Thursday, July 5, 2007

won't you be my neighbor?

My office building has these ridiculous flat screen TVs in the lobby and in the elevators. They post news headlines, weather reports, words of the day, and other random-ass crap. Today they posted a particularly disturbing theory: Mr. Rogers is to blame for the narcissism of youth today. W.T.F.

Further research led me to a blasphemous article in The Wall Street Journal. That's right, folks, a supposedly credible newssource is blaming Fred Rogers for the corruption of our children.

The supposed "problem" with Mr. Rogers is that he taught us all that we were special and are loved just the way we are. Instead, he should have been telling us that there is always room for improvement and we need to work hard in order to be loved or viewed as a contributing member of society. I'm all for teaching hard work, but what is so wrong with feeling special?!? As much as I feel that our generation is consumed by ignorant, self-fulfilled twits, I also believe that there is not nearly enough love. For many kids, Mr. Rogers was probably the only person who ever made them feel special, and I thank him for that. The problem with our generation is not Mr. Rogers, it's the parents who believe they can buy their children's love and that sentiment is passed on to the children. The article in the WSJ discusses a professor who is sick of his students pestering him for extra points. Mr. Rogers didn't do that buddy, the parents who bought their kids toys to keep them quiet did.

Mr. Rogers is an icon of all that is right in the world. He was peaceful, intelligent, friendly, and made those around him happy. What more can you ask for?

The U.S. Senate (take that, WSJ!) issued the following statement about Mr. Rogers shortly after his death:

"Through his spirituality and placid nature, Mr. Rogers was able to reach out to our nation's children and encourage each of them to understand the important role they play in their communities and as part of their families. More importantly, he did not shy away from dealing with difficult issues of death and divorce but rather encouraged children to express their emotions in a healthy, constructive manner, often providing a simple answer to life's hardships."

And finally, to prove that Mr. Rogers promotes good behavior, I'll tell you my most favorite Mr. Rogers story. Mr. Rogers drove a Chevy Impala for many, many years. One day it was stolen out of the TV studio lot. A reporter happened to be with him when he found out and the story was quickly broadcast on newstations across the country. Within a few days, the car was returned to its spot at the studio with a note that read "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it!"

RIP, Mr. Rogers. Shame lies in the WSJ and their ridiculous writings.

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