Old-School Sesame Street makes your kids tough

Old-School Sesame Street makes your kids tough

I can't think of many Tv shows that impacted my generation as much as Sesame Street and The Electric Company (the slightly older sibling replete with live-action Spiderman) so I was disappointed to read in this NY Times article that "Sesame Street: Old School" is considered too hard-core for todays' kids. I personally credit both of them, along with The Muppets for teaching me the joys of sarcasm and irony.

"These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child."

Fortunately, it's not due to muppet indiscretions but the fact that Sesame Street in the old days wasn't the sanitized world it's come to be. I did catch a bit the other day (sadly, it doesn't work on my kid yet) and it still had the same vibe minus the grunge.

People forget that Sesame Street and The Muppets were both based in NYC which wasn't (and still isn't) the shiny happy place that California is. The grit is real and so are the lessons learned. The only reason I have to move back to the east coast is so that my kid grows up tough and not like the vapid youth on The Hills.
People on "Sesame Street" had limited possibilities and fixed identities, and (the best part) you weren't expected to change much. The harshness of existence was a given, and no one was proposing that numbers and letters would lead you "out" of your inner city to Elysian suburbs. Instead, "Sesame Street" suggested that learning might merely make our days more bearable, more interesting, funnier. It encouraged us, above all, to be nice to our neighbors and to cultivate the safer pleasures that take the edge off - taking baths, eating cookies, reading.
No real relation to software here except to say the life lessons we learned from these shows--concepts like sharing and working together have clearly laid the groundwork for things like open source and free software to flourish.
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About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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