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Sesame "Muppet Diplomacy" in the news

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by AndyWan Kenobi, Aug 13, 2009.

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  1. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Active Member

  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Reading something like that, you have to walk away with the notion that the megalomaniac party leaders who only want to rule the world with an iron fist and make money off of it are nothing but sick pieces of scum for wanting to brainwash 5 year olds to go and kill for them, while they lounge in their hot tubs, feasting off of caviar.

    I always felt Sesame Street's best work was off the street and in a total global sense. They WANT to end the needless, pointless plotical blood shed and say "Hey! Killing people is wrong! Violence begets violence. Be a friend, not a fiend." They want the next generation to grow up and actually deal with their OWN problems, and not become pawns in some rich, spoiled moron who can talk a good game, but would soil himself if they ever had to hold an actual loaded gun.

    Too bad that these people continue to blacken their own people's hearts (especially since these leaders could care less about their own people, outside of using them as human GI Joes), and dismiss this beautiful stuff as "Western Propaganda." It's terrifying to see what people do to the pure innocence of youth in order to get into or stay in power.\

    This is where Sesame Street's hardest work has to be done. And if it can change the hearts of a few people, it does it's job.
  3. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    The Israel/Palestine conflict is such a blight on this world right now on both sides. Anything that reaches children, that says there's got to be a better way, I'm in favor of. :)
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What really gets me is the big fat military heads on both sides who want to denounce this as "Western Agenda" when we all know the truth... If these two sides stopped fighting, both leaders would actually... ULP... work on economic and government issues... something absolutely frightening to a a politician in ANY country. :D

    Honestly, I think both sides are controlled by greedy fools (I'm sure 90% of world leaders worship Satan) who want to control their people through fear and hatred. Sesame Workshop... say what you will... say what you will... All the Elmofication, all the redonkulous disclaimers, all the guff it takes... they are trying to make the world a better place, and these co-productions are a million times more appealing to me than anything it has ever done in the US... and even then, what they did for the US leaves me breathless.

    I hope they continue to get the support they deserve... and If I have to buy Mattel's overpriced toys so they can get their share of the profits, I'll do it.
  5. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Active Member

    Well said. I'm always surprised (even though I shouldn't be) at just how darned important Sesame Street can be worldwide!
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    The difficult thing is when merchandise is made in China and hence, by child labor. I do understand that it's hard to avoid right now. But it doesn't make me feel great about buying stuff in general.
  7. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that! Also, here's the video segment on the new Palestinian Sesame Street(I LOVE those two Muppet characters in there!)
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/13/generation.islam.gaza.muppets/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

    There's been two full length documentaries on International Sesame Street productions and trying to bring the Muppets to violent war torn countries: The World According To Sesame Street and
    When Muppets Dream of Peace.

    This notion that Jim Henson's dream, the Muppets and Ganz has for so long reached areas once thought impossible...doing all they can to bridge racial, religious and cultural divides.

    It warms my heart no end and gives me a lot of hope seeing
    the Muppets global reach and appeal to kids, giving hope to a new generation. Seeing two colorful Muppet characters walking around the West Bank is very very cool.

    But there is also a very dark reality.
    When I see CNN headlines like "Sesame Street songs used in harsh interrogation(torture) on detainees", or "Republican politicians trying to end PBS funding", it makes me sick.

    It also greatly upsets me that the military thinktank RAND corporation has been trying to get in on Sesame Street,
    and that Sesame Street has been making all these military specials. It completely ruins Sesame canon to make it so the Sesame Muppet's parents are implied to be wounded and killing
    Muslims for the US war machine. This is propaganda, as much as people want to think its "helping kids cope with parents off to war". The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US military has by even conservative estimates has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians and wounded many more. Bush and now Obama have expanded the war into Pakistan, with scores of Pakistani villagers killed by CIA missiles.
    And we've seen the US Defense PMC force Blackwater used to commit widespread murder and rape in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And my gosh, I want peace very badly for Israelis and Palestinians...but when you see images of countless dead Palestinian and Lebanese children at the hands of the Israeli military...or Israeli civilians blown up by Palestinian suicide bombers(some who are barely more than kids)...you wonder if there is much hope.

    We live in a VERY sick world. Where millions of children are forced into sex slavery, labor and even being soldiers in African massacres.
    The world NEEDS Sesame Street more than ever, and I tell ya...if
    even people like Saddam and his armies were intrigued by the Kuwaiti Sesame characters they stole...if Northern Ireland kids can be slowly healed by Sesame Street...then I guess anything is possible.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Man... and did you see they're making one coping about how we got a recession from all the reckless spending and devaluation of American currency so said war profiteers get a big fat juicy tax cut for selling their weapons to both sides? They should make a Sesame Street special called "Coping with Bush Policies: How everyone's still suffering at the hands of rich spoiled moron kids of rich spoiled morons." You could see 123 Sesame Street bulldozed for condos that lose funding part way, leaving only a vacant lot and a rusting bulldozer with a wire fence decorated with computer composites that say "Bright, shiny future." You could have Elmo asking his father what was the point of going into war with a dictator we helped set up as a puppet ruler when we turned a blind eye to his genocide. And my personal favorite, "Why did we let the credit card companies brainwash us into buying stuff we couldn't afford, and the government enabled them to do so?"

    Truely... I think SS has had a wonderful effect on the world so far. Maybe it can help kids not grow up to be the bitter, cynical sheep the money hungry conquistadors masquerading as religious righteous rulers love to play Stratego with. But I really wish they picked a more neutral way of coping with families of kids whose parents were emasculated by our own band of money hungry windbags who would never ever ever ever even visit a warring nation, much less lift a finger in combat. I'm so glad SS was able to stick it to Fox News a few seasons ago on the show.
  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness, I almost spit my soda out of my nose. My gosh you are visionary!

    I remember in one of those military specials Rosita's dad comes home injured. I mean how messed up is that? It's bad enough hispanic Americans are treated like garbage, but hey they too can be sent away to go kill and die in the name of Amerikkka.

    It's interesting about that special too, according to the great Muppet Wiki
    "Talk, Listen, Connect is an educational outreach initiative designed to support military families dealing with deployments, homecomings, and changes.

    The specials were produced by Sesame Workshop in partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, and have been made available to schools and parenting groups for no charge. The special videos are also available for download by Sesame Workshop and Akamai Technologies at sesameworkshop.org, and on a DVD made available in a free kit from Military OneSource. "
    http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Talk,_Listen,_Connect

    Well Wal-Mart has donated millions to Republican campaigns as well as the Bush election in 2004. And the founder and head of Akamai Technologies(Daniel Lewin) was the first victim of the 9/11 attacks when he was shot in the head by one of the hijackers on Flight 11. (The event that was used to justify all this endless spending)

    I agree with the idea of a Sesame special to help parents deal with the financial crisis. However I think it's clear that this financial crisis isn't just from risky lending and predatory loans("housing bubble"), but from the over three trillion spent in Afghanistan, Iraq, "homeland security" and the so called "war on terror". And sadly now, China(who makes all the garbage we buy at Walmart and everywhere else) owns America by the financial cajones thanks to buying up America's debt and bankrolling a large portion of America's wars.

    Back on the Muppet Show they had the "stop hey whats that sound?" song set to hunters, a clear allegory to the horrors of war. Oh how full circle we have come. Sesame Workshop should sue the US government for using Sesame songs in detainee torture sessions, should stop making all these pro war propaganda specials, should disavow the RAND corporation, and
    try and get the program back on track. I am very happy that the nation and people of Palestine have their own Sesame Street now, as well as a lot of war torn areas. We need messages of peace not war.

    But I can barely be able to wrap my head around your words man, its poetry in motion!
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    And the oil! Don't forget the oil. I never said that the war was about oil... ego, father issues, politicking, the machinations of the so called Religious Right... but never oil.

    But that's besides the point.

    The one thing I feel bugs me about Sesame Street is that SW has the major guts to open up new co-productions in war torn places of the world, so the kids can grow up, again, to NOT be the bitter sheep robots created by their own greedy governments who could care less if they live or die. They have the unmitigated gaul to do something so brave and amazing in other countries... and in the US they're totally at the mercy of parental groups and quack child psychologists. Cookie Monster keeps having to stress eating healthy food? Rigid formulaic structure in every episode? Copying the so called educational content of vastly inferior one note wonder shows on cable?

    Seriously... if they're brave enough to send valuable puppeteers to sometimes dangerous parts of the world to train people in the good fight, the're brave enough to have songs like "Everyone loves Ice Cream," an SNL style format (last time I checked, it's still on the air) and Cookie Monster eating everything in sight.
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    That my friend is a seriously good point.

    Yeah I mean you see these documentaries, and Ganz and company are having SW reps go out and train people in really devastated war torn and disease/poverty/chaos wracked countries. Risking even their lives to provide this sort of
    great hope for a new generation.

    Yet here...PBS is under threat of defunding, everything has to be rigidly under the microscope of parent groups, watchdogs, "PC", etc.

    It's gotten so bad that SW, in trying to appease us older fans with "Old School", had to freaking slap warnings on the shows.
    Because...you know, showing inner city black children circa 1970's playing in less than upper middle class surroundings is OH MY GOSH SO SHOCKING! Hide Timmy and Ashley, poor black kids
    are playing with used tires!
    Look how they banned the Rosevelt Franklin character.

    I'm not suppose to talk about this, but eh...whatever. Pretty much, the PILLAR of Sesame Street Caroll Spinney had to get a lawyer to protest this massive pay decrease Sesame Workshop was trying to impose as well as some of the things said to him and the way he was treated. There was also some backroom politics that I think a lot of fans here would be shocked at...alas, not all is rosy all the time on 123 Sesame.

    It breaks my heart knowing all the layoffs that the Henson family and Sesame Workshop has made in the last decade, and I wish that JHC never moved from NYC.

    But back to your point, overall I will have to say I think it cannot be overstated the importance Sesame Street has made and or attempted to make in many many countries out there.
    So for that, I salute SW and the people behind the effort.

    *As an addendum caveat, I apologize to some for the rather frank and ugly themes discussed in this thread. However, when you see The World According to Sesame Street, When Muppets Dream of Peace, or keep abreast of current events it's pretty clear we live in a seriously messed up world.*
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And competition from inferior garbage like Dora and Blue's Clues... Heck, when Barney came about SS had to scramble like crazy to be in his white suburban school house world. (I gotta get Street Gang and read the whole thing... not just flip through half a chapter every time I'm at a book store). I say it enough times, but NONE of these shows are fit to dent Oscar's can. SS does all this beautiful stuff all over the world, and Dora... well... she makes the AUDIENCE do all the work. She spends half the show listening to her own answers.

    Those 2 paragraphs explain it perfectly... I'm gonna start another thread on it... but SS is a bold, amazing show that did so many things... and everyone treats it as just another kid's show... and that's why it became such. Again, I half expect 123 Sesame Street and Hoopers Store to be Bulldozed and replaced with Luxury Condos that never get funding and leave a rusting crane in the middle of it. That's how gentrified the street has become. I'd also expect Hoopers to be a coffee house with 5 dollar cupcakes that taste like various alcoholic drinks (cough cough cough... there's one like that in Somerville MA...cough cough). None of this is the same, dingy, dirty, lower class neighborhood that they were trying to reach out to in 1969. They've turned it into the cleaned up, upper class neighborhood where the parental group's heads live. Sickening.
  13. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    Oh stop it!

    you're being outrageous with that last statement and you know it.
  14. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    Inspite the fact inner city kids were the target audience, I don't think they ever considered SS to be a slum.

    Everyone had good paying jobs just like now.


    I don't know what you're trying to prove by these obnocxious statements, I'm certainly not impressed.
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    A bit over the top yes, but how does one explain this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=8266354
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And I have no idea what you're trying to prove by being argumentative in EVERY single post of yours. Really. Calm down.

    And pot calling the kettle black on obnoxious.
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I will say I find their discomfort at showing kids playing in a junk yard disapointing. And the fact that they've made the showing generally more suburban and less inner city. Poverty in America will not suddenly stop just because Sesame Street stops showing it.

    And "slums" may not be a pretty word, but they do exist. And Sesame Street was originally suppose to represent that. People in "slums" certainly have jobs, but that doesn't mean they're living conditions are the way they should be.
  18. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    And I don't think SS ever showed kids playing in a junkyard, that doesn't sound logical and SS is still set along an inner city street so it's not like they've moved away from status quo.

    Think it's all in your head.
  19. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    In Sesame Street Old School Vol. 1. Though I should have said "construction site." Plus a couple of the early show openings showed kids playing with junk on the street. It's a fact of life for many inner city kids that they have to play in potentially dangerous areas. It was perfectly logical to show such things.

    And just because the show technically still takes place in an inner city doesn't mean the overall tone of the show hasn't changed.

    You're entitled to your opinion. :)

    But clearly I'm not the only one who's noticed this. ;)

    When I said junkyard eariler I was probably thinking of Fat Albert, yet another well respected educational show for kids that wasn't afraid to show the realities of inner city life. And a show that would probably be scolded today for not showing a cute little suburban school playground. Again, just because kids shows aren't showing it, doesn't mean the problem has also disapeared.
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Heck... if they showed Fat Albert in this day and age, he would be called Thin, active, Healthy Albert... and he'd probably be white.

    And these days, the problem didn't "disapear"... it just got worse. SW is supposedly making a special Listen, Talk, Connect special about how the economy is utter trash now. Too bad it looks like the dingy, urban, crowded inner city style has been down played so much. It really could have stressed the point. And I never thought that it was a "slum"... just an inner City apartment. You know... back when inner city apartments cost less than buying a house.

    I find it highly amusing in a sick way. In the World According to Sesame, they had to make segments for one co-production about what to do if you find an unexploded grenade... they have to drop the letter segment for it, so they don't favor one set of letters over another. And the original American production's biggest problem is not showing healthy food segments every 2 minutes... because it's certainly Cookie Monster's fault our kids are so pampered, fat and lazy. :rolleyes:
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