Hey, speaking personally, presidential candidate Romney's recent dismissal of Sesame Street – certainly one of the major contributions that the USA has made to international education for youngsters – was quite uncalled for! Artist Jim Henson and his co-workers created a learning vehicle that brought a string of colorful, unique, entertaining and effective characters onto The Tube so that arithmetic, reading, basic good behavior and good manners and critical thinking were presented – free! – to any kid who had a TV receiver available, and I can't imagine that there are any of us who can't sing or hum the tune that opened that wonderful show...
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way, to where the air is sweet...
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?
Dear reader, confess. You were humming along, weren't you...? Yes, you were, and Mitt Romney thinks this is a waste of my tax money? No, I'm not here to push politics, folks, but I think that we need to get our values together...
I may feel particularly sensitive about Sesame Street because I was peripherally involved in its very first stages. When the series was first proposed in 1969, I was called in to perform a few tricks for the "pilot" episode, and I'd like to feel that my efforts just might have helped the show get noticed and accepted. I certainly hope so. My appearance in the pilot, along with those of James Earl Jones, Carol Burnett, and so many others, sold that show to PBS. To my regret, I wasn't taken on as a regular character for Sesame Street, but I've always appreciated what this show did – and still does – for so many children – not only here in the USA but around the world!
You can see my participation here:
James Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.