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September 3, 2003 4:28 AM   Subscribe

American values brought to you by the letters... In the Islamic world the USA doesn't appear to be making too many friends recently. But is it all a big misunderstanding? Perhaps the middle east simply need to learn more about American values. Who can teach them about American culture, morality, and cookies? You'd be surprised...
posted by kaemaril (16 comments total)
 
"Behave son, or US paratroopers may come next"

"If Arab and Jewish Muppets can live together..."

lol.. God bless the BBC :)

I find it interesting that there was a HIV positive muppet on the South African show when the government still refused to admit the bug existed. I wonder how they managed to fit that in as well.. Hmm..

From memories of home, Bengali culture has such a large American influence I doubt they really need to sponsor more. I think I'm more 'Bengali' than the Bengalis back there. Doh.

MTv is far more effective.
posted by Mossy at 4:45 AM on September 3, 2003


Charlotte Beers, the undersecretary of State for public diplomacy: "teaching common values"

Can you teach common values? Isn't this just an example of the kind of the patronising pedagogical approach that the US Government brings to its dealings with other countries that pisses so many people off. Why not just emphasising common values? And are they planning to do some of this at home as well?
posted by biffa at 5:54 AM on September 3, 2003


One point: in my experience, most people think Sesame Street is originally from whatever country they watch it in. You would have to make a specifically pro-US version, which would probably (rightly) be percieved as mere propaganda.
posted by signal at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2003


Sesame Street, The Great Cultural Homogenizertm
posted by shoepal at 6:22 AM on September 3, 2003


Iraqi prisoners were treated to repeated playings of the ditty at ear-splitting volume by US psychological operations officers intent on encouraging their captives to submit to questioning.

Man, they should go all the way and show them Sid and Marty Krofft re-runs.
posted by CrazyJub at 6:28 AM on September 3, 2003


Open Sesame (ifta ya simsim) has been on Gulf Arab TV for twenty years, judging by the clothes on the reruns I saw. Thanks to them, my wife could hold conversations in Arabic with all citizens under five. Grover is much funnier in translation, and Anis and Butrus (Ernie and Bert) remain terrible roomates.
posted by ednopantz at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2003


'Who can teach them about American culture, morality, and cookies? You'd be surprised...'

From the linked article:
'...Children's Television Workshop...does not accept that it is an exporter of so-called American values. Even a policy for foreign licensing decided back in 1969 stipulated that non-US versions of the show reflect the morals and traditions of the host nation.

"We don't set out in any way to push American or western values. That's not our mission at all," says Beatrice Chow, spokeswoman for Sesame Street's foreign co-productions.'


There is also an argument that runs along the lines that maybe it's 'the USA' that should attempt to learn about other cultures...
posted by i_cola at 6:49 AM on September 3, 2003


There is also an argument that runs along the lines that maybe it's 'the USA' that should attempt to learn about other cultures...

Or maybe that all cultures involved could learn a thing or two from eachother.
posted by angry modem at 8:06 AM on September 3, 2003


What about the sinister Bert/Bin Laden connection?
posted by stifford at 8:12 AM on September 3, 2003


In a very special episode, Snuffleupagus finds Weapons of Mass Destruction.
posted by borkus at 8:26 AM on September 3, 2003


am: Indeed. I find it so very hard to keep up with US culture these days...
posted by i_cola at 8:29 AM on September 3, 2003


Anis and Butrus (Ernie and Bert) remain terrible roomates.

Oh.

Oh my.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on September 3, 2003


"Behave son, or US paratroopers may come next"

This is not journalism.
posted by tirade at 9:59 AM on September 3, 2003


This is not a sentence.
posted by i_cola at 12:36 PM on September 3, 2003


Anis and Butrus (Ernie and Bert) remain terrible roomates.

Uhm...

XQUZYPHYR understands what I mean...
posted by starscream at 12:44 PM on September 3, 2003


Anis and Butrus (Ernie and Bert) remain terrible roomates

*restrains self*
posted by quonsar at 2:16 PM on September 3, 2003


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