Tony recorded a Biography of Sesame Street the other day and we finally got a chance to watch it together. (Note to friends in town, I have not deleted it. Please come watch if you so desire. I could watch this thing a million times.) As many of you already know I have a thing for Muppets. Although Sesame Street is not the same it is almost the same and I have a thing for it too. Mom once got me this book called the Wisdom of Big Bird and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch written by Caroll Spinney the genius behind both characters. It is a most touching read. I learned that Bruno (the guy who used to carry Oscar around) simply fell apart and no one bothered to make another one. I always wondered what happened to that guy. It also had a very interesting discussion on how Big Bird had to step aside and let Elmo become the star of the show. I am ok with Elmo, many in my generation are not, but he is no Big Bird. Wouldn’t it be great to have a job that wonderful? I am no master puppeteer, but something that made me half as happy as putting that bird costume on makes that guy would be just amazing. Not that I don’t enjoy my job, but that is something really special.
Speaking of Big Bird, I hope everyone knows he is six. Tony didn't know he was six and thought he was a very stupid and slightly creepy man. He is not. He is just a boy. A boy that lives all by himself and apparently just had his home destroyed by a hurricane. Now, I understand that Sesame Street is trying to reach out to the youth of today and have them understand the devastation that natural disaster causes but there are not hurricanes in NYC. Maybe there could be but there aren't. They may as well have had a monsoon. Maybe I don't like the idea because it can't convey the true devastation in New Orleans, then again should all those pre-schoolers see that? It's hard.
Sesame Street has always been so good at dealing with the hard issues. On the Biography I saw some brown kid I don't remember getting a hate phone call because he was friends with a white girl. As far as personal experience goes, I will never forget the death of Mr. Hooper. I can't remember if that was my first real experience with death. I just know it made me pretty sad. Watching the scene with Big Bird and the grown-ups on Biography had me in tears once again. Bird handing out pictures to his friends and wanting to give one to Mr. Looper was just too much. I was a damn mess. It was so good though. Something about crying as an adult for something that impacted your childhood is really cathartic. Sesame Street's "Done Eat The Pictures" does it for me as well. I think my recent viewing of "Big Bird in China" got me too. I don't know why but children’s TV/Movies/Books that make me cry are forever special to me. They touch something deep and important that I think I tend to have forgotten. I think, sometimes, that the things that make you cry are the real shapers of your personality. For me, these are both happy and sad cried, but cries all the same. If I couldn't cry, I don't think I would ever really know myself.
Well that got strange. People guessed all the music last week. Hooray! That's a first and made me very happy.