What is that on the baby?

Some of you have asked what was all over the baby -- finger paint. Yes, finger paint.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Is Elmo Really Anti-Reading?

I've been watching Sesame Street with my daughter for about a year. I grew up in a very different era of Sesame Street -- Mr. Hooper was alive and well, Snuffy was only seen by Big Bird (so, he may or may not have been imaginary), Maria was young and hot (she's still hot, btw), and Ruth Buzzi was on Laugh-In repeats. Oh, and Elmo didn't exist.

My husband calls Elmo "THE RED MENACE," and I can see his point. Since "Street" has become part of our lives again, it has been non-stop Elmo fever. Elmo toys, Elmo dolls (many of whom sing, much to my dismay), Elmo art supplies, Elmo clothes, Elmo juice, Elmo toiletries and ironically Elmo books. Elmo, Elmo, Elmo. Really, he should be registered by the FBI as a cult leader.

Anyway, I digress. It's true that I'm currently suffering from an Elmo overdose, but I still prefer the furry red dude to Barney (who just makes me slightly uncomfortable) or the Teletubbies (who truly bore me to tears). My only real issue with Elmo is that he appears to be against text based reading. In every "Elmo's World" episode, Elmo asks a question. He asks the computer, his "friends," other monsters/puppets, Mr. Noodle, a baby, TV, and even inanimate objects. However, he has never asked a book about it -- and I mean never, not once in the year we've been watching twice daily episodes. Why is this?

From what I can tell, Elmo is a superstar. From what I remember, Sesame Street is educational televison. Why the disconnect? Clearly, the producers of "Street" have to be aware of the drop in literacy among children, and they have to know that Elmo could single handedly change the direction of this statistic. Shame on Sesame Street for this oversight. They really need to step up their game, and use Elmo for a force of good instead of just a marketing tool.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's pretty obvious he is illiterate and uneducated to boot.

    I mean, think about it: 90% of his sources can not talk (babies, computers, TVs and Mr. Noodle...) The smartest people he interviews in his "World" are kids under the age of ten?

    Not to mention, like you said, he is a superstar--and how many superstars know how to read now-a-days?

    Besides, if Elmo had books, the show would be harder for kids to follow. Sure, they could turn it into an educational segment on how to read--showing the words and emphasizing them, word by word, as they are read by their muppet-idol--but if you think about it, the kids would probably lose interest in Elmo out of pure jealousy and intimidation!

    This plan of Seasme Street's is actually ingenous. It keeps the kids from learning how unintelligent Elmo truly is...


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