Thursday, February 24, 2011


"Say what you like about The Red Menace (and I have, I have), "Elmo’s World" gets the pedagogy right. From now on, if you got a problem with Elmo, then you got a problem with me. I got that monster’s back." -Danny Horn

What I like about Elmo:
  • He's on Sesame Street, and I'm never going to have big problems with the Street.  Loved it since I was a wee tot myself.
  • He's friendly, he's aimed at younger kids, and he's not age-inappropriate or a bad role model.  Mostly.
  • I don't actually find his voice too annoying.  Maybe I will in three years.
  • I can never, ever hate a Muppet.  It's against my religion.
  • Maeve likes him, and it's not going to get me anywhere, hating what Maeve loves.

What drives me crazy about Elmo: 
  • The lack of personal pronouns.  I get it, he's supposed to be 3.  But I have known three-year-olds that successfully use personal pronouns, and I think it would be better to model the good language rather than the lack of it.
  • The dumbing-down of Sesame Street - it used to be pitched to 5-year olds or so, and now seems to be pitched to toddlers, because Kindergartners these days are way too cool for Sesame Street and would rather watch SpongeBob.  So Elmo, Zoe, and Abby-Cadabby have taken the spotlight, and I miss the other guys.  This is why we watch old school Sesame Street on dvds, at least for now.
  • The ubiquity: Elmo is on every Sesame Street product in existence, it seems.  This is why my daughter recognizes him.  
But like I said, how can I argue with the fact that Maeve likes him?  And I think my quoted person is right to a degree, Elmo's World is the right kind of educational, and makes my head hurt considerably less than Barney.  Maeve is young enough that her tastes are still fairly broad; she likes Word World, Fraggle Rock, and really any show where there's singing and music.  So I'm saved the toddler-obsessions for now.


No comments:

Post a Comment