One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Hi Readers! In case you have some friends who still think you are IMAGINING a huge sea-change in our culture, a veritable tsunami of distrust in our kids, their competence and our communities, we present two Sesame Street clips. Same story line. Different era. Can you spot the difference?

OLDEN DAYS

MODERN ERA

Sesame Street: Danger on Steroids!

Oh Readers — Remember when this was not a subversive, watch out, don’t EVER let this happen to your children video? When kids could ride around, get lost, ask for help, talk to strangers and have adventures without anyone accusing the parents (or PBS) of being negligent, crazy, or worse? 

Katy Perry Too Hot (and Cold) For Sesame Street

Cave, cave, cave.  Apparently Sesame Street has decided not to air this Elmo/Katy Perry duet thanks to Katy’s own duo — the ones in her skin-tight outfit that had grown-ups worrying about kids seeing “Cleavage Street.”

Or so the rumor goes, according to the folks at TMZ. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Look, I don’t use them as my source for MUCH.) Anyway, this was too cute a clip not to show you. So voila:

Jason Mraz: “Let’s Go Outdoors” (to “I’m Yours”)

Hi Readers — Okay, so the kids in this Sesame Street video look a little languid and catalog-ready. And of course there is the inherent tension between a song encouraging kids to go outdoors and the fact that it is on TV, and if it’s REALLY good, kids will want to just sit there and watch some more, sunny day be damned.

DESPITE all that — and the sad fact that I find Elmo cloying — this is still a video with a lovely message. And great birdies in a tree. And it’s to one of my very favorite songs (sap that I am):

P.S. Another reader just sent in THIS song as a “Free-Range” anthem. “Hey, Won’t Somebody Come Out and Play?” from the show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” The last line of this sweet ditty actually makes me sort of queasy with regret: “Childhood won’t last, so won’t somebody come out and play?” Despite my best efforts, it is STILL hard for me to get my kids out of the house during the school year, often because no one else is outside and playing. So let’s hope this song convinces the younger generation to burst outside and not repeat the mistakes of the tweens.