Sesame Street Banned?
Despite the popularity and nearly unamonious endorsement of educators, parents, and their target audience, Sesame Street is not without its critics. In the small town of Avalon, Georgia, there is much discussion of banning the Educational Program.
Confused? A little history may be necessary to fully understand. Since the passage of the "Devil's Box Prohibition Act of 1953" televisions were banned from 1953 until 1998 when the Prohibition was lifted. The rationale behind such a prohibition was due to a concern about the impact of 50's television on moral values. The act had been discussed years prior but gained momentum when the residents of Avalon were outraged by the depecition of a pregnant woman on "I Love Lucy."
Following the passage of the ban, televisions were gathered up by authorities and in a public display were smashed and burned in a pyre to symbolize the burning away of impure thoughts that may have been present while watching sitcoms.Fast forward to the year 1996: Fox News is launched. Due to the lack of newspapers that report outside the city limits of the town, it takes almost a year for the news of the new conservative news network to reach the town of Avalon. This was also in part due to the lack of ventures both personal and finanical as part of a collective effort to preserve the values of the community.
While this knowledge piqued the interest of the Avalon to overturn the ban on television, it was not until a local wanted to broadcast his own cable access show. Jethro Wallace had been mulling over a program that would providing hunting tips and local news commentary. He started a petition to overturn the ban on television in the spring of 1998. The grass roots effort proved sucessful as he obtained 100 signatures for his petition, making up 40% of the population of Avalon. The petition was presented to the local legislative brnach whose members up for re-election voted in favor of repealing the 1953 Act.
Over the next six months, the locals obtained once again televisions and were installing their homes with cable hookups. They were pleased by the new Fox News but felt it was a bit too liberal. They also applauded new local cable access program and the programs that followed.
But one program of particular concern was PBS. This network hosted many alien concepts: foreign cultures, nature shows, sex ed programming, "revisionist" history of the civil war and Cirque De Soleil, described by one local "the gayest **** i've eva seen." The most controversial program proved to be Sesame Street. While offended by many other programs offered by the network, this particular program was considered to be beyond offensive. Subversive is what many described it as. To quote one local "Sesame Street is dangerous and corrupts children."
Sesame Street corrupting children? This program we've weaned our children on and taught them how to share and accept each others differences and introduces children to reading? Jacob Lee of the local government profanely explained it: "I can't believe they put this homosexual, n*****-loving, communist garbage on the air! We are at war with the Commies and we put this on television?!? It's obviously a conspiracy so that by the time these kids grow up, they will be unfit to take them those b*****ds on! All this sharing...which leads to communists...all this conflict resolution turns kids into homosexuals...all these Mopeds which obviously are *beep* and sp*cs in disguise being taught to be equals...will lead to race mixing...that's just plain disgusting, like *beep* a monkey! would you want your children to *beep* a monkey? well maybe up north but not down here! Before they'll invite *beep* ruining our *beep* existance! They even have *beep* talking to children, obscene as we all understand the Negro mind is as filthy as their skin! We've worked hard to keep our community white. We have standards! We must save our children before it's too late! Won't someone think of the children!"
So now the debate rages on in this little community. Not just on the merits of the educational program nor PBS but of television as a whole which lead some to suspect "it's 1953 all over again!" Another program that is causing concern is the broadcasts of "Cirque De Soleil" which is feared to cause homosexuality and "Reading Rainbow" which encourages children to read books other than The Bible. Challenges lie ahead now that a resident has finally obtained a computer. It remains to be seen what the community of Avalon will think of the Internet. Stay posted, my friends
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