Friday, June 13, 2008

He-wo Guy

Okay. Sesame Street.

I grew up watching Sesame Street. I learned to read watching this show. I learned basic Spanish watching this show. All before I was in kindergarten. I love the fact that my children will be able to have a similar experience with this show as I had - the educational experience.

Unless, of course, you count Baby Bear.

Baby Bear is one of the newer muppets in the hood on the Street. He has a speech impediment. A bad, BAD speech impediment. I don't know what the hell he's saying half the time. I understand the importance of inclusion on this show. There are characters of every color, and the real-life inhabitants of this happy place in Brooklyn are from every race and ethnicity known to man. Except a Pakistani. I don't think I've ever seen a Pakistani saunter up to Oscar and ask how life in the can has been.

But I digress.

I even understand the importance of having the "brothers" Noodle on there. You know, Mr. Noodle, and his "brother" Mr. Noodle? I'm sure many of the young kids watching the show these days are being raised by two "brothers." Hey - who am I to judge? To each his own. His own noodle, that is. Ha ha.

Why, though, do the powers that be feel the need to include segments led by this bear? What is this teaching my son - that baby talk is normal? That it's cute or funny to speak in a way that no one understands? Honest to God, Sesame Workshop - send the bear to speech therapy!

And how 'bout Baby Bear's friend that he draws - Hero Guy, or, when pronounced by the bear, "He-wo Guy-eee." He-wo Guy-eee even has his own theme song, sung by Baby Bear. And it goes a little somethin' like this:

He's a he-wo, he's a guy-eee, he's a HE-wo, he's a guy-eee....he's HE-WO GUY-EEEEEE!"

No shit. A hero AND a guy, you say? Get outta here.

Hero Guy has the same inflection, cadence, speech impediment...what have Baby Bear, making it equally, if not more, annoying to listen to. Baby Boy looks at these characters like they're crazy. I made it perfectly clear from the beginning that we wouldn't do the baby talk thing, and made sure anyone who tried to do so with him understood that we were teaching our son to speak normally. As it is, if someone speaks to him using the baby talk voice (our pedi does it - drives me nuts, and BB thinks he's a wacko), Baby Boy will look at the person in such a way that you know he's thinking Man, this person's an idiot.

I urge you, creators of Sesame Street. Give Baby Bear the yank. He's not doing anything for the educational value of the show, and that's what you pride yourselves on, right? If you insist on keeping him, though, why don't you chronicle Baby Bear's experience with attending speech therapy, with a special episode following his teachers writing up an IEP/inclusion plan?

1 comment:

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

i'm dying laughing because that SONG DRIVES ME INSANE! and yes, the fact that speech-impediment bear is on the show is annoying too. i mean, it doesn't seem to me that it will teach the kids 'tolerance' for the kids who can't pwonounce theiw r's, i think it may make them think that they, too can talk like that.

agree with you 100%.

(side note: speaking of tolerance. i was just flipping channels and came across "world's smallest mom". disturbing to say the least. guess i'm intolerant."