Learning On The Streets: How Sesame Street Changed The World

803 words - 4 pages

The invention of television in the late 1920’s would have lasting effects on the world. By the late 1940’s, televisions began appearing in homes across the US, though they were still expensive and uncommon at that time. The magic of television fascinated people, and in 1946, thirteen-year-old Jim Henson was insistent that his family have a television of their own. As he would later put it, “I badgered my family into buying a set. I absolutely loved television,” (qtd. in ch. 2, Jones). Watching the four stations available in the D.C. area throughout his adolescence religiously, the lifelong gadget-lover decided then he was going to work in television. He would watch the variety shows ...view middle of the document...

He once wrote:

Television is one of the greatest connectors around. The world is an immense network of human relationships, and peace and the resolution of conflict can only come through greater awareness of our connections. I think it’s possible to change the world by reinforcing our inter-connectiveness. (qtd. in ch. 12, Jones)
Jim’s view on the potential of television to be a positive force continued throughout his career. In the early 1980’s, Jim decided to create a children’s television specifically for an international audience. “I want to do a children’s show that will stop war,” Jim had once said. The program was intended to show how through misunderstanding, unnecessary problems are created and how cooperation can lead to overall improvement (ch. 11, Jones).
The result of a brainstorm session between Jim and several other collaborators was Fraggle Rock, a show about three different Muppet species, Fraggles, hard-working Doozers, and three giant Gorgs, living together in balance despite their differences in views and lifestyles (ch. 11, Jones). Episodes of Fraggle Rock include interactions between the Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs occurring within Fraggle Rock as well as accounts of one Fraggle, Travelling Matt, and his explorations of “outer space,” the human world. Travelling Matt writes about the “Silly...

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