Big Bird and the Military

Sesame Street is forty years old today. When the program first launched, it was touted as a show to help kids learn and to show them that learning is fun. I never understood why they needed talking toys to instill a love of learning. I thought then, and I still think that learning itself is fun. You don’t need to play games while learning to find the fun and excitement of expanding your brain. But apparently, even when I myself was young, I didn’t get it. And now I’m wondering if all those Sesame Street children didn’t get it. Where are all those creative and brilliant adults that the show was supposed to produce? It seems as if both the Internet and shows like Sesame Street encourage passivity and an expectation that learning is always be easy and fun, colorful and noisy.

Oddly, as I was thinking these thoughts, I happened to notice an article suggesting that kids today are too fat, dumb, or dishonest to join the military. (75 Percent of Young Americans Are Unfit for Military Duty.) These would be second generation Sesame Streeters, first generation Internetters.

Perhaps the over-forties are every bit as passive as the under-forties, choosing the easy fun of video games, television shows, and films over books. Not that it matters, except that I have books to sell, and I wonder what my demographic is. (You did know I would come around to that, didn’t you?) I have never understood how one chooses a demographic, though I have finally realized that’s what a genre is for — finding your demographic, which is a population who will be more receptive to your book than any other population.

Today, I am a guest at Un:Bound for Ravenous Wednesday, which is so not my demographic. On the other hand, they have welcomed me and made me feel at home, and they are readers, so — despite my lack of flowing tresses and lethal wings — perhaps they are my demographic. Ah! Now I have you intrigued! You can find me, an interview, and a lively discussion at: Ravenous Wednesday with Special Guest. That special guest, of course,  is me.

DAIClick here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC. 

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

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7 Responses to “Big Bird and the Military”

  1. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Fantastic interview at Ravenous. But now I’m wondering what demographic I am (as opposed to who I’m writing for) since I like so many different things. The boys say I just lack taste but I reckon I have too much.

  2. joylene Says:

    I sat my sons down and watched SS with them. I had phonetic problems when I was a child & I remember thinking, Wish this show had been around when I was in grade one. There is something to be said for good teachers. I think mine were rejects from medical school.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have a friend who was always taught math by coaches and phys-ed teachers. I never did understand that. Why didn’t the school have math teachers? (You notice I am not talking about my teachers. The less said the better.)

  3. Dave Ebright Says:

    I must have been a horrible father. My sons weren’t allowed to sit in front of the TV, hang out inside the house or stay in bed ’til noon on weekends. The expectations were made clear – they had chores, had to get outside & off their rear ends – they participated (still do) in sports & had to do well in school. One teacher insisted (during my parent teacher meeting) that penmanship, grammar & spelling weren’t important for a 4th grader. I told her she was a stone cold idiot & should re-think her career choice. She got fired at year’s end – proving my point – she was an idiot.

    Make learning fun? Sure! Great! Why not? Do what you’re supposed to do to keep Dad from getting really pissed? That works too.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Dave, whatever works! The question is, do your sons still not sit in front of the TV, hang out inside the house, or stay in bed till noon on weekends? I was always getting yelled at for sitting reading instead of helping around the house, so all I wanted to do when I grew up was sit and read.

  4. Dave Ebright Says:

    My boys turned out to be successful, ambitious, honest, athletic, happy, &, most of all, very cool. They’re now 29 & 33 & I’m really proud of ’em – BUT, I’m still the Big Kahuna in this clan! Hah!


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