Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Take That, Big Bird!

I'm gonna get a little political on ya'll today. If you haven't been watching the presidential debates, you may be a little lost. Basically Romney stated some things needed to be cut from the budget, for example PBS (even though he likes Big Bird, so no offense!), and then panties began to bunch in liberal minds across the country. But First of all, let me give you my disclaimer:

I like Mitt Romney. I think he's a good guy, with good moral fiber and I think he has the brains and economic savviness to run our country. With that being said, I am not an Obama Hater either. I am, however, a HUGE PBS SUPPORTER!!!!!!

I don't really think Romney wants to cut funding for PBS; I think it was of an example he just pulled out of his rear. At least that's what I'm telling myself because I refuse to believe that THIS is what needs to go as long as the woman using her EBT card at my local Winn Dixie drives off in a new Escalade. But I digress.

I did my internship at WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, in beautiful Pensacola, Florida. I loved it, my coworkers, my job, and the whole ideology behind public broadcasting. I learned so much regarding nonprofit business, marketing, public relations, and what educational television brings to a community.

But even before that, many, many, many years ago...PBS was in my heart. Living in very rural South Alabame, we didn't have cable because there were no cable lines that went out that far. Satellite was an option if you wanted to pay about $200 a month. Which basically meant it was not an option for my tight-wad dad who thought all kids needed to play outside. (I totally agree, by the way!) We got four channels, and one of them was PBS. That meant if I wanted to watch cartoons, there was no Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. It was Shining Times Station, Barney, Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?, Wishbone, Sesame Street, and my utmost favorite--Reading Rainbow.

I loved Reading Rainbow. It was all about books, which I also loved. I remember thinking it was so cool when Levar Burton read a book that I had already read and liked. The whole show was educational and it made books just come alive. I truly believe that show played a huge part in my love of reading, and possibly even my love of writing as well.

As I got older, I would sometimes get lucky on a rainy Saturday and catch Anne of Green Gables on Masterpiece Theater Classics. This was one of my absolute favorite books as a young girl, and once again PBS brought it to life for me. And now, Masterpiece Theater and PBS have lured me back in with the phenomenal, critically-acclaimed Downtown Abbey series. This is must-see TV for me, and I'm already on pins and needles waiting to see what happens to Lady Mary and the family estate.

My DVR is full of trash TV. I can't say I've ever learned anything from an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County aside from the pitfalls of plastic surgery and the occasional cocktail recipe. And while those are good lessons to learn, I don't think they've enriched my life in any way. And while Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is entertaining, it's definitely not a show that can be discussed with illectuals over a dinner party.

Likewise, although Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is one of Charlotte's personal faves, it's not really that educational. Let's be honest, when she gets a little older, I doubt she is going to yell "Oh Toodles!" to bring her the appropriate tool for the task at hand. At least I hope not. And unlike Dora, she won't have a magical backpack that makes enchiladas and helps her find her way out of the woods.

But she might have a book. And in Kindergarten she might just remember that her name begins with a "C", and it brought Sesame Street to her the day before.  Or she might even know how to count to twelve because of The Count.

Either way, I pray she doesn't grow up in a world without PBS. I hope I don't grow old in a world without PBS! And like I said, as long as there is money in the system for stupid crap like free cell phones, I refuse to believe the cuts should start with Big Bird.

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