Monday, February 1, 2010

It might be so much bigger than it seems

I asked a question in the post before the iPad thing happened - what do you do if you're on a project you want but know it will end soon?

Red Pill Junkie answered - "You give it everything you've got." Andy offered this - "make the best damn beer you can." Yes, I remember saying that, Andy, and you guys are absolutely right.

The other day, I was at a recording of one of the episodes we're working on. We got to the end of the episode and I listened carefully. Like many children's cartoons, it ended with a nice positive moral. This message was no different to ones I've heard many times on children's television but, for some reason, with whatever way it was read, it sounded important.

It sounded like something that might stick.

Something that, somewhere deep inside, might survive the beat down that is school. The oppression of what we're sold as the 'real world'. And I thought, if enough children believe the message behind this little story buried in this unassuming children's show, truly believe it, when these children grow up, we'll be creating a better life.

Can children's television really lead to a revolution? I don't know, probably not. But everything a child is exposed to helps form their world view. Sets their boundaries. Or breaks them. Television for children can be worse than junk food, glorified ads, or work against parents creating chaos. Or it can be something wonderful. Something that entertains, that contributes positively to their world. And then, to our world.

Right now, I'm a very small part of that. Just a tiny part. And it may not last long. But, right now, I'll give it all I've got.


Andy Latham said...

A tiny part of something good is a great thing Bitter. "Good" is a rare comodity, so we have to savour every bit of it. And that tiny good seed has every chance of inspiring someone else to produce a seed of their own.

Who was it that said "All you can take with you is that which you give away"? A very wise person, whoever it was.

Red Pill Junkie said...

A children's TV program cannot start a Revolution.

What it *can* do, is inspire 1 or 2 kids, so that when they grow up they become the leaders of that Revolution.

I suppose it's the same with teaching. There has to come a realization in every teacher that they won't be able to make a lasting impression in all of their students. But maybe —just maybe— they'll be lucky enough to find that one remarkable promising young kid, and if they are good teachers, help him discover his true potential.

Right now, Stan Lee can boast he helped change the history of the United States, because a young black kid that read Spider Man —and might have been inffluenced by Peter Parker's heroic example— in time became the President of the United States ;)

Red Pill Junkie said...

PS: Are you by any chance growing a beard, mate? :)

susan said...

Children's programming can start a revolution.

Didn't American TV make UK children say Z instead of Zed thanks to Elmo and pals?

I hope you are growing a beard! I wonder if the kiddies you work with say "ooh, scratchie!"

Bitter Animator said...

It's not so much that I'm growing a beard. More that I'm not doing anything to prevent it happening itself.

But then I'm sure you'll say that inaction is, in itself, an action.

And, yes, Sesame Street has contributed to many changes. Revolution? I don't know. Not far off in its own small ways.