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Friday, September 5, 2008

The End of 'Mr. Rogers'

This Monday, Mr Rogers' Neighborhood will no longer have a presence on PBS stations all over the country, according to the Chicago Tribune. No Mr. Rogers? Shambollocks lives in fear of a country where Fred Rogers does not untie his shoes and hang his jacket in perpetuity. His death five years ago came as enough of a shock; now we must deal with the knowledge that our children won't learn the timeless lessons of care and responsibilty we all learned in Fred's gentle kingdom.

Cartoonist Chris Ware of Oak Park wrote:

"The show is fundamentally about clumsy, awkward, uncomfortable real life, and it's one of the last places on television where children can see it honestly reflected (regardless of the 1980s clothing and 1970s cars, which young kids don't notice, anyway)," he wrote. "With very little camera editing on the program, it also 'feels' more real."

True, Chris. WTTW's station manager states that most likely Fred Rogers will find a home on the internet. I hope so. Along with Sesame Street, Electric Company, 321 Contact, and Reading Rainbow, Mr Rogers' Neigborhood provided many generations with a foundation of functional knowledge and social responsibility. I want my children to grow up with Fred Rogers. And I know I'm not alone.

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