Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lessons from the Street

The Sesame Street, that is.

June is sick once more and we've been giving her at least two breathing treatments a day to help her with her coughing. I stopped by the library to get her a new video to watch during the treatments since we're all singing Juno Baby songs in our sleep by now. I picked up a DVD that features 90's and 2000's era pop artists singing their hits with lyrics adjusted to fit the Sesame audience. So, for example, James Blunt sang that one song, "You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful it's true." And the song is about "My triangle, my triangle...."

(I find these hilarious. Word play, man. There's one line in that song where Telly sings, "It must be those angles that put a smile on your face, not to mention the hypotenuse." Killed me dead.)

The first song on the DVD is singing a song called "What I Am" with a bunch of characters. It's an adorable song, but one thing is horribly distracting: that looks like he would rather be anywhere on this Earth than making a Sesame Street video.

I'm not sure if he's just trying to look cool, look 'above' Sesame Street or what...but it's really unfortunate because it takes away from an otherwise upbeat and encouraging song. (For the record, this version done by just the monsters is SO much better.)

And then you have other songs, like Adam Sandler's "A Song About Elmo" and Ricky Gervais's "Celebrity Lullaby"  and most of the others where the stars really commit and go all out and the result is so great and cute and genuine. (Yeah, I just used those words to describe Ricky Gervais, possibly a first for him.)

And I found myself thinking, while watching Sheryl Crow sing about how the letter "I" wants to "Soak Up the Sun" and I'm thinking about how this is a metaphor for life. (Could second-hand Albuteral be making me high?)

Who looked cooler - who was rolling his eyes while furry muppets danced merrily around him? Or Adam Sandler, who let a 7-foot dragon nuzzle him and shouted all of his weird words that rhymed with "Elmo"?

In Tina Fey's book Bossypants, which I loved, one of my favorite parts was when she talked about why Will Ferrell was so good on SNL. She said that he was loved because he committed. He gave as much of his heart and soul into sketches that were just so-so as he did into "Cowbell" and the cheerleader skits and Robert Goulet. People like it when you give yourself, show yourself. I think people are drawn to people who are vulnerable and genuine.

I will try to remember this when I feel like I need to lock myself up, streamline my personality, make it fit into that cookie cutter that I assume the adult world wants.

In short: = no. Dragon nuzzle = yes.


  1. We watch those on youtube all the time. I love them. Have you seen Feist sing 1,2,3, 4 on sesame street. That one is one of my favs :). Glad you could enjoy them, but home your sweet girl feels better.

  2. Oh man, Athena. I love that one too, and we watch it all the time. Except the other day at work I had it stuck in my head, and found myself singing "Bock, bock, bock, bock" along with the chickens. And then I thought, "Dear Lord, what has my life come to?"