Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Rat Patrol » 28 Jul 2016, 6:32am

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Jul 2016, 7:31am

Next week, on Sesame Street, Ernie and Bert's Moment of Education, sponsored by Charleston Chew, followed by Guy Smiley's Guide to Pronouncing Apple Products.

Fuck them. Get some boots of 1970s episodes and show those to the kids.
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Rat Patrol » 28 Jul 2016, 9:44am

This makes me legitimately angry and upset at a visceral level. It's not about cost-cutting. PBS's budget has always been shoestring enough that none of these veteran castmembers ever got rich off their work. McGrath's already been part-time for years now, trading fewer hours during a previous budget cut so somebody else could keep their jobs. This is all self- fart-smelling HBO network execs thinking they're the inventors of TV and know better than the format that legions of child development specialists have credited with peer-reviewed proven results over multiple generations of children in multiple socioeconomic, racial, and cultural strata. The ritualistic dismissal of all the castmember olds is nothing more than, "Fuck you, it doesn't matter if it's proven because it's old and Not Invented Here" and holding up Emilio Delgado's scalp to ram home the point like a boot to the neck. And you better believe that the gutting of the most familiar PoC's on the cast (including Sonia Monzano getting out 6 months ago before she suffered the same indignity) says a lot about where they're taking the show: upscale product placement with few inconvenient displays of real-world diversity, celebrity guest stars standing in as the familiar adult presence, and washing hands of any responsibility to show adults and children interacting on a level of mutual respect and emphasis on similarities over differences.


Probably couple times a year I'd end up flipping around my (now cord-cut) TV in the afternoon and catch a Sesame skit in-progress while I'm fixing a snack, and maybe watch a couple mins if it was blissfully free of any Elmo attention-whoring. Last time I did I caught a scene on the front steps of the apartment building with just Gordon and a few of the neighborhood kids. I don't even remember what it was about...because whatever it was, it was something practical and timeless. And...damn...I couldn't tell the difference between Roscoe Orman playing Gordon in 2015 and Roscoe Orman playing Gordon in 1982 except for the few more flecks of gray in his goatee. 100% the same enthusiasm, 100% the same respect for his kid co-stars as people in their own right, 100% the same timing and physicality in his acting (most evident during the singalong segment). The dude's in his early-70's...he may as well have been eternally 45. It didn't matter, because the bit was timeless and the interaction it was portraying was timeless. Watching him do his thing through the middle of yet another decade...all I could think is: "This is a guy who has never had a day of work in 40 years where he is not stoked-as-fuck to be on the set and give his all." Probably done the same bit literally a thousand times, but the kid guest stars that particular day were all-new--just as they had always been all-new on the 999th, 998th, 321st, 2nd, and 1st times he did the bit--and deserved nothing less than his best.

And they just took a steaming dump all over that and said: "It's been done; you're worthless." :(



I met Bob McGrath once...1989 threabouts. My mom babysat our then- Sesame-aged cousin during the day, it was summer so my siblings and I had to go where she went lest we kill each other left to our own devices, and there was some Sesame sponsor tie-in live kiddie show happening in some local auditorium. So ended up getting dragged along so my cousin could get her dose of sensory overload. Whatever...it was air-conditioned and didn't run too long, so I could grin and bear it. Bob was the special guest, appearing in one of the bits and then hosting a little Q&A at the end. It was amazing to hear him speak. He was taking questions from 3-year-olds to grandparents, and treating them exactly the same listening to the full question whether the kid was stammering to get a complete sentence out or the adult was babbling away. All the answers were addressed to the complete audience, in plain universal English. And he'd thank each of them for a thoughtful question, or point out that he learned something from somebody's observation. And it was timeless. All these Sesame vets know how to communicate timelessly. Agelessly. There was literally no difference to him between any one person in the room and any other person in the room, and it came off as the most natural thing ever.

When the question came up from some kid about how he's different from the character he plays, he said "Really, I'm not that different from the Bob you see on TV. I have a backstory that the show came up with for time and place, but there's no real character acting going on. It's all about people sharing experiences with people, even when the 'people' are monsters. I bring a lot of my own curiosity to the set when I meet people and hear about their experiences, so what you see is my curiosity and my respect for other people. I can't fake that for the camera. I wouldn't know how."

I got to shake his hand afterwards. I was easily one of the oldest minors in attendance...the only others being summer vacation rats like myself dragged out there for the sake of younger relatives. He asked my name. I told him. Then he said hello, repeated my name, and "I'm Bob. It's so nice to meet you. I hope you enjoyed the show."
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Jul 2016, 10:29am

I know I've shared this story—actually, a friend's story—but it's worth repeating. Since the late 70s, Saskatchewan has hosted a weekend telethon for a fraternal organization that helps mostly disabled people. Bob McGrath volunteered from the start and may still do so. A friend of mine volunteered to answer phones one year and at the wrap party, McGrath told everyone about one time he was in Saskatoon for Telemiracle, when he was mugged after the show. As the kid ran off with his wallet, Bob yelled at him, "You little fucker, I probably taught you to read!"

Like Ratty, this "development" angers and saddens me. SS premiered the same year I was born and was a definite and direct factor in me learning to properly read, write, do math, and all that other stuff well in advance of starting school. It fired up my imagination in ways that so much other kids programming didn't. I was 13 when Mr. Hooper died, so well past my SS-watching days, but it stung. These guys deserved to leave on their own accord and be celebrated. Fuck these assholes whining about female Ghostbusters ruining their childhood memories; this is far more like spitting on something noble.
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Dr. Medulla » 28 Jul 2016, 6:24pm

1969, maaaaaan …
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Wolter » 28 Jul 2016, 8:03pm

Rat Patrol wrote: I met Bob McGrath once...1989 threabouts.
Ali worked with him briefly on some show about 15-20 years ago. She said he was a legitimately nice guy.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Wolter » 28 Jul 2016, 8:04pm

Wolter wrote:
Rat Patrol wrote: I met Bob McGrath once...1989 threabouts.
Ali worked with him briefly on some show about 15-20 years ago. She said he was a legitimately nice guy.
And yes, this is absolute bullshit. Those people meant something to damn near 50 years of children.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by JennyB » 29 Jul 2016, 9:12am

Wolter wrote:
Wolter wrote:
Rat Patrol wrote: I met Bob McGrath once...1989 threabouts.
Ali worked with him briefly on some show about 15-20 years ago. She said he was a legitimately nice guy.
And yes, this is absolute bullshit. Those people meant something to damn near 50 years of children.
Yep.
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Aug 2016, 11:16am

Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Rat Patrol » 09 Aug 2016, 10:48am

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Child development psychologist Dr. Hoy recommends that parents teach their little ones at an early age to always be specific when communicating.
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 Sep 2016, 8:21am

Heard on the train this morning:

Irate parent telling her co-worker how her daughter's high school is considering eliminating valedictorians.

Because it's "not inclusive enough". :fatalfacepalm:

She then did an animated air-quotes routine about feelings and participation prizes, worthy of a Homer Simpson impression.


Well, at least the poor kid who finishes #1 in the class knows ahead of time they won't get into their top college because the award was withheld in the name of making everyone feel special. X(
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Dr. Medulla » 07 Sep 2016, 12:55pm

Sometimes parents aren't assholes …
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Flex » 07 Sep 2016, 7:43pm

That's pretty great.
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Re: Parenting (...or My Precious Snowflake is Better Than Yours)

Post by Marky Dread » 07 Sep 2016, 10:14pm

Flex wrote:That's pretty great.
It's cool but I'm glad my mum never looked liked Super Mario though.
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