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Sesame Street characters go to war
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Eug
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May 22, 2008, 12:15 AM
 
Sesame Street tackles issues around parents going off to war

Hmmm... I can see the intent, but somehow this just seems rather un-Sesame-Streetish to me.

EDIT:

Oops, sorry, wrong forum. Can the mods please move this to the poliwar forum?
( Last edited by Eug; May 22, 2008 at 12:23 AM. )
     
Atomic Rooster
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May 22, 2008, 02:41 AM
 
Hey that gives me an idea.

A situation comedy of mangled soldiers in a veteran's rehabilitation hospital.
     
Face Ache
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May 22, 2008, 03:19 AM
 
Just as long as there's no graphic footage of the Muppet/Fraggle War.

Or of Abu Grape Ape Prison.
     
peeb
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May 22, 2008, 03:21 AM
 
I thought Sesame Street was always dealing with cutting edge issues, I mean they've done eating disorders, race, homosexuality etc, no?
     
paul w
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May 22, 2008, 09:15 AM
 
They dealt with death when Mr. Hooper died (I remember that well). It didn't scar me, but it didn't really concern me as nobody close to me had died yet.
     
lpkmckenna
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May 23, 2008, 04:59 PM
 
Now we need a drive-by shooting on Sesame Street.
     
ghporter
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May 23, 2008, 05:14 PM
 
Kids NEED help in understanding issues like "why is daddy going away". During the first Gulf War, Mr. Rogers dealt with what war is and how it relates to little children. He did a very good job, too; our son was about 3 at the time and our great concern about the situation got him worried (I was mid-career in the Air Force at the time and could have gone (I volunteered, in fact) but didn't). Today, a LOT of kids see their parents going off to war because of how many Reservists are involved, and it's more than just "this is what war is". It's "why your parent has to go, and why everyone is worried." That's a real, and very important thing to deal with, and kids need help to understand.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 24, 2008, 06:32 PM
 
Explaining to kids that a parent has to go die in the desert because of the stupidity of some politician is easier with puppets.
     
ghporter
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May 24, 2008, 10:22 PM
 
Sesame Street is not politicizing the issue. And most service members aren't either. A GI generally doesn't like to be deployed, especially to a war zone, but he/she goes anyway because it's a duty, following orders is something that service member swore to do, and they're service members because they wish to serve our country.

It's also important to remember that war is an extension of political power through violent means. Controlled, calculated, and overpoweringly violent means. If you will, it is a means of diplomacy wherein the diplomats don't have to speak diplomatically. In other words, it's a sword that politicians are supposed to wield when talk fails to resolve an issue. It is a sword that said politicians must wield in good faith or they will suffer political consequences.

It is also something that haunts commanders in chief (any of them with brains and a heart anyway) because EVERY decision to use military force is a decision to risk someone else's life. Bill did a piss-poor job of it, and George has done a pretty wretched job of it too. I hope neither of them sleep well ever again, but it is the job of the president to make those decisions, and for good or bad, WE elect them. Kinda makes you feel really bad toward all those imbeciles who decided not to bother to vote in the last couple of elections, doesn't it?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Chuckit
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May 25, 2008, 01:28 PM
 
Makes me feel bad for the imbeciles who did vote, too, without anybody decent to vote for.
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Chongo
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May 25, 2008, 01:33 PM
 
How did we explain to the children prior to Sesame Street? Did Howdy Doody explain during the Korean Conflict, Charley McCarthy during WWII?
45/47
     
vmarks
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May 25, 2008, 01:38 PM
 
no. Back then children volunteered for the war effort, raising donations and rounding up scrap material that could be used as raw materials. Back then it was shameful to not serve.
     
ghporter
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May 25, 2008, 02:06 PM
 
Back then PARENTS did their best to explain such things, often calling in their own parents to help in that effort. Back then, parents actually parented... Of course when Korea cranked up, people were just coming out of World War II, so it was not big deal to explain what was going on. From about 1936 through 1954 the threat was well explained, well described, and and pretty much well understood. Our leaders then trusted the people to have trust in them, so they put issues in front of the people and the people supported them—or didn't.

I don't think it's shameful to serve today. It's shameful that so few people bother to participate in the political process that we who do have to choose the lesser twit or dolt, instead of having the public demand better. And it's shameful that people who reap the benefits of the sacrifices people who serve and have served have garnered for them carp and whine about how their own (usually completely uninformed and one-sided) political ideas are so much superior to anyone else's that we should just stop fighting and everything will be sweetness and light. That's ridiculous and naive to a fault.

The world is no more complex than it was 50 years ago, it's just got more independent players, and all of those players want to rule the world. Gee, didn't we work hard at keeping a big, ugly and powerful monolithic enemy from ruling the world starting about then? But back then people had faith in America, whether they liked the Current Resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave or not. I don't know why people today paint our whole nation with a brush dipped in impressions of a few politicians... Sure, we've had slime in office (and we put them there, too), but we've put 'em out of office too.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ApeInTheShell
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May 25, 2008, 11:04 PM
 
I don't know about you but when I think of America and patriotism the G.I.Joe animated cartoon comes to mind. It's too bad kids don't have good cartoons now to help them cope with this issue.
On another note:
Sesame street needed to be around in for the war explanation in 2003. Maybe they were. Hmm
     
peeb
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May 26, 2008, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The world is no more complex than it was 50 years ago, it's just got more independent players, and all of those players want to rule the world. Gee, didn't we work hard at keeping a big, ugly and powerful monolithic enemy from ruling the world starting about then?
The difference is that the US has become the big, ugly and powerful monolithic enemy that wants to rule the world.
     
ghporter
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May 26, 2008, 10:33 PM
 
I disagree with your assessment, peeb. The U.S. has become the big guy that a lot of people despise for a variety of reasons, most having to do with our economic and political freedoms. Why would we want to rule the world? That's way too much work. We want the world to run smoothly, and we find it distasteful to have to do business with despots and "leaders" who oppress their people for their own aggrandizement. It would be just peachy if we could stop spending all this money on troops and weapons, and maybe let those congresscritters suck up to their special interests in the dairy industry, or the road building industry or whatever instead. The idea that just because we wound up being the only "superpower" means that we want to conquer everyone and everything is ludicrous. We'd like everyone to play nice and not bug us, and while they're at it to do business fairly and honestly. That is our stated and actual goal in the world. But like the "fastest gun in the West," various groups always need to take a stab at hurting the U.S. just because we're big.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
peeb
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May 26, 2008, 10:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I disagree with your assessment, peeb. The U.S. has become the big guy that a lot of people despise for a variety of reasons, most having to do with our economic and political freedoms.
A serious question GH - do you really think that? I mean, it's right out a GWB speech, and seems such obvious rhetorical rubbish that I think you must be joking?
     
Kerrigan
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May 27, 2008, 11:59 PM
 
It's just a bunch of liberals who run that show and like to get a rise out of the bourgeoisie by covering "cutting edge" issues, like that episode where the trash monster gave Big Bird a rim job for cash and then stabbed him with an infected hypodermic needle.
     
peeb
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May 28, 2008, 12:30 AM
 
Are you drunk, Kerrigan?
     
Kerrigan
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May 28, 2008, 12:42 AM
 
Just adding a little spice to the increasingly dull lounge...
     
peeb
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May 28, 2008, 02:19 AM
 
By posting offensive nonsense? That's not the kind of spice it needs.
     
ghporter
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May 28, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
A serious question GH - do you really think that? I mean, it's right out a GWB speech, and seems such obvious rhetorical rubbish that I think you must be joking?
I strongly and thoroughly disagree with George and his bunch. But I very strongly believe in America, and the ideals of fair business, human rights, and ethical behavior at every level of society. Just because George's writers use those terms and evoke those ideas doesn't mean that I'm one of his devotees.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 28, 2008, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I disagree with your assessment, peeb. The U.S. has become the big guy that a lot of people despise for a variety of reasons, most having to do with our economic and political freedoms.
No, the US is disliked more than ever, because it is perceived as arrogant and egoistic. Part of it is due to history unravelling itself, part of it is due to Bush Jr's horrendous track record when it comes to diplomacy.

All the rhetoric against the French (who are among freest and wealthiest as well) and `old Europe,' humiliating and self-damaging immigration procedures and `either you're with us or against us' attitude has cost the US a lot of respect internationally. The US' track record as far as support of questionable regimes when it suited its (short-term) interests and meddling in national politics is concerned now boomerangs back: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the US' past actions have all contributed to the escalation.

To say `they hate us for our freedoms' tells me you don't really understand what's going wrong at the moment (no offense). `They' hate America for their arrogance and the (perceived) humiliation.

When I hear the way some Americans talk about Chavez (who is just a loud mouth populist, but not dangerous), it makes me wonder whether they have learnt the lessons from history.
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Chuckit
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May 28, 2008, 10:45 AM
 
1. Trying to sell us on a traditionally socialist country with a lower GDP per capita being the "freest and wealthiest" makes me wonder what standard of freedom and wealth we're talking about here.

2. Seriously, who doesn't make fun of the French? Their mothers?

I think you are telling us actual reasons why some people hate us, but I don't think you're getting at the root causes or at the reasons of the people who hate us the most.
Chuck
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OreoCookie
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May 28, 2008, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
1. Trying to sell us on a traditionally socialist country with a lower GDP per capita being the "freest and wealthiest" makes me wonder what standard of freedom and wealth we're talking about here.
France is a first-world country and a lot richer (on average) than, say, China, Kongo or Iraq. Plus, they have a relatively long democratic tradition.

What's so hard to understand about that?
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
2. Seriously, who doesn't make fun of the French? Their mothers?
Some of the jokes about the French just weren't telling as much about the French, but more about the closed-mindedness of some Americans (Freedom Fries, anyone?).
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ghporter
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May 28, 2008, 11:26 AM
 
I think it's more telling that it wasn't until (I think) American press broke how the French representatives on the Oil-For-Food issue were corrupt that the French government even bothered to think about the issue. There was certainly no French press about those representatives' misbehavior. Here in the States, that sort of thing connotes implicit approval of the representatives' actions by the French government, and makes it look like French opposition to action against Iraq (and I mean ALL actions against Iraq) was because officials were lining their pockets with oil money and effectively on Saddam's payroll. German and Russian representatives were similarly found to be stained by illicit money, so whatever the reasons for their own resistance to sanctions or military action against Iraq, it all looks like it's because these governments are making money off of Saddam instead of being good international citizens and helping to curb his excesses.

I can't say "the French people" are implicated in this, but "the French government" sure is, and if France is a democracy, that means that while we elected a boob with bad manners, the French elected criminals. At least that is the impression over here.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 28, 2008, 11:31 AM
 
Glenn, I think you're going into details now.
Corruption is not a peculiarity of any nationality, greed is often stronger than national pride. Certainly, many American companies have benefitted from the occupation in Iraq and cronyism (Blackwater, just to name one).

The opposition to the war in Iraq in Europe (including some former and current allies) was not a product of opportunism, but a genuine opinion held by the vast majority of people (70+, 80+ % of the population).

My only point is that your opinion that the low esteem in which America is held in many countries is not a product of envy. I find that opinion outright dangerous, because America will continue to make the same disastrous mistakes that have put it in this situation in the first place. I'm not saying this out of spite, but out of concern.
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Eug  (op)
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May 28, 2008, 12:24 PM
 
Just a little bit of a different perspective: The Iraq war was also reviled in Canada in general, despite the fact that the US is Canada's greatest ally, and Canada's greatest source of income (ie. trading partner). Furthermore, while Canadians sometime do display anti-American sentiments, it's nowhere near as strong as (my impression of) the anti-Americanism displayed by some Europeans. Nonetheless, Canada too opposed the war. It was not just public opinion, but the opposition to the Iraq war was also the Canadian government's official stance.
     
peeb
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May 28, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I strongly and thoroughly disagree with George and his bunch. But I very strongly believe in America, and the ideals of fair business, human rights, and ethical behavior at every level of society. Just because George's writers use those terms and evoke those ideas doesn't mean that I'm one of his devotees.
OK, it's just perfectly obvious that when the rest of the world looks at the US, it it is not 'their freedoms' that are hated. When you look at opinion polls in the Middle East, the 'freedoms' in the US are rated about as favorably as US citizens rate them. What people hate about the US is its imperialist behavior and its lack of respect for human rights outside its borders.
     
lpkmckenna
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May 28, 2008, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
It was not just public opinion, but the opposition to the Iraq war was also the Canadian government's official stance.
I'm not sure either the Grit or Tory governments ever opposed the war, but rather stated that we simply weren't participating. We couldn't if we wanted to, not without loading up on public debt. I remember Paul Martin saying exactly that in some magazine interview.
     
Chuckit
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May 28, 2008, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
OK, it's just perfectly obvious that when the rest of the world looks at the US, it it is not 'their freedoms' that are hated. When you look at opinion polls in the Middle East, the 'freedoms' in the US are rated about as favorably as US citizens rate them. What people hate about the US is its imperialist behavior and its lack of respect for human rights outside its borders.
That's why nobody hated the US before 2003.

Oh, wait…

Also, we're better on those things than places like China, Kongo or Iraq, so I guess that makes us about as respectable as France?
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Eug  (op)
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May 28, 2008, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
I'm not sure either the Grit or Tory governments ever opposed the war, but rather stated that we simply weren't participating.
Chrétien restates opposition to Iraq war

We couldn't if we wanted to, not without loading up on public debt. I remember Paul Martin saying exactly that in some magazine interview.[
Well, that's usually true in any significant war. Didn't stop the US or UK though.
     
peeb
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May 28, 2008, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
That's why nobody hated the US before 2003.
How old are you? You don't remember anything before 2003? Iraq is the cherry on the cake, Chuckit.
     
ghporter
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May 28, 2008, 06:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
How old are you? You don't remember anything before 2003? Iraq is the cherry on the cake, Chuckit.
You missed the ironic second line there... The U.S. has been hated since at least the turn of the 20th Century, and most definitely since 1917 when we arrived on the scene in Europe and helped finish off the Kaiser.

Later, we managed to tick everyone in the world off by successfully overwhelming the Nazis and Imperial Japanese and then (our gall!) helping them rebuild what we had so thoroughly destroyed.

We became hated because we came and helped. I'd quote "The Americans" but that's a bit overboard for this thread. Suffice to say we have a lot that people hate, mainly because we give so freely. It's stupid, but it's true.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
peeb
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May 28, 2008, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
You missed the ironic second line there... The U.S. has been hated since at least the turn of the 20th Century, and most definitely since 1917 when we arrived on the scene in Europe and helped finish off the Kaiser.

Later, we managed to tick everyone in the world off by successfully overwhelming the Nazis and Imperial Japanese and then (our gall!) helping them rebuild what we had so thoroughly destroyed.

We became hated because we came and helped. I'd quote "The Americans" but that's a bit overboard for this thread. Suffice to say we have a lot that people hate, mainly because we give so freely. It's stupid, but it's true.
Well, I guess I gave you a free shot there. I was talking about the post 1950 period.
     
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May 28, 2008, 06:43 PM
 
I hope this was a very sarcastic post … and I just didn't get it.
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lpkmckenna
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May 28, 2008, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Later, we managed to tick everyone in the world off by successfully overwhelming the Nazis...
Actually, the Russians did that. No one is ticked off about the US in WW2, except for the fact that it took 4 years before you showed up.
     
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May 28, 2008, 07:36 PM
 
cept for the Japanese.
     
   
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