remains a pioneer of interactive, multicultural, educational programming that emphasizes both academics and the arts. And, it’s still really frigging cool. Mister Rogers, not to be outdone, was in production from 1968 to 2001 and is still aired daily.

So, before you get pissed listening to the next public broadcasting fund drive think about this; if we didn’t fund public broadcasting in the past, we wouldn’t have had the Muppets, Big Bird, or Snuffleupagus, and we wouldn’t know about the Land of Make-Believe or how paper bags are made. And face it, Sesame Street is just good for you, look at Maria and Luis, who have both been on the show since 1971, and neither of them has aged a day.

Fountain of youth or not, and regardless of the state of the economy, now is not the time to stop supporting public broadcasting.

To donate to public broadcasting:

For the not faint of heart: a tribute to Mister Rogers:

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