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Mister Rogers and the End of an Era (Maybe)

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

The news coming out of the neighborhood of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" has not been good this week. PBS is yanking the 40-year-old institution off its weekday service, sending member stations one episode a week instead of five. Stations can still get a year's worth of programs sent every summer, but that is expected to make airing that much more difficult for member stations. The net result in much of the country is that Fred Rogers will soon disappear from TV sets, and we'll be the poorer for it.

Here in DC, the news is good, though: WETA told me they will keep the show on five days a week. And there is a growing online movement to save the show (you can even join the "Save Mister Rogers Neighborhood" Facebook group). So declaring the end of the show may be premature.

Like all of the shows of my childhood, I have warm memories of Mister Rogers and the whole changing-shoes thing and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe thing. But Brian Linder, the guy who launched the "Save Mister Rogers Neighborhood" effort, has been clear that he's not interested in keeping the show on for the sake of Boomer/Gen X nostalgia:

What our campaign is most certainly about is the enduring ability of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to have a unique nurturing influence on the lives of today's (and tomorrow's) children. This is needed today as much as ever.

We live in an era where there is a glut of TV programming for kids, from the old PBS standbys to round-the-clock programming at Nickelodeon/Nick Jr./Noggin and the Disney Channel . And yet there's nothing that has ever really filled the void that "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" left when original episodes stopped in 2001. (Fred Rogers died in 2003.)

No other show before or since has featured an adult that clearly understood what children were feeling and spoke to them in language that they could comprehend. And in the kindness and honesty department, there may never be another personality like Mister Rogers.

I'm sure most of you grew up with Mister Rogers -- are your memories fond enough that you recoil at the thought of the Neighborhood disappearing, or is the end of the Mister Rogers era of little consequence.

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  July 31, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Preschoolers
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Comments


We've given up watching commercial kidvid (too many ads) and exclusively watch videos. We preview them through Netflix, buy the ones the kids enjoy, and watch them over and over and over and over and ...

Posted by: Dad #27 | July 31, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

"We've given up watching commercial kidvid (too many ads) and exclusively watch videos. "

Speaking of the '60s and ads, has anyone checked out the "Mad Men" series?

Posted by: Lily | July 31, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

The TV is evil!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 31, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

oThe TV is evil!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 31, 2008 7:54 AM

Get your story straight! Last week you ranted that the schools were evil for handing out birth control to teen girls!

Posted by: LO | July 31, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/mrrogers.asp

Refuting false urban legends about Fred Rogers.

Posted by: preempting the village idjit | July 31, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Whacky Weasel is jealous because he doesn't have cable.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Get your story straight! Last week you ranted that the schools were evil for handing out birth control to teen girls!

Posted by: LO | July 31, 2008 7:59 AM

Proving that Whacky Weasel is really Father of 4.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I just watched my first episode of Mad Men the other night. I am sorry I missed the first season. I found it to be very interesting. And kind of creepy. It is so odd to see everybody smoking.

Posted by: Me | July 31, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I was delighted to find that my sons (7 and 4) loved Mr. Rogers just as much as I did when I was small. It is soothing, interesting, and peaceful kids' TV that is all too rare these days. If it goes off the air, I would definitely pay to get a DVD set. We have several of his books as well.

Posted by: BoysMom | July 31, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse


Whacky Weasel is jealous because he doesn't have cable.

Posted by: | July 31, 2008 8:01 AM

That explains why Whacky considers "American Idle" to be "must see" fare and a family "event" in his home with the kiddies. "American Idiot" is for some wacko reason not "evil"...

Posted by: Ha | July 31, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I can't comment on Mr. Rogers as I never saw it growing up. I am wondering if the equivalent in Canada was The Friendly Giant. This was the show that we watched in Canada and I loved it. I just read up on it in Wikipedia and apparently it was a much loved show in general in Canada.

Does anyone know if it has been released on DVD?

Posted by: Billie | July 31, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Billie, did you know that the precursor to Mister Rogers Neighborhood began on TV in Toronto?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Billie

I love Canada! Where did you grow up?

Posted by: Shoveler | July 31, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"Whacky Weasel is jealous because he doesn't have cable."

Ergo, he is selfish and bitter.

The MMs are right!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Rogers always creeped me out.

Posted by: Drew | July 31, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Can't say as I'll miss Mr. Rogers. I never liked the show as a kid (the puppets were too freaky looking for me), and the one time I saw it as an adult, it was no better.

To be honest, I can't understand the current mania for keeping cultural institutions going long after their creators are gone. How many comic strips these days are either endless reruns or poor shadows of their old selves, written by the committees that took over with the deaths of the original creator? We seem, as a culture, to have a really hard time letting go.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 31, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't relate to Mr. Rogers when I was 4 - 6 and don't like the show any more now. It was boring and he was creepy (as a character - nice enough man in real life). Steve from Blues Clues speaks to kids in a language they understand. Not Mr. Rogers.

This is Boomer sentimentality run amok.

Posted by: omarosa | July 31, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

My kids love Mister Rodger's and as he was from our area and it was taped here in Pittsburgh I am sure it is not going anywhere. I think that there would be rioting in the streets! There is certainly no other TV rolemodel who speaks to kids so well and I am sure that the show will be missed anywhere it is unavailable.

That said, when I was a kid, the Lady Elaine puppet scared the crap out of me and I never watched it.

Posted by: Momof5 | July 31, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the hilarious skits on SNL with Eddie Murphy doing an impersonation of Mr Rogers Neighborhood? LMAO funny.

Posted by: SNL | July 31, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"To be honest, I can't understand the current mania for keeping cultural institutions going long after their creators are gone."


NewSAHM

Mister Rogers is probably the only father-figure in Brian's life who is worth remembering. That's a powerful motive to keep the memory alive....

Posted by: History | July 31, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps one of you Canadians could explain the fascination with the children's show "Caillou" to me.

Why is he bald? For a long time, my kids thought he had cancer.

Also, why is he always whining and why is he frightened of seemingly everything?

My kids dislike him intensely. We've never understood why both his parents are always home. Does anyone work in that family?

Also, what's with the old woman who narrates the events -- we find her sort of creepy.

My kids think Caillou is an overprotected mama's boy. Why do people like this TV show?

Posted by: What's with Caillou? | July 31, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to you, omarosa, but this isn't "booomer sentimentaility." Mr. Rogers began airing in 1968. Its the boomer's kids (aka Gen-X) that grew up with it.

Posted by: RT | July 31, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I always thought it was boring and creepy. I wasn't a big Sesame Street fan either. I loved Bugs Bunny above all else. And I was raised by a bookish intellectual mother! Ha! I was clearly my father's daughter.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I loved Bugs Bunny above all else. And I was raised by a bookish intellectual mother! Ha! I was clearly my father's daughter.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:02 AM

Posted by: I rest my case | July 31, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Which case? If you're still trying to prove you're a useless troll, that case was settle LONG ago.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I loved Mr. Rogers and when I have kids I would like to expose them to it. The thing I liked about the show is it addressed painful and hard feelings, and modeled friendship and tolerance.

Posted by: JEGS | July 31, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Caillou's bald because he's an everychild. If you gave him hair, some kids wouldn't identify with him. My toddlers love him. As to the parents, well the bright colors and unchanging clothes point to mental imbalance. You'll notice that some of Caillou's friends never make a second appearance, so you gotta figure they're under quicklime in the crawlspace. That would also cause premature balding.

Posted by: Dad #27 | July 31, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Which case? If you're still trying to prove you're a useless troll, that case was settle LONG ago.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:14 AM

The "I have a flat stomach, don't be jealous" case.

Posted by: Appeal denied | July 31, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Canadian kid's TV!! wow that brings back memories! does anyone else remember Rupert the Bear? and the Mike Meyers "Simon" character, wasn't that based on an actual Canadian show-- it really sounded familiar to me when he did it.

Regarding Mr. Rogers, I loved him as a kid, but I have a real tough time listening to him as an adult-- seems too sweet and the pace is so slow.

My eldest watches sponge-bob on DVD via Netflix. If for some reason there is no SpongeBob video handy, I'll help him look up stuff on the internet. I have no patience for commercials. Since you can run DVD on home computer, there isn't much need for TV anymore. It is a dying medium.

Posted by: capitol hill mom | July 31, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Appeal denied | July 31, 2008 9:19 AM

Appeal denied is totally unappealing.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm slowly losing my flat stomach to my second pregnancy, but it will be back. It's the way I'm shaped. Don't be jealous. I'm sure you have nice ankles or something.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

we decided that caillou has alopecia but we still can't figure out why no one on that show has nipples. (watch any swimming episode) we've yet to come up with any clinical explanation for no nipples, unless they are aliens? My problem with Caillou was the apparent unending patience of his parents. Caillou covers the entire kitchen in oatmeal and honey and all the mom says is "Oh Caillou" - that's not what would come out of my mouth, just saying.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 31, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Caillou, eh? :-)

"Perhaps one of you Canadians could explain the fascination with the children's show "Caillou" to me.

Why is he bald? For a long time, my kids thought he had cancer."

Charlie Brown is also (essentially) bald. Perhaps the illustrator (Hélène Desputeaux) was inspired by that. Who knows?

"Also, why is he always whining and why is he frightened of seemingly everything?"

He's four years old; kids that age whine a lot. (Mine did.) And he's frightened so he can learn that there's nothing to be frightened about (well, except poutine, but we won't go there).

"My kids dislike him intensely. We've never understood why both his parents are always home. Does anyone work in that family?"

Officially, his Mom's a secretary. Not clear what his father is, except that he's generally the buffoonish father-figure that's so common. He's good-hearted but incompetent.

"Also, what's with the old woman who narrates the events -- we find her sort of creepy."

Fait attention! She's the teacher, reading the book to her students.

"My kids think Caillou is an overprotected mama's boy. Why do people like this TV show?"

Who knows, eh? :-)

Posted by: m2j5c2 | July 31, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Precious is only allowed to watch televised entertainment when the test children group has had supervised screening and follo up pyschological testing to attest to the following:

safety
educational value
IQ impact
emotional impact

Only after these important assessments have been made do I allow precious to view the segments. Often the segmants are edited and then replayed with less beneficial segments removed.

Precious has never seen a commercial. Why would precious ever need to see one? It seems so silly to me.

We started our child's development with the same proceedure on a test group from baby Mozart in utero and the benefits are clearly apparent to our method.

Have a nice day!

Posted by: Donna Cecilia Hybrid | July 31, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

atb, Bugs Bunny was very intellectual. It's great. Where else will kids sit still for the "Ride of the Valkyries" ("What's Opera, Doc?" - Bugs as Brunhilde; Elmer singing "kill da wabbit! kill da wabbit!") or "The Barber of Seville" ("Rabbit of Seville", with Mendelsson's "Wedding March" and Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" thrown in for good measure)?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 31, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Little Precious never leaves the bubble, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Is Precious a boy or girl?

Posted by: to Donna Cecilia Hybrid | July 31, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

To Donna Cecilia Hybrid,

If you are going to attempt satire, you might try spelling words correctly. You have at least 5 misspelling in your little diatribe.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | July 31, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

atb,

i am sure that your flat personality matches your flat stomach!

Posted by: them bones! | July 31, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that your flat personality matches your flat stomach!

Posted by: them bones! | July 31, 2008 9:39 AM

Talk about jealous!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

How old is your Precious?

Posted by: to Donna Cecilia Hybrid | July 31, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Why would we be jealous of someone whose sole claim to fame is a flat stomach?

Posted by: To 9:40 | July 31, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

btw, that word would be envious, not jealous.

envy: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

Posted by: them bones! | July 31, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Why would we be jealous of someone whose sole claim to fame is a flat stomach?

Posted by: To 9:40 | July 31, 2008 9:42 AM

Who says its her SOLE claim? Besides you, & that doesn't count.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

safety
educational value
IQ impact
emotional impact

Talk about a small world!
My mother made the same assessments. Then she turned on her "stories".

Posted by: Days of our 'Ludes | July 31, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

i think is it her soul claim to fame!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

We have had to listen to her harp about her flat stomach ad nauseum. Can anyone think of anything else she has said? Nothing comes to mind but the boasting. Get over yourself.

Posted by: re: atb | July 31, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I loved Mr. Rogers and when I have kids I would like to expose them to it. The thing I liked about the show is it addressed painful and hard feelings, and modeled friendship and tolerance.

Posted by: JEGS | July 31, 2008 9:17 AM
***********
Turn off the tv and "model" that behavior yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

We have had to listen to her harp about her flat stomach ad nauseum.

As Ms. Liz said, misspelling takes the sting out of snark.

Posted by: Spelling Police | July 31, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I loved Mr. Rogers and when I have kids I would like to expose them to it. The thing I liked about the show is it addressed painful and hard feelings, and modeled friendship and tolerance.

Posted by: JEGS | July 31, 2008 9:17 AM
***********
Turn off the tv and "model" that behavior yourself.

Posted by: | July 31, 2008 9:52 AM

Sure, AFTER watching the show.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Turn off the tv and "model" that behavior yourself
------------------------------------------------------

I guess I should bump off a relative each month to model my behavior towards death!

(Rather than having Mr. Rogers do it!)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

to re: atb "We have had to listen to her harp about her flat stomach ad nauseum. Can anyone think of anything else she has said? Nothing comes to mind but the boasting. Get over yourself."

Google is your friend!

July 16 - how to raise a family on the cheap - freecycle, envelope budgeting, husband staying home after baby #2

July 25 - calling Stacey out on the real dangers of pools

those are the first two hits.

Posted by: Google is your friend | July 31, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

From Lewis Black "The Root of All Evil" last night:

"Blogging is the equivalent of masturbating in front of a mirror while recording it so that you can watch it again later while masturbating. Blogging IS the root of all evil!"

Some of you folks prove it.

Posted by: Lewis Black | July 31, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, you should, if your name is Soprano!

Posted by: to 9:55 | July 31, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Precious is only allowed to watch televised entertainment when the test children group has had supervised screening and follo up pyschological testing

Cecilia, while you're at it, you should ask those "pyschologists" to help you get over how easily you cry.

Posted by: To Cecilia | July 31, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Re: Mr. Rogers: We have bought a couple of the DVDs and my son loves them. I hope they release more! :)

Re: The Friendly Giant - love the show. I wish there were DVDs but I don't think there are any.

Re: Caillou; I think Americans just don't get this show, but we love it. Caillou whines because kids that age whine. The baldness to me is just Charlie Brownesque. I like that the parents are dumpy rather than some stylized yummy mummy thing. I love it that they can't afford things.

As for being home, Caillou does go to daycare, so I sort of assume the home adventures are on weekends. Mind you that's the whole Canadian television thing, really: it's anti-glamour in a lot of ways. (Corner Gas anyone?)

What I can't stand is Dora and Diego's INCESSANT YELLING AND ENTHUSIASM!!! And football heads, but that's minor compared to the YELLING!

:-)

Posted by: Shandra | July 31, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Stacey,
If something doesn't change soon, this blog will have to be renamed "On Trolls."

Posted by: anne | July 31, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If something doesn't change soon, this blog will have to be renamed "On Trolls."

or "On Whiners"

Posted by: to anne | July 31, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Last week you ranted that the schools were evil for handing out birth control to teen girls!"
"Whacky Weasel is jealous because he doesn't have cable."
"That explains why Whacky considers "American Idle" to be "must see" fare"

Whacky Weasle has never ranted about birth control. Whacky has fios, not cable, and what's this about American Idol?

I think somebody has me confused. If comments like these continue, I'll change my posting name so people don't get me mixed up with somebody else.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 31, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to you, omarosa, but this isn't "booomer sentimentaility." Mr. Rogers began airing in 1968. Its the boomer's kids (aka Gen-X) that grew up with it.

Posted by: RT | July 31, 2008 8:45 AM

Hate to break it to you, RT, but boomers
are those born between and including 1946 and 1964. In 1968, the youngest of the Boomers were 4. Perfect for Mr. Rogers. It is indeed, Boomer sentimentality, along with a liking of Bob Seger, Fleetwood Mac, SNL while Eddie Murphy was on it, and MTV back when it first aired and subsequently showed actual movie videos.

Posted by: omarosa | July 31, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm slowly losing my flat stomach to my second pregnancy, but it will be back.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 9:25 AM

Never has an insecure person worked harder to convince strangers that her body is attractive. Next, in a desparate attempt to convince everyone she has a nice rack, she'll be talking about how much and often she breast-fed. Get this woman a mirror and a hotel room so she and her ego can spend some intimate time together.

Posted by: Everyone is a 10 online | July 31, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

omarosa

Hate to break it to you, RT, but boomers
are those born between and including 1946 and 1964. In 1968, the youngest of the Boomers were 4. Perfect for Mr. Rogers.

Hate to break it to you, omarosa, but in 1968, the oldest of the Boomers were 22, and starting to have their own kids, who were perfect for Mr. Rogers.

Posted by: do the math! | July 31, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Perfect for Mr. Rogers. It is indeed, Boomer sentimentality, along with a liking of Bob Seger, Fleetwood Mac, SNL while Eddie Murphy was on it, and MTV back when it first aired and subsequently showed actual movie videos.


Posted by: omarosa | July 31, 2008 10

And the effing Fab Four.....

Posted by: ZZZZZZZZZZZ | July 31, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And once she has the baby we will hear how quickly she lost all the baby weight and has her flat stomach back.

Posted by: To: everyone is a 10 online | July 31, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

And once she has the baby we will hear how quickly she lost all the baby weight and has her flat stomach back.

Posted by: To: everyone is a 10 online | July 31, 2008 10:44 AM

There is a woman in my building who lifted her blouse for everyone to see how "ripped" she was when she returned from maternity leave. In the event of an emergency, she will be the first to be "sacrificed" for the good of the mission.

Posted by: 2 on a good day | July 31, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I liked Mr. Rogers ok, but was much more into "The Electric Company." Way cooler -- and came out when I wanted to think of myself as a big kid who watched big-kid shows, and not a little kid who watched "baby" shows (like Mr. R and Sesame Street). I actually just bought the DVDs a few months ago and was really surprised by the people I recognized (Morgan Freeman??) -- and by how much I remember from 35+ years ago. I hear they're remaking it -- hope they don't kill it. But without Tom Lehrer doing the songs, I can't imagine it being quite as good.

Posted by: Laura | July 31, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Conjunction junction,
What's your function?

The best mofo thing on TV for kids.

Posted by: Schoolhouse Rock | July 31, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

No one has EVER worked harder than me to anonymously prove online that their body rocks? EVER? Wow. Who knew that one sentence was so incredibly, outrageously over-the-top? That's powerful.

ArmyBrat- Thanks for sticking up for Bugs! 'What's Opera Doc' is by far the best Bugs Sketch ever. 'North wind bwow! South wind bwow! Huwwicanes! Typhoons! Earthquakes! SMMOOOOOGGGG!' One of these days I plan to see the real Ring Cycle. Thanks, Bugs.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I liked the "Bicentennial Minutes" on TV.

Posted by: Blast from the past | July 31, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Why is there a "10 Rules of Flat Stomach"
ad at the top of the screen?

Posted by: Oh, no | July 31, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Why is there a "10 Rules of Flat Stomach"
ad at the top of the screen?

Because ATB has your computer cookie!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Who knew that one sentence was so incredibly, outrageously over-the-top?"

atb

People tend to figure out that hubris is a really big turn-off. Duh. You must have missed that class at good ole CSS.

Posted by: The Greeks had a word for it | July 31, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

You must have missed that class at good ole CSS.

Posted by: The Greeks had a word for it | July 31, 2008 11:22 AM

Guess they didn't teach spelling at Legacy-U.

Posted by: Spelling Police | July 31, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

You must have missed that class at good ole CSS.

Posted by: The Greeks had a word for it | July 31, 2008 11:22 AM

Guess they didn't teach spelling at Legacy-U.

Posted by: Spelling Police | July 31, 2008 11:26 AM

She was too busy sucking up to the cheerleaders...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I never got into that show. Mr. Rogers was okay, but as a child I just found him kind of dull. The puppets, on the other hand, were creepy.

Posted by: KateNonymous | July 31, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You must have missed that class at good ole CSS.

Posted by: The Greeks had a word for it | July 31, 2008 11:22 AM

Guess they didn't teach spelling at Legacy-U.

Posted by: Spelling Police | July 31, 2008 11:26 AM

She was too busy sucking up to the cheerleaders...

Posted by: | July 31, 2008 11:36 AM

That's what happens when they admit hoi polloi to Legacy-U.

Posted by: Greek THIS! | July 31, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't think adults should use language like "that really rocks." Leave the slang for the kids. Adults who try to sound like teenagers end up sounding stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That's what happens when they admit hoi polloi to Legacy-U.

Posted by: Greek THIS! | July 31, 2008 11:40 AM

Must have been one of those street trash Bratz!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I loved, I loved, loved Mister Rodgers' Neighborhood. I love the sounds and how gentle it all was, in highsight. I can still hear the toot toot as we went into the Land of Make Believe and it immediately brings back magic. I love the little trolley. I would wave good-bye to him every day at the end. Sesame Street and Mister Rodgers were the perfect programming for a small child, and I still think they are.

I babysat during the summers for two kids, now 7 and 9, when they were 1-5, and most of the shows today are just terrible. They aren't soothing and they relate to kids on a dumb level. Their mom and I told them Calliou went off the air because we just couldn't take the whining anymore. Why make a show for kids showing a kid acting like a brat?

Posted by: Erin | July 31, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL, I made my knock on Calliou BEFORE reading the above posts explaining him. I suppose he is just a good-hearted Canadian. His dad is a hottie, though. And I too sometimes dislike Dora's enthusiasm, although I loved, loved the theme song. Kept me awake.

Posted by: Erin | July 31, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

We learned of hubris in HIGH SCHOOL when we studied Oedipus Rex and Antigone, not in college. Not to mention, you don't seem to know what hubris is. Are you sure you didn't get a GED? I was a science major and knew you were wrong. You might want to try hitting up Wikipedia before you try to act smart.

"In ancient Greece, hubris referred to actions which, intentionally or not, shamed and humiliated the victim, and frequently the perpetrator as well."

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Roger's show has been around for this long, it must be because the majority of kids watch it.

I REALLY LIKED SHARI LEWIS WITH HER "LAMB CHOPS" SHOW IN THE 90'S. It really is a shame that they took the show off the air when she passed away. I loved the music, the whole thing and so did my older child.

Does any one there feel Lamb Chops should make a come back? Or do you think it would be like...

This is a song that never ends,
it just goes on and on my friend,
some people started singing it not knowing what it was
and they just kept on singing it...?

Posted by: Happy | July 31, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Erin

"I love the little trolley. I would wave good-bye to him every day at the end. "


What a fantastic childhood memory! My brothers would have beaten the crap out of me if I ever "waved" to the TV.

Posted by: Jealous | July 31, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I never realized that Caillou was Canadian. I rather like him. Maybe it is an innate Canadian thing which is unexplainable even to Canadians. Right now, I tend to think that the best show for little kids is Kipper. No violence, humourous, slow paced so easy to follow and gentle sounding even. I don't get Dora/Diego or even that guy on Blue's Clues. I want to torture them for their continuous upbeat enthusiasm.

Posted by: Billie | July 31, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

fr Erin:

>... babysat during the summers for two kids, now 7 and 9, when they were 1-5, and most of the shows today are just terrible. They aren't soothing and they relate to kids on a dumb level....

When I sat for a woman who was a single mom and selling her business, I stomached TWO Barney episodes with her toddler son. After that, I told him that Barney had already been on when he woke up from his nap...A co-worker told her then-very-little brother that Barney had died...

Posted by: Alex | July 31, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The pinnacle of insane children's programming is Yo Gabba Gabba. IT FREAKS ME OUT.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

atb

"We learned of hubris in HIGH SCHOOL when we studied Oedipus Rex and Antigone, not in college".

You studied stuff in the original Greek text in high school? Wow!

"You might want to try hitting up Wikipedia before you try to act smart."

Wikipedia .... smart... can't seem to make the connection.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I have the jingle, "Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood" stuck inside my head. It put me in a good mood all morning long, but now it is irratating me and I can't get rid of it.

OK, it's time to change the channel.

Click.
"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea"
Nooooooooooo!!! Spongebob is almost as self-absorbent as ATB!

click.
"Have a yubba-dubba-do time, have a gay old time"
Noooooo!!! Fred Flintstone reminds me too much of my dad.

Click.
"Ha-ha-a-ha-ha"
No! Not Woody Woodpecker! Can't stand him either! What a pecker!

Click.
"Go, Speed Racer go!"
Ah, now there's a tune that might get me through this afternoon. I'll keep it on this channel.

Go, Speed Racer go!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 31, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"I love you. You love me. We're a happy famil..."

click. BANG! Click. BANG! Click. BANG!

There! All better now.

Posted by: Barney Sniper | July 31, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Where did I say I read Greek? Reading Comprehension 101. Take it.

So, you disagree with the Wikipedia definition? Do tell.

On a hilarious not, some troll is trying to get the Lizards to dog me by posting what I write here on Celebritology. The result? The troll is attacked. Way to know your audience!

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco offered Ancient Greek back in the 1950s and 1960s. Among their students was Jerry Brown, who went on to major in Classics in college.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I thought that was a funny little taunt, but people have body issues. I should be more sensitive to trolls.

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 12:32 PM

Thanks atb. I'm a reg commentator here who hates digging through troll comments. But you're so awesome you decided to incite them and provoke them and now we all have to suffer. Thanks again, you self-centered jerk.


Posted by: regular commentator | July 31, 2008 1:03 PM

Posted by: response to atb at 1:07 | July 31, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Army Brat. I think the Bugs Bunny episodes you mentioned--among many others--were wonderful! Kid in our generation were exposed to some really good classical music when watching cartoons. Too bad the cable channels don't show more of those early cartoons. They were far superior to what is being offered today, and they appeal to adults, unlike today's cartoon.

Posted by: Lynne | July 31, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

To spelling police--I meant cartoons.

Posted by: Lynne | July 31, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

regular commentator = troll

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"I love you. You love me. We're a happy famil..."

click. BANG! Click. BANG! Click. BANG!

There! All better now.

Posted by: Barney Sniper | July 31, 2008 12:57 PM

Bonus for making it "all better" for atb.

Posted by: Please, child | July 31, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

ATB's flat stomach matches her "Keira Knightley" chest.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

regular commentator = troll

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 1:27 PM

I get it. Anyone who doesn't agree with atb is a "troll".

Posted by: Fred | July 31, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

atb, you're ruining this blog for the rest of us. if you want to play with the trolls please go elsewhere. thanks.

Posted by: Nancy | July 31, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"To be honest, I can't understand the current mania for keeping cultural institutions going long after their creators are gone."

I disagree, I think we have far too much emphasis on pushing out shows and movies that are new, shiny and perceived as exciting. Like ... if you look at box office stats, it would seem that Titanic is the most popular movie of all time based on $$ (although might be soon displaced by batman). But it's just hype to keep us buying new and shiny stuff - in 1939, there were fewer people, fewer movie theaters, and REALLY cheap tickets. Adjusted for inflation alone, Gone With the Wind still kicks collective butt. Adjusted for inflation, population density AND # of movie theaters ---- it delivers a Chuck Norris-type whooping to anything that dare challenge it. But it's not "fun" or "exciting" for studios to admit that the king of all movies was made 70 years ago -- so they hype up new ones to set records and falsely blow the old statistics away.

Same thing happens in sports like baseball - adjust for a multitude of modern things like much lighter bats, many more games, and steroid-freak athletes, and does anyone REALLY think Barry Bonds would have beaten Hank Aaron's record?

So I disagree. I think we collectively have no respect for old institutions that, in my opinion at least, are far more deserving of it than the current flash-in-the-pans.

Posted by: To NewSAHM | July 31, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I remember atb getting into an argument about the difference between Asian and African water buffaloes. Too easy to get her goat.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Never has an insecure person worked harder to convince strangers that her body is attractive.

Posted by: Everyone is a 10 online | July 31, 2008 10:28 AM

No one has EVER worked harder than me to anonymously prove online that their body rocks? EVER?

Posted by: atb | July 31, 2008 10:56 AM

you can't prove anything by repeating it ad nauseam.

you increasingly have that whiff of quiet desparation as your volume of all-caps emphasis increases.

Posted by: Everyone is a 10 online | July 31, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Atb, you need to go find a happy place, this blog is not worth it.

Posted by: former OB lurker | July 31, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I am amongst those who thought Mr. Rogers show was creepy and never enjoyed it. I have no problem with PBS deciding it's time to get a more popular show on the air- just go buy the DVDs for your kids if you want them.

I thoroughly loved 3-2-1 Contact and Square One. There's definitely a dearth of tween educational programming IMO.

Posted by: Liz D | July 31, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I like Barney. The kids really relate to him and he's so cheerful.

Posted by: Donna | July 31, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Color of Money Online question.

Does Singletary have an editor/producer for her chats? Today's chat was loaded with errors and she has a flippant attitude when she is corrected.

Posted by: Not professiona | July 31, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I love Mr. Rogers. I find him to be very soothing. Great to watch before nap time. But I also think that there are some other great shows out there for toddlers. Loved Caillou when my son was little. Also like Kipper, George Shrinks, Dragon Tales, and the Big Comfy Couch. Another great find was the Postman Pat series, which we get from Netflix. And who could forget the wonderful Thomas the Tank engine videws (some narrated by George Carlin -- snort) So although Mr. Rogers will be missed by many, there are a lot of great shows out there for our little ones.

Posted by: Emily | July 31, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Donna, how old are your kids?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Michele Singletary is very defensive when someone corrects or criticizes her. It's here way or the highway. Of course she's entitled to her opinion, but she can be a real witch when someone disagrees with her. For someone touting compassion, she sure is a hypocrite. Suzie Orman is much nicer, just as knowledgeable if not more, and at least does not have a religious based agenda.

Posted by: Emily | July 31, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Suzie Orman is much nicer, just as knowledgeable if not more, and at least does not have a religious based agenda. "

Take this poster with a grain of salt, she has an axe to grind and is constantly running down everyone's faith.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

You are mischaracterizing Emily's beliefs and motivations. Emily doesn't have an ax to grind simply because religious belief may be less important in her life than in some other folks' lives.

Singletary's beliefs are no secret. I don't have a problem with them simply because she's so upfront about them. Her column certainly isn't for everyone, though.

Posted by: MN | July 31, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Not professiona:

Chats occur in real time. So, no editor looks at Michelle's answers before they are published. However, we do have editors who produce chats and clean up errors after the chats are over. I've alerted that person to your comment. Feel free to send me errors that you saw (parenting@washingtonpost.com) and I'll pass those along to.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | July 31, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Stacey - that would be ..."and I'll pass those along too."

Posted by: The blind leading the blind | July 31, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh great MN is here to bore us to death with her sanctimonious drivel.

Posted by: Get Lost | July 31, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Stacey

"Chats occur in real time. So, no editor looks at Michelle's answers before they are published. "

Does Michelle have some kind of spell check software?

I can't stand the slang - "Boo" for her husband, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I had an 18 month old who LOVED Mr Rogers and we LOVED watching it. What I lamented were the lack of shows from the 1970s, many of the ones I taped were much more interesting than the ones from the mid-1990s when Fred was older. They recently showed a clip from where B Smith, the African-American TV host appeared on Mr Rogers around 1972 as a young model. INSANE! PBS is hurting because they don't show more 1975 episodes.

The most important thing about the character that Fred played on TV is that his character is Jesus. Watching the show as an adult, I recognized most of his theories were straight religious. It's a truly beautiful thing to have someone do that on TV but not also ask for money or ask you to convert.

The other thing was that picture picture's visits to factories are clearly the factories of 25 years ago. That is a little weird to see all these materials made in the USA that are long gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I also need to add this. I worked with a guy who grew up in Anacostia who absolutely believed:
1. Mr Moose on Captain Kangaroo was African-American.
2. X the Owl was also African-American AND MALCOLM X'S BROTHER!!!

Those are interpretations I bet no one here made.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

There is NO WAY i'm going to get a boyzillian, no matter what those women are saying. It looks way too painful.

Posted by: boyzillian | July 31, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh great MN is here to bore us to death with her sanctimonious drivel.

Posted by: Get Lost | July 31, 2008 3:08 PM

Get Lost, no one knows sanctimonious drivel like you do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

sorry wrong blog!

Posted by: boyzillian | July 31, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Get Lost, no one knows sanctimonious drivel like you do.

Posted by: | July 31, 2008 3:46 PM

MN at least post your name when you post, we all know this was you. The reek of sanctimony was all over it.

Posted by: get lost | July 31, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I never like Mr. Rodgers when I was growing up. I thought he was creepy.

Posted by: . | July 31, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Liked Mr. Rogers, but because I had much older siblings, I don't remember watching the shows for little kids much, more I watched the shows that my sisters watched, zoom, electric company, etc.

As for Suze Orman, she is not that great. She gives out misinformation more often than one would like. I like Michelle Singletary, but also agree with someone above that sometimes she's a little harsh. And I actually think her complete and total compassion with this bailout is uncharacteristic. Dave Ramsey was on saying he hated every line of it.

Posted by: atlmom | July 31, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

MN at least post your name when you post, we all know this was you. The reek of sanctimony was all over it.

Posted by: get lost | July 31, 2008 3:53 PM

She is not the only one tired of trolls. There are a lot of us hoping you will get bored and leave.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

And because of them, so does this blog.

Posted by: Trolls suck | July 31, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Dave Ramsey was on saying he hated every line of it [the bailout]."

He's one to talk. He made his start originally by buying millions and millions of dollars in real estate investments, all with borrowed money (highly leveraged, as the euphemism goes), then he went bankrupt. So he had all his debts wiped clean.

NOW he preaches the debt free mantra.

And I agree with him, certainly. I also like Suze Orman, and I like Michelle Singletary. I always read Michelle's chats, and while I know what people are referring to with the "flippant" and "harsh" accusations, I've always kind of read those as gentle jousting, high energy talking/chatting/typing/whatever. As in "Oh you know what I meant, let's move on to more exciting stuff." And I couldn't care less how she refers to her husband, the nickname is fine. So what?

If you really hate it that much, stop reading it, and get back to work.

In my opinion, I think Ramsey, Singletary, and Orman are trying to do a great thing for our society in general. Someone has to wake everyone up that you shouldn't live your entire life servicing debt (40 year mortgage, pay that off when you're 70, then take out a reverse mortgage). Once we all learn how that's a bad idea, maybe Congress will learn the same thing about the national debt. Wouldn't that be something?

Posted by: CS Dad, (no expert) | July 31, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mal | August 6, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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