Tickle Me Elmo
June 15, 2001 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Tickle Me Elmo
The Truth About Sesame Street "I have never understood how any White parent with an OUNCE of dignity or pride could expose their children to the trash of Sesame Street, regardless of how "wonderful" everyone in the " mainstream" world says it is. It's bad enough that we, as adults, are continually subjected to the garbage pouring out of the jew toob."
posted by riley370 (50 comments total)
Isn't the proper spelling: joo toob?
posted by victors at 8:13 PM on June 15, 2001

All I have to say about this is thank god for free speech. Sincerely, I'm glad that hateful, bigoted people like this are allowed to speak their mind, because then we know who what they're thinking at any given moment. To know one's enemy is to be able to defeat one's enemy.
posted by headspace at 8:14 PM on June 15, 2001

I looked at this site, and it reminds me of the lame stuff I wrote when I thought I could write satire and parody. That's not easy. Anyway, if the author is a satirist, s/he needs the practice. If the author is sincere, well . . . sigh.
posted by bmckenzie at 8:20 PM on June 15, 2001

Let's leave links like this to the Southern Poverty Law Center, OK?
posted by sudama at 8:20 PM on June 15, 2001

Ping in the Noise, Ping in Da Funk

And if cross-dressing weren't bad enough, now we have packet-switching.
posted by rodii at 8:30 PM on June 15, 2001

Was this trip really necessary?
posted by crunchland at 8:34 PM on June 15, 2001

I watched Sesame Street a lot when I was a kid, but my mother always later suspected that the way the show cuts from theme to theme and skit to skit develops short attention spans in kids. Interesting idea. I never saw myself as having a very short attention span, though.
posted by tomorama at 8:37 PM on June 15, 2001

Many people don't realize that Sesame Street always intentionally targeted "minority" kids from the very beginning of its existence, and this emphasis continued to grow over the years, resulting in the version we see today - every color of the rainbow, all linking hands in "togetherness" as they skip down Diversity Lane into Never-Never Land.

Well, yeah. That sounds about right.

At least Sister Lisa doesn't hate it for the wrong reasons.
posted by kingjeff at 8:38 PM on June 15, 2001

It's hard "to" take anything seriously "that" uses so many quotation marks.

"One" question: who lost their leftist code book? Now I need "to" rewrite "the" whole bloody "thing"!
posted by Dick Paris at 8:40 PM on June 15, 2001

Ugh. That thing is red-lining on the credibility detector.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:01 PM on June 15, 2001

Great! Thanks! Now I feel dirty just reading that page. And I'll need to run my computer through an acid bath to get rid of the stench. There is a reason why HateWatch said goodbye. There is simply no need to turn a spotlight on this kind of ignorant racist drivel any longer. Their point has been made, and it's been proven wrong. It's ironic she attacks Sesame Street, a program in which yellow birds and purple monsters co-exist in relative harmony. Surely someone who thinks fur-color should be cause for mob rule could never comprehend the simplest of television programming. Sister Lisa Turner has the grey matter of a sock puppet -- without the hand.

Such racist drivel is like Tinky Winky suddenly attacking the other Teletubbies with a machine gun because they're not all blue. It's like still insisting that the Earth is flat, and amusing as that may have been at one time, it's tired rhetoric which has more than taken advantage of the First Ammendment. It's high time we drag these cretins, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century and knock some sense into them.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:28 PM on June 15, 2001

it's tired rhetoric which has more than taken advantage of the First Ammendment

Zach, this is the same argument used by racists, by people like Hitler. This woman is a moron and a waste of space, but I will completely defend her right to say what she says.
posted by owillis at 9:31 PM on June 15, 2001

I know that people like that exist out there, but seeing the actual words that represent their beliefs nauseates me. It is absolutely stunning that a human being could be so perversely warped. ZachsMind touches on the instinct/impulse to lash out at such hatred and evil, in an attempt to literally erase it, but owillis is correct...we must be very careful to control the very emotions within ourselves that these morons spew forth with such blind hatred and ignorance. I have to believe, deep down, that "people" like the one that wrote that article are decreasing in number as our world becomes smarter, more connected, and enlightened.
posted by davidmsc at 9:42 PM on June 15, 2001

It's funny. I was all upset about the sell line of this post, til' I got to the anti-semitism bit at the end, after which I could safely write off the rest as drivel.

"When they came after the Leftists, I did nothing, because I was not a Leftist.
When they came after the Jews I did nothing, because I was not a Jew. "
When they came after the muppets, I went totally apeshit and wanted to piss down
Sister Lisa Turner's freshly opened jugular vein."
posted by dong_resin at 9:47 PM on June 15, 2001

I watched Sesame Street a lot when I was a kid, but my mother always later suspected that the way the show cuts from theme to theme and skit to skit develops short attention spans in kids.

I have the same theory, but it's towards MTV.
posted by jragon at 9:57 PM on June 15, 2001

Stuff like this doesn't bother me as much as the stuff written by hatemongers who sound intelligent. She's practically making the "leftist" agenda better than the trilateral commission ever could. Preach on, Sister Lisa!

Say it loud!
We're muppets, and we're proud!

We're here!
We're monsters!
Get used to it!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 11:27 PM on June 15, 2001

"Stuff like this doesn't bother me as much as the stuff written by hatemongers who sound intelligent. She's practically making the "leftist" agenda better than the trilateral commission ever could. Preach on, Sister Lisa!"

Word. I'm starting to wonder if Dr. Laura isn't really a covert operative. The Tourette's deal was almost too obvious.
posted by skyline at 12:44 AM on June 16, 2001

I was watching a documentary about right-wing evangelists and apparantly there's a running half-joke half-believed story about Jerry Falwell being a leftist plant to make them all seem to be whackos.
posted by chason at 3:34 AM on June 16, 2001

Why do they need Falwell for that? They've got Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral "Jesus will call me home if I don't pay him off" Roberts, Pat "I have summoned a hurricane to wash Fire Island into the sea" Robertson...nobody needs to plant anybody in the ranks.

And I agree with owillis. This woman is an idiot, but I'd let tanks run me over in a public square before I accepted any limits on her freedom to show us all how intensely stupid she is. It's almost enough to make me give up on deconstructualism, however, because you know that's how Sister Lisa spends her time, watching TV for any signs that anyone but people who look and act like her might get an even break on anything broadcast.
posted by Ezrael at 4:06 AM on June 16, 2001

I'll defend her right to express herself, but this woman is a fruit loop by just about anyone's assessment.

As a child who watched Sesame Street, here's how it affected me. Sesame Street led swiftly to the Muppet Show, where the cheesy puns and ribald humor rubbed off on me, leading me to absorb the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, the Oz books and Monty Python before I was 8. So much for the stifling of imagination.

In fact, I think it's safe to say that, if it wasn't for Oscar the Grouch, I wouldn't be here today.
posted by ed at 6:28 AM on June 16, 2001

(gasp!) Children watching Monty Python?! Oh, the horror! Won't somebody please think of the children?! ;-)
posted by davidmsc at 8:18 AM on June 16, 2001

Now I know why it's not easy being green.
posted by holgate at 9:20 AM on June 16, 2001

("Inner city", of course, is the leftist code word for non-White.)

it is?!

shall I check my skin color again? or was I just brainwashed into believing I grew up in manhattan?
posted by rabi at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2001

Encouraging diversity and co-existence, from the twisted perspective of this womans head, is evil. That she selects Sesame Street to vent her oddball brand of neurotic rage upon is a paradoxical endorsement of the programmes success in maintaining this fundamental underlying ideal throughout its 30 or so year existence. A normal, openminded, sane, healthy person can only be even more in favour of the show after reading that page. Oh yeh, talking of Monty Python, i see Dudley Moore got a CBE today.
posted by Kino at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2001

Also, "urban" = black (that never made any sense to me)
posted by owillis at 10:27 AM on June 16, 2001

I have a problem with the show just because it uses the rapid fire delivery, Just like MTV. Look at when Sesame Street started and the mass influx of ADD ADHD diagnosis? IT gets the children, especially the smart ones, wired for the rapid flash which is not in schools.. ok I can ramble on. The show is bad.
posted by crackheadmatt at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2001

crackheadmatt, the modern Sesame Street has tuned down the 'rapid-fire delivery' for just this reason. (Half of every show is the slow-paced "Elmo's World", now. (Yurgh.)) But blaming the AD(H)D 'epidemic' on this single show is ridiculous. Correlation != causation.
posted by darukaru at 10:47 AM on June 16, 2001

I think kids, in their leisure time entertainment guzzling mode, have a naturally short attention span. It seems to me to be quite healthy (excluding its extreme forms) and allows for a wide variety of information to be ingested in the shortest amount of time. Certain TV shows formats cleverly appeal to this trait and are often blamed for creating it. As kids grow, and their attention spans follow suit, they then have an almost encyclopedic range of 'seeds of interests' to investigate in more depth (and possibly more advanced multi-tasking skills as a result). Although TV shows/stations often take commercial advantage of this and certain types of programming can possibly encourage childrens attention spans to shorten they aren't exclusively to blame for it and it isn't necessarily such a bad thing in itself. The abuse of it on the other hand, can be.
posted by Kino at 11:06 AM on June 16, 2001


sesame street ruined my life.

i still wake up in cold sweats with things like this bouncing around in my mind:

"one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!"

"six! Ah-Ah-Ahhh!!"

"oh i love trash!"

"one of these things is not like the other..."

and let's not forget the damage done by the electric company. and in canada, we also had the friendly giant and mr. dressup.

damn you! damn you all to hell!
posted by bwg at 11:10 AM on June 16, 2001

This woman lives in a very small and closed-off world. I wonder, though... I've got a friend named Leonard that I hug whenever I see him, but I'm thinking that maybe I should wash myself afterwards, because he's *gasp!* black, and his blackness might start to rub off onto my white skin...

Damnit, where's my soap?
posted by lizardboy at 11:29 AM on June 16, 2001

As the (white) father of 2 Asian-born children, I scrutinize every kids' TV show to carefully to make sure there are minority children. For example, as much as even mentioning the purple dinosaur Barney will make many of your groan, I've always liked that Barney has a fine, diverse cast of children (including a child who wears a hearing aid); one thing that made me very angry about the Barney feature film was how it reverted to an all-white family story with a token black friend along.

As for Sesame Street and the quick-cuts techniques, when the show was formed it deliberately decided to use quick techniques from advertising to catch the attention of children.

I have to say my kids, especially in their toddler and preschool incarnations, and all their friends I know never paid the slightest attention to race. (And since my son, Nick, 3, is Cambodian in a town (Milwaukee) where there are almost no Cambodians, people have a hard time figuring out what ethnicity he is anyway.)
posted by jhiggy at 11:36 AM on June 16, 2001

People like Sister Lisa have a way of viewing the world that makes sense to them and gives them comfort. It is a way built on fear and loathing. I think the best I can do is to keep my kids safe and to resist and speak loud and clearly, when such darkness comes.
posted by riley370 at 1:41 PM on June 16, 2001

Jew toob

riley370, your ignorance is only surpassed by your stupidity. It's people like riley370 that make me so angry that I want to stomp their Nazi ass back to the cave that they crawled out from. Thank God for free speech, because it's people like riley370 that use it every day to reveal the fallacious reasoning behind their ignorant and baseless points of view.

Again, where is the Christian love (a phase which seems to becoming an oxymoron the more that I think about it) you talk of? Oh I forgot that type of love is only for certain people. I guess I just don't qualify.
posted by Bag Man at 1:56 PM on June 16, 2001

bag man: are you confusing riley370 with the author of the link he posted? I see no evidence in his past comments that he himself is racist or anti-semitic.

it's frustrating to read something so reprehensible, I agree, but if you're going to strike out, it's important to do so with some modicum of accuracy. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 2:20 PM on June 16, 2001

Heh heh. What I liked best about this article was the high-school essay format. Sister Lisa was paying attention in sophomore composition class, and it shows.

Start with a quote in italics, then comment on that quote. Put your thesis at the end of the first paragraph, and to make double-sure we know what you're attempting to do with the piece, make sure to include a sentence like, "Hopefully, after you read this article, you will never feel the same about this supposedly "innocent" children's show , and will make sure that it is off-limits to your children from now on." Then, at the end, hammer your thesis home by reiterating it in the conclusion paragraph (which should be really short, because by now you're like, so bored with writing this essay that you just want it to be like, over!)
posted by Hildago at 2:38 PM on June 16, 2001

Jeez Bag Man. A bit trigger happy?
posted by skyline at 3:18 PM on June 16, 2001

and to keep things in perspective, the world church of the creator is a white supremacy group.


just in case they didn't make it obvious.
posted by jcterminal at 3:39 PM on June 16, 2001

bag man: it's apparent that the author of that passage is ignorant, and, unfortunately, you have made yourself seem just as ignorant as she. the reason people go out and make these horrible accusations and silly remarks is because they never stop and think.

anyway, i grew up and still live in texas. i went to a multicultural elementary school, so luckily enough i wasn't exposed to avid racism at an early age. but, as you grow older and become more cognizant, you realize that there are quite a few hate mongerers out there. especially in these here parts. the thing about a lot of you, in california or new york or whatever jet setting eurotrash state you're from, is that you're just as ignorant as sister lisa when it comes to different cultures within your own country. there are tons of people out there who think people in texas use horses as a major form of transportation and wear ten gallon hats everywhere. and even more people think we're all white, or mexican.

the point i'm trying to make is that ignorance is unavoidable. hardly anyone can be aware of every culture out there and remain entirely open minded. i don't blame sister lisa, number one, because she was brainwashed by whatever white supremicist church she came from. and with these beginnings, it's hard to change your ways. what she said was disgusting and spiteful, and i, a white person, found it offensive. but it doesn't get to me, because it's the type of mindless dredge i would expect to hear from an eight year old autistic child. it's all in her head, but unfortunately nurtured by the people she chooses to associate with.
posted by natasharama at 4:13 PM on June 16, 2001

Oh, lay off the bag man. I almost made the same mistake.
It's upsetting when they attack the Muppets, dammit.
You get disoriented with the crazy rage.
posted by dong_resin at 4:18 PM on June 16, 2001

Thanks Rebecca. Maybe my comment was too oblique, but I've met people like Sister Lisa (and I've met their children who survived the conditioning), and they are truly convinced of the rightness of their views. Being truly convinced of anything is foolish. Check out their site deeper..it is worldwide and full of dangerous and irresponsible fear. Lights need to be shone on such ignorant corners.
posted by riley370 at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2001

Van Morrison, on the 73 album Hard Nose the Highway, actually sang It's not easy being Green, but I think he was talking about being Irish, which is tough, but we Irish, as the Commitments said are the....
posted by Zootoon at 4:52 PM on June 16, 2001

She can say what she wants all she wants, but what I question is people shining a spotlight on it. Let her speak her piece, but leave those tired of hearing it in peace.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:58 PM on June 16, 2001


I mean sure it's fun to cry fire in a movie theater, but most people don't do it cuz ...well just cuz! Isn't it obvious why we don't do that? Isn't it obvious why hateful and ignorant racist crap like this is just stupid? I feel like I have to turn off parts of my brain just to listen to a racist so I can argue down on his level and it's ..it's like trying to explain historical geology to a three year old. It just hurts the head.

Okay. Sure. Fine. We have the inalienable right to free speech as human beings. You have the right to point and click and post what you want in here. I stand behind that. But there's some stuff you don't have the right to do cuz it's not your server. And there's some stuff you don't have the right to do cuz if you do the majority of MeFi participants will come down on you like an anvil.

Well. You have the right. But you have to accept the consequences. Matt might send you a firm but nice email letter calmly saying he doesn't want to delete your name in here. MeFi participants might be much more harsh. So there's some things ya just don't do in here.

And then there's stuff like this. Stuff that's in a vague category all its own.

There's some stuff ya just don't HAVE to spotlight for others. Just cuz. It's tiresome. Okay sure fine sometimes yes I'll relent it IS funny to find a hatemonger like this and point fingers and snicker and elbow each other into the bushes, but why?? Ick.

I guess in the future I'll just skip over threads like this. I often skip threads that just don't personally interest me but this one was just. ...DAMN. I mean come on!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:14 PM on June 16, 2001

"...the Irish are the Jews of Europe"?

I actually said that, in brotherhood, to a very drunk Irish bloke, in the stairwell of Gordon's bar in London. And as a third-generation Irish export, knowing the wanderings and exclusions of my great- and grandfather, I can back that one up.
posted by holgate at 5:56 PM on June 16, 2001

Zach, you might be interested in the MetaTalk thread about this post.
posted by sudama at 7:33 PM on June 16, 2001

kids, in their leisure time entertainment guzzling mode, have a naturally short attention span.

Depends on the age of the kid, I think. Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point has a very interesting section on Blue's Clues, for example. That show demonstrates that kids can not only pay attention to one thing for half an hour, they can enjoy the same program over and over again, even if it's shown every single day for a week. Up to a certain age, kids find similarity and repetition invaluable in trying to make sense of the world, and while they are stimulated by novelty, they may or may not actually learn anything from it.
posted by kindall at 9:52 PM on June 16, 2001

Zach, thanks for the tip. I will think "Filter before Metafilter" now.
posted by riley370 at 10:30 PM on June 16, 2001

Riley370: Read the MetaTalk thread before concluding that this link was inappropriate.

Sister Lisa Turner has been interviewed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
posted by rcade at 6:34 AM on June 17, 2001

Yeah Kindall, another example of that would be the massive success of the tellytubbies with its 'again, again' segment.
posted by Kino at 5:47 PM on June 17, 2001

Such racist drivel is like Tinky Winky suddenly attacking the other Teletubbies with a machine gun because they're not all blue

especially disturbing when you consider that Tinky Winky is purple, and that none of them are blue.
posted by tolkhan at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2001

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