Oil Peaks, Welcome Back To Sesame Street. Dusko
As a kid I didn't know the situation facing the
characters on Sesame Street. I didn't realise
that the only people in inner cities in the seventies
and eighties were those too poor to get out.
That would explain why Oscar the Grouch lived in a trash
can and why an armless Snufalufagus had a hard time getting
a traditional office job in the burbs. So why does Sesame
Street continue to be such a popular program for youngsters?
As many inner cities are abandoned by high wage earning
residents, those individuals take their children to the
suburbs where they are now disconected from real community.
It's sad when
Elmo becomes your best friend because mom decides that
washing her hairy behind with a new bidet is more important
than friends for her kids. The family room and four piece
bathroom were real status symbols during the eighties,
but how did those impact my generation? My parents were
immigrants and didn't see the value of summer camp and
thought it was a waste of money. I agree with them today,
but have you ever experienced the loneliness of riding
your bike through subdivision after empty subdivision
on a summer afternoon? Most adults were at work and their
kids were in camp or little league. Sometimes my only
friends would be senior citizens that found themselves
in a similarly bored predicament. Can someone please tell
me how to get away from Senile Street? Community needs
to be built close to home and not come through the premium
of private education and transportation.
When I was
ten my best friend was an eighty year old woman that walked
three furry husky dogs through my subdivision every day.
I guess I could relate to the dogs because they kind of
reminded me of muppets. I was educated by her about bible
prophecy and how Jesus was coming back real soon and that
he would all be punished for the evil deeds we've done.
I was desperate for attention and this was all I could
get, so I decided to take it. I just paid for it with
religiously induced panic attacks later in life. In some
ways I was in my own bizarro world and Sesame Street was
something that was a completely fabricated fantasy where
the muppets were laughing behind my back.
Did you ever
notice how certain Sesame Street characters were always
portrayed in a fantasy setting? Cookie Monster is always
shown in front of a boring puke pink silk screen, devouring
cookies. Perhaps the inspiration for Cookie Monster lies
in the overconsuming lifestyle of suburbia. C is for Cookie,
but C also stands for Calorie. So why didn't Cookie Monster
blimp up to the size of a white trash soap opera princess?
He's crosseyed, has little muscle definition and is constantly
on a sugar high. Obesity can't be far away, right? And
you know we'll be seeing him in a rascal as soon as immobility
Bert & Ernie? Are they representations of the gay
and lesbian communities that decided to stick it out in
the downtown cores of San Francisco, New York, Toronto
and other major cities. During the seventies and eighties
it would have been tough to be a gay anywhere, especially
the suburbs. A grown man singing about a rubber ducky
in the bathtub would not be tolerated by the tighty whiteys
of suburbia. That said, God forbid that we actually expose
our children to real minorities.
displays sanitized minorities in an urban setting. Americans
pretend to not be racist, but segregation is still the
tradition. Today it's based on economics. We are teaching
kids to observe negros and latins in their new native
habitat, the inner city. What we don't realise is that
places like Sesame Street will become in high demand as
peak oil arrives. Will residents greet former suburbanites
with open arms like the characters on Sesame Street?
Harlem were once the centers of African American Culture
but today they are becoming gentrified and HMV, Disney,
the Wiz, Foot Locker and other major retailers are moving
in to supply new whiter residents with shopping neccessities.
Gone are the days when it was a mightly African American
Cultural Center. It is entering a period of cultural decline.
Maybe the reason African American Culture is so popular
is because it involves an actual community. In the near
future it will be interesting to see what happens to the
inner city as suburbanites return to environments based
on real community. They will be forced to interact with
residents from less familiar backgrounds and lifestyles.
Maybe children will leave their homes, and play outside
once again like the kids on Sesame Street do, regardless
of skin color and beliefs.
By: Dusko Jocic