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.