I was reading a really interesting article over at injaynesworld called Call a Spade a Damn Spade. She was talking about the introduction of the newest muppet character, Lily. Lily was created to launch a PBS special concerning childhood hunger. In the program, hunger is referred to as "food insecurity", hence, Jayne's title. I totally agree with her. If they are going to do a program to teach our little one's about people going hungry, why can't they use the word HUNGRY? I guess that referring to people going hungry is now politically incorrect.
Lily is a bright pink muppet whose family struggles to put food on the table. Seems her muppet daddy got laid off from his job and now the family is struggling to put muppet food on the table.
|Lily's friends include Elmo and Rosita, another young Muppet who was recently featured, along with her disabled father, in a separate Sesame Street special aimed at the families of war veterans.|
I think Sesame Street is a great program. Since it's premiere on November 10, 1969 it has aired nearly 4300 episodes to teach the preschool set any number of things including reading, writing and behavior. Kudos, to them!!!
So why am I conflicted? All the articles were effusive in their praise for children being exposed to social issues and several parents pointed out the fact they like that a program was introducing a "serious" subject in a fun and innovative way. (I can see where the subject of children going hungry can be made more entertaining...really doesn't it just lend itself to fun?)
OK...see where my road is diverging in the woods here? Do we need a puppet...sorry...muppet to teach our kids things that we are not prepared to teach them ourselves? Do we need to introduce new phrases such as "food insecurity" into our children's vocabulary? I am not entirely convinced that a three and four year old should be taught social consciousness from a puppet about the possibility of going hungry...oh I mean food insecure. Can't our little preschoolers be kept a little clueless to the harsh realities of this economy at least until they have their molars in?
Or maybe I have lost touch with what little four year olds need to know... I was reading a Newsweek poll this morning that showed the number of those polled that thought this was a great addition to Sesame Street far out weighed the "no's" and the "not sure's".
What are your thoughts????
You can read the entire article and see a video clip at:
Note to my regular readers: Due to some other obligations that are taking up my time, I may be posting a little less often in the future (at least for a time). I hope you all check back from time to time to say hi and leave a comment. I hope to write more on The Art of Being Conflicted, Facebook page.
Here is a funny video that deals with another politically incorrect subject.
Maybe we should have a Muppet with a smoking habit talk to our preschoolers?