Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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YoB&E: Day 217--Subway song

I wasn't going to use this one because it's more a song/sketch that happens to have Bert in it than anything else, but today I'm in a subversive mood, so here goes:

This is a up-tempo, jazzy-sounding song, but if you really pay attention to it, it doesn't actually portray the subway in a very positive light. I didn't pick up on that when I was a kid, possibly because most of the lyrics went by so fast (and because I lived in a rural area and had no experience to relate it to). But they keep talking about how hot and crowded it is, and then there's one gratuitously sinister innuendo in the lyrics at about 1:21. As much as I enjoy the multilevel humor on Sesame Street, that's pushing things a little too far.

With that said, the main reason I'm posting this video is that I got annoyed at Amazon today for recommending a (*gag*) Barney video to me based on my history of buying Sesame-related videos, and I want to illustrate how stupid that is. In its narrow computer way of processing, it thinks that because I've bought a few videos intended for a preschool audience, that I'm interested in preschool videos. But not all preschool shows are created equal. Moreover, while I do have some interest in preschool content because of my two-year-old niece, overall I'm much more interested in Muppets and things that are funny, two categories into which the purple menace does not fit.

Over the last 44 years, Sesame Street has evolved and adapted in order to survive, becoming a little brighter and cheerier and having its edge smoothed down a little bit. Nevertheless, I maintain that it has created, and continues to create, some of the best satire on television, continuing to push the boundaries in a way that's really very audacious, yet somehow manages not to become tacky and offensive (at least, not usually).

For example, Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

You don't see anything that daring on Barney, do you? Of course not. I rest my case.

What's interesting is the fact that, even though there are more concerned-parent-media-watchdog groups now than there were when Sesame Street began, they never seem to get upset about those bits in which they deliberately push the envelope; rather they always seem to take something innocuous and blow it way out of proportion. For their part, the Sesame writers seem to be really annoyed by the whole concept of tabloid culture and satirize it mercilessly. To wit:


and more recently

(if you have 15 minutes, you can watch the entire Street Story here)
Tags: idiocy, internet videos, music, year of bert & ernie
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