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The swelling hate on display in America is reaching heights this election season that has me deeply discouraged. We have real problems. We also have more resources to address them than any nation. Yet we get vitriol.
I watched I Am Big Bird and feel a lot better. It is available from various sources including free streaming for Amazon Prime members.
The life of Carrol Spinney, who is the performer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, is an ‘only in America’ life in full. His is a window into brilliant Americans establishing educational children’s TV through characters that now beloved across the world. How Bob Hope and Big Bird visited China as diplomatic relations thawed. How Big Bird returned for a journey of discovery around China and many other countries. How several generations of children have learned positive life lessons from Big Bird and the Sesame Street ensemble.
This is the genius of America and of Americans at our best.
I mentally wrote this piece while watching, then in the later part of the film, the 2012 presidential election intruded in the form of Governor Romney’s comment about cutting PBS funding but still liking Big Bird. “Oh no,” I thought, “now half the country will say this is liberal media bias.” Yet, my next reaction was how quaint that seemed compared to today. In 2012 we had two honorable candidates committed to public service, and a comment about Big Bird was a big deal. In 2016 we have, well, we all know what we have.
Take a break from the misery to watch I Am Big Bird.