Sesame_Street_season_40_title_cardI’m not going to act like a ’90s kid and say that “Sesame Street” was my childhood, but I’d being lying if I said it didn’t have a connection to the educational show which premiered on Nov. 10, 1969, according to the Muppet Wiki (Yes, that is definitely a thing),  at a young age.

Apart from “The Magic School Bus,” PBS was basically just something on TV when there was nothing else. “Sesame Street” was just there. Eventually the characters came to hold a spot close to my heart. I can’t recall whether I had a favorite character or not, but if I made an educated guess I’d probably go with Cookie Monster (probably because he’s blue, or maybe the cookies.)

At their core, they’re all characters that have good values and teach basic learning concepts. While, I wasn’t a visual learner, the colorful Muppets still drew me in, even getting me to count along with them.

Now, educational institution which has been around for almost 50 years is facing the cut.

Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposes cuts for nearly 20  independent agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — home of the “Street.”

There has been much commentary as to the negative effects that would go along with actually going through with these cuts.

One specific commentary features #ParodyElmo in the video, “Elmo Gets FIRED.” Only, I didn’t know it was a parody at the time.

It starts out innocently enough. It shows Elmo in an office talking to someone who has an authoritative, yet sympathetic voice.

I don’t want to hurt anyone “right in the childhood,” but it takes a dark turn. The end of the video shows the reality of what life would be like without the CPB, and without “Sesame Street.”

The realization is, life would be pretty dull.

Once again, the video itself has nothing to do with the actual “Sesame Street,” but it visualizes just how easy it can be to take away the magic from a child.

The sad thing is, these independent agencies are underfunded already.

As someone who’s worked within public radio, at 91.3 KVLU, Lamar’s public radio station, I can testify that they’re definitely not getting much.

But, focusing just on PBS, “Sesame Street” to be specific, I’m 21 years old, and still see how it has impacted me today, but how it still continues to effect young, developing children today.

While “Sesame Street” is 48 years old, it is not like a bad comedy series who long ago jumped the shark — it is as vibrant and as relevant to today’s children as it was for me . It’s educational, topical, and just good-hearted.

And, just like life, it’s ever-changing. The introduction of Julia, the first Muppet with autism, proves that the show is continually being more and more progressive.

“Sesame Street” isn’t the core of my childhood, but, really,  isn’t it a part of everyone’s?

And I hope it stays that way.

Trevier Gonzalez

UP multimedia editor

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