I'll keep this brief - it's really more of a moment's telling than a diatribe:
I worry about so-called "children's television" these days. I can't help but wonder what sort of formative effect it may have on children. Wonder Showzen [curse you, Sean] it is not, but it definitely concerns me that the children of today just aren't getting what they should. I compare it to the television I watched as a child: Reading Rainbow hadn't completely gone into the gutter yet; The Electric Company was genius; Sesame Street had PLOT(!), and did not have an annoying red retard that, for a supposedly educational program, has a decided opposition to learning any fucking pronouns already. I mean, honestly. Whither Schoolhouse Rock!? Whither 3-2-1 Contact? A crying shame, I feel.
Or, at least, I wanted to feel. However, it occured to me that there was no apparent formative effect any of the children's television I watched as a child actually had on me. My opinion was completely unfounded: how can the Teletubbies have any influence - good or bad - if nothing I ever watched did?
And so I was forced to suppress my own belief, realizing that I couldn't support it even within my own mind.
Until just recently.
In a recent websurfing, I came across this clip from The Great Space Coaster, and after a few seconds of laughter and nostalgia it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: I grew up to be Gary Gnu! I strive to be educational but often come across as pedantic; I concentrate on the good and interesting things in life and let others fight over covering all the crap; I try to run a well-organized lifestyle but find myself constantly dealing with idiots who aren't listening closely enough to me, and trying to maintain my sanity and clarity of mind in the face of their onslaught is my eternal challenge. It was a great illumination for me.
Which was quickly followed by a great realization of the true horror of the aforementioned Teletubbies.
I no longer question the formative effect of children's television. I got off easy; I think the youngsters of today are screwed. - ZM