This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.

I try not to get sucked into the Facebook anger-wormhole as much as I possibly can.

You all know the Facebook anger-wormhole. One of your friends (or acquaintances, or whoever) posts a link to a post that they’re TOTALLY INCENSED about, and if you watch it, odds are good that your blood pressure’s going to go up. So you have to make a choice. Do you watch it? Or do you say DANGER WILL ROBINSON! and avoid it altogether and keep your blood pressure in a normal range, at least until you are tempted by the next link of anger-wormholeness?

Danger, Lucy's Football! DANGER!

Danger, Lucy’s Football! DANGER!

I try VERY HARD to avoid these things. If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’m pretty much all-or-nothing. I can’t just take something, ingest it, say, “oh! Yeah. Sucks” and move on. I feel things VERY DEEPLY. So if something’s going to upset me, it’s going to really, really upset me. That’s ok, I guess. There are worse ways to be. At least I’m self-aware enough to realize it about myself.

I got sucked into a Facebook anger-wormhole the other day. My own damn fault, really. I blame it on Fox News.

Here’s the video that got my blood pressure up.

This is a clip from Fox and Friends. My Dad really digs this show. I think it’s because he likes that the token lady-person wears a lot of cleavagey dresses and giggles a lot. (But when I brought that up, he scowled and said “SHE IS VERY SMART, AMY.” A lot of times, Dad equates smart with cleavagey, and MENSA-level with bikini-wearing.)

Mostly, I mistrust anyone with this level of a shit-eating grin, to be honest. Add to that the nonsense that Fox newspeople spout, and, well, there’s not a lot of love lost between Fox and Friends and good old Lucy’s Football. They’re no friends of mine, anyway.

This “news” clip, which (I looked) is not available as a transcript anywhere (hmm, wonder why they wouldn’t want their blathering transcripted?) is talking about a study done at Louisiana State University in 2007. For those of you playing along at home, 2007 was six years ago. This YouTube clip (and Fox and Friends story) is from 2008. So the place that posted this is about 5 years old in their outrage. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to RANT about it, just letting you know it’s not a RECENT thing. (Always do your research before you rant. You’re less likely to look like an ass.)

This study says that due to Mr. Rogers telling children who watched his show (which aired, again, for those of you playing along at home, from 1968-2001) that they were special and unique just the way they were led to them having a sense of entitlement, which directly leads to them grade-grubbing.

Professor Don Chance thinks that Mr. Rogers led to an upswing of narcissism in college students, which has been growing for 25 years, and calls these people part of “a culture of excessive doting.”

Since Fox and Friends doesn’t have transcripts, I helpfully transcripted some of the clip for you. Because I’m nothing if not helpful.

“This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.”

“Mr. Rogers didn’t say if you want to be special, you’re going to have to work hard. He said, you’re special just for being you.”

“These kids are growing up and realizing ‘hey, wait a minute, Mr. Rogers lied to me, I’m not special.'”

“Instead of saying ‘you’re special, you’re great,’ why didn’t he say, ‘there’s a lot of room for improvement. Keep working on yourself. The world owes you nothing.'”

“Mr. Rogers had a message of ‘everyone was special, even if they didn’t deserve it.'”

“The signs of narcissism in this country have been growing for 25 years.”

“That man, unintentionally, did a whole generation or two a disservice.”

“Everyone’s gonna get a trophy. Everyone’s gonna wear a sweater. Everyone wins!”

“It would be better if we went to school and then went home and milked the cow, made the butter, went onto the loom, and made our own sweaters!”

Yes. This is how things should be. Definitely.

Yes. This is how things should be. Definitely.

“It would be better for my household chores if I could train my kids to do that!”

“Instead of going to Macy’s, make your own sweater! Almost done with the right sleeve? You stay indoors til you’re done.” 

“Mmmm. Butter.” <— ACTUAL QUOTE

“Mr. Rogers and the narcissistic society he gave birth to because he told every kid that they were important.”

“DO YOU BELIEVE HIS PHILOSOPHY DESTROYED A GENERATION?”

My favorite quote is obviously the “Mmm, BUTTER” one, because it’s just this random non-sequitur that makes the Fox Friend that says it sound soft in the head.

OK. Let’s have a talk about Mr. Rogers.

I am firmly in the Mr. Rogers demographic. As a kid, we got very few channels. We got a very snowy CBS and NBC, ABC when the weather was right, two Canadian channels as clear as a bell (one of the perks of living that close to the border) and PBS. That’s it. (We also had to change the channel manually, as well as change the antenna with a rotor-box-thingy on top of the TV that made a grindy noise and moved the antenna on top of the house, and walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school.) My childhood shows were Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Mr. Dressup (that one was a Canadian wonder about a man whose child was a puppet and dressed up with clothes stored in a “Tickle Trunk”) and The Electric Company. Children of the 70s didn’t have much in the way of variety, unlike today, where there are WHOLE NETWORKS available for children, as well as DVDs when they get bored of what’s on offer.

I grew up with Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers taught wee-Amy (and later, Amy’s brother) that we were ok, just the way we were. That the bathroom drain won’t suck you down (because it’s too small and you’re too big; my brother – who will VIOLENTLY DENY THIS NOW – used to be petrified of this.) He taught us to love our friends and about different jobs and acceptance and tolerance and animals and that it’s ok to be angry, sometimes, and it’s ok to make mistakes. He taught us the value of being calm. He was an island of calm, actually, in a world that was very often loud and scary and just a little skewed. He never raised his voice. He was patient, and quiet, and when he smiled, you thought everything was going to be alright.

He did not teach either of us we were special snowflakes. We are both fairly grounded individuals; the special-snowflake gene skipped us by, or we were kept from it by parents who taught us that while, yes, we were amazing, and could do or be whatever we wanted, we damn well better be ready to work our asses off for it. Nothing comes free in this world. Being special and unique and ok just the way you are and working hard to get what you want aren’t the same thing. Why does this professor think they are? You can be a whole human being, centered, grounded and complete, yet still striving to be better, learn, grow, improve. There’s always room for growth. There’s always room for mistakes, because you learn from those, and they’re just springboards from which to reach greater things.

Mr. Rogers didn’t make a generation (or two) of children grade-grub. What in his message told kids that they were ok just the way they are, and THEREFORE INFALLIBLE? Nothing. Nothing he said, is the answer to that question.

Listen, just because this Don Chance is a professor doesn’t mean his research is correct and he’s right. I have a degree in theater, but that doesn’t mean everything I say about theater is correct. I find his research methods biased and skewed. I think he’s a bitter little man who got angry at kids who kept coming to his office begging for better grades (and I would, too – I knew those kids, both in high school and college, and they’re the pits) so he decided to blame it on someone – and he blamed it on Mr. Rogers.

So today I did a little research about Mr. Rogers.

First, here’s John Green talking about Mr. Rogers. This one’s for the kids. You know, ’cause the kids, they like John Green. (I kind of also like John Green, even if his books are a little manipulative.)

I like the anecdote at the very end the best, though. I like to think of that subway car of jaded New Yorkers seeing their childhood idol and not being able to help themselves from breaking into a song that’s part of most American children’s collective childhood memories. I like to imagine the smile on his face when that happened. He was such a good man. Such a kind man. And he really, really loved people. He didn’t just act one way on the show and another in real life. He was Mr. Rogers on the show, and Mr. Rogers in real life. He was this man.

Oh, you don’t believe me?

Fine.

Want to bawl for a few minutes? Because my glasses have tear-salt all stained up on ’em from watching this one.

This is Mr. Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate in 1969. They were going to cut PBS’ funding. This is Mr. Rogers all fired up about something. I like how Mr. Rogers all-fired-up is a quieter, more intense Mr. Rogers. And I like watching the senator presiding over the thing, who starts kind of dictatorial and asshatty, fall under the spell of Mr. Rogers.

1969. Have you been playing along at home? His show was broadcast nationwide in 1968. He was BARELY Mr. Rogers in 1969. People hardly knew who he was. He didn’t let that stop him. He sat, quietly, humbly; stated his case, and he won. He WON.

Just by being himself. Because who he was was ok. He was special, just by being himself.

And if you can listen to that last sentence without a little thrill (or, like me, weeping copiously) I think your soul might be a little broken.

“I think it’s wonderful. Looks like you just earned the twenty million.”

So Fox and Friends, we’re all savvy enough to know that you’re only trying to stab one of the most beloved men in America’s history in the back because it’s something that will get you ratings, and something that will get people talking about you. Your show is not news. It’s infotainment. Light on both the info AND the tainment.

And Professor Chance, I’m sorry your students are entitled. There are kids like that. It’s a fact of life. (I went to college with a lot of rich spoiled kids. I’m not talking out of my ass, here.) You have to put your foot down, present them with the rules for extra-credit clearly at the beginning of the semester, and if they approach you about additional extra credit, shut them down. They’ll learn to respect that they can’t push you around. Kids talk; they know which professors are an easy sell and which ones aren’t. I promise.

And Mr. Rogers: thank you. Thank you for giving kids, for 33 years, an alternative to violence and loud noises and a constant stream of stupidity. Thank you for being our port in a storm. And thank you for telling us we’re ok, just the way we are. I still believe that. All these years later, I still believe I’m ok, just the way I am. And I learned that from you.

So, yes. I got sucked into the Facebook anger-wormhole. But as Mr. Rogers taught a young-Amy: it’s ok to have mad feelings. Then you talk about them, and you feel better.

Also, Fox and Friends, you are officially banned from the Land of Make-Believe. BANNED. Daniel Striped Tiger is really disappointed in you.

We're all really disappointed in you, "Fix and Friends." REALLY disappointed.

We’re all really disappointed in you, “Fox and Friends.” REALLY disappointed.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

100 responses to “This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.

  • franhunne4u

    Never have seen Mr. Rogers – but he sounds like a pretty impressive personality.

    Like

  • scottmac56

    You completely and eloquently caught the spirit of a rant of mine on Facebook this weekend. Re-blogging.

    Like

  • Juliette

    Listen to the Tiger. Great post. Thank you so much for the voice of reason and reality.

    Like

  • This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids. | West Coast Review

    […] One of the best blog posts I’ve read all week. Click here for: This evil, evil man has ruined …. […]

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  • Joshua Corin

    One of my many, many, many favorite Mr. Rogers moments is when he accepted the 1997 Emmy for Lifetime Achievement:

    Our generation was really blessed for having Mr. Rogers in our childhood (and therefore in our lives forever).

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I almost put this clip in the post, but then thought “AMY! You don’t want to DEVASTATE your readers!”

      (Thanks for devastating my readers, Josh!)

      Seriously, I watched that 1969 clip, then this one, and I was pretty much weepy-out-of-commission for at least fifteen minutes afterward.

      We really were lucky to grow up with him on our televisions.

      Like

  • Words for Worms

    Who attacks Mr. Rogers?! Seriously! That’s like bitch slapping someone’s Grandma. You just DON’T.

    Like

  • Madame Weebles

    Oh for crying out loud. Those people on Fox are crazy. Mr. Rogers is INNOCENT! There are plenty of spoiled, entitled little assholes out there, but I can guarantee that Mr. Rogers was not at fault. Henrietta Pussycat says so, X the Owl says so, and I say so.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Maybe we can sic Lady Elaine Fairchilde on them. I always thought she was kind of a witch with her Boomerang Toomerang Zoomerang. She gave me nightmares.

      Like

    • Sean

      I can name a few spoiled, entitled little assholes right now! Guess what show they are on! You guessed right! Fox News!

      Seriously though, all of them have never actually worked hard. Their show just spews out crap that will get them attention and they get money since it gets them ratings. Anyone could make a better show than them by trying just a little bit since they don’t try at all! (Or wait… scratch that… they do try to piss everyone off)

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Walking uphill in the snow both ways to the to school? Apart from the Escheresque aspect, it sounds remarkably like my childhood. Although our telly was a black and white one.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Ours was B&W, too, up until probably…oh, the late 70s, maybe? So my first 4, 5 years or so. The color TV was SO COOL!

      Maybe we grew up next door to each other and didn’t know it. No, wait, I think we’d remember. I’ve never been to the land of Finns! OR the land of Swedes!

      Shame. We’d have been the best of friends.

      Like

  • elaine4queen

    I don’t know anything about any of this.

    But what I can say for sure is that you don’t make sweaters on a loom.

    Like

    • poetlandia

      This made me snort-laugh. Because you’re right! LOLOL

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      This made me laugh so hard. You win commenting today, Elaine!

      Like

    • emmawolf

      “But what I can say for sure is that you don’t make sweaters on a loom.”

      I was thinking that too!! Unless you do it in pieces, then sew it together?

      Like

      • elaine4queen

        Well, you could, but it would still be a weave and not a knit. When I was at art school there were two gangs in textiles, printed textiles and ‘knit and weave’ – i did fine art, so that is the entirety of my knowledge.

        Like

        • emmawolf

          I’m not as wise in the ways of sweaters as you are. I just looked it up. Apparently, you are correct and by definition, being a weave would therefore preclude it from being a sweater. And here I was just worried about the mechanics of making the sleeves on the loom! (If sweaters are knits, does this mean that you cannot crochet a sweater?)

          Wait, what if we use one of these things: http://us.deramores.com/round-knitting-loom-41-pegs-29cm?gclid=CLOu17a4kbgCFYuf4Aodej4ALg
          ?!

          It says knitting loom!??

          (Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m worried this comment might sound like I’m making fun of you. I’m not! I think it’s awesome that in art school, the printed textile people were rivals with the knit and weave people. I really appreciate your expert yarn knowledge! Please explain this to me in a way that reassures me that Fox and Friends are so very wrong!)

          Like

          • lucysfootball

            Elaine, meet Em. Em, meet Elaine. You are two of my favorite internettians, you should know each other. (And I’m sure Elaine doesn’t think you’re making fun of her!)

            Like

          • elaine4queen

            It’s all about the stitch produced. If you look very closely at your t shirt you will see that that, too, is a knit. But tiny fairies did not knit it on pins, that would be TOO CRUEL and they’d have to have a massive loop needle, too, very unwieldy.

            There are knitting machines nowadays, IDK if they ever call them looms, or if they just call them knitting machines, and most jumpers are made on them.

            Your little gizmo will indeed produce a knit not a weave. It is essentially lots of knitting needles faced up waiting for you to hook a loop over them so you still need to knit, rather than weave. I used to have one of those things, with fewer pointy bits, as a kid, and you got a long tube out of it like a stocking.

            I SUPPOSE lacemaking, macrame, and crochet are all constructed textiles, being neither a knit as such, nor, most certainly, a weave.

            NB You can, of course, knit with cotton and weave with wool. Indeed, carpets are often, or perhaps for all know, always woven. If not felted. Yeah, there’s felt, too, that’d be in the ‘other’ constructed camp. With the weirdos.

            Time was that the big difference, to the wearer, between a knit and a weave was stretch (thermal underwear is, again, a knit, and it is advised that weaves and knits should be layered alternately for maximum insulation) but the invention of Lycra confused the issue a bit. It was first added to knitted textiles like t shirts and leggings – early leggings always bagged up at the knees, the 80’s were a terrible time for leggings – but soon found it’s way into weaves, and you will often find it used in quite high end weaves. Makes very tailored clothes MUCH more comfortable.

            Like

    • ravinj

      Unless it’s a knitting loom

      Like

  • akrummenacker

    A beautiful man on and off the set. Sorely missed.

    Like

  • aliceatwonderland

    Fox attacked Mr. Rogers? There is going to be a round of WHOOP ASS going on around here. I mean, seriously, that is so messed up. People have tried to put all sorts of things on Rogers, like that he was in the Green Berets and he killed people and yadda yadda cause no one can really be a decent human being, right?

    Well, I can understand dear Fox News thinking that way, since they hate so many people. The poor, the handicapped, minorities, women, and of COURSE they hate the idea of poor people getting TV for FREE. What a bunch of entitled three-year-olds, thinking they can have the right to learn from a good man on the TV that they are special and worthy even when they live in total chaos. I mean, these guys forced that kid to be born but afterwards, GET A JOB INFANT!

    Oh, uh, hmm. I might have gone off the trolley rails there a moment.

    P.S. Fox adds in the blonds with the cleavage so that the men are so hypnotized they don’t realize they are being handed a line of bullshit.

    P.P.S. My brother was afraid of going down the drain before Mr. Rogers too.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I hear all that crap from my dad when he starts talking politics. Then I change the subject. “WEATHER WEATHER SOMETHING BENIGN!” says I, in order to make the politics stop. I’d rather not spend my evening scream-fighting with my dad over the latest crap he heard on Fox News.

      I asked my dad why one of the ladies forgot to put on any slacks once (it was a VERY short dress, it was a justified question) and he was so mad he stomped around for an hour. Sorry, Dad, not my fault she forgot her trousers and is only wearing a long tunic on the news, you know?

      Like

      • aliceatwonderland

        Ugh, fortunately my parents are both liberal, but my inlaws – oh good grief. My husband’s current stepfather (both of them are on their third spouse, I believe.) and his mom were talking about how Christian they were for going to Chick-fil-A. His stepfather added that “They quit letting the Salvation Army collect at Target. You know that’s where all the problems come from right? The gays.” Good thing our order was ready about then. WTF. Fox News logic right there.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          My dad’s as conservative as they come and my mom’s quietly conservative and my brother’s my dad, squared and I’m…the black sheep, I guess. No one knows where I came from.

          Dad blames – you guessed it – the gays. (I know a lot of those pesky gays.)

          Like

      • emmawolf

        I try to do that with my dad. But then he’ll go off on global warming and what a hoax it is. I can’t talk to him about anything. Once I was talking to him about some thing I was going through with work, and he started in on Marco Rubio and the liberal media.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I cut it off at the pass. “Dad, we can’t talk about this. There will be yelling. DAD. We can’t TALK about this. THERE WILL BE YELLING. DAD, I SAID…OH GOOD GRIEF YES THERE IS A WAR ON WOMEN!!!!”

          Then we don’t talk for two days until he apologizes and all’s grudgingly well until the next round. Ding ding ding!

          Sigh.

          Like

  • sortaginger

    X the Owl is horrified to have to share his letter with Fox News.

    Yeah, that’s the best I can come up with. If I see this come up on my FB page, I may just link back to here.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It was a post on Upworthy, which is weird, because this is a news clip from 2008 and Upworthy usually does recent stuff. I wonder if they didn’t notice it was so old?

      (Thank you!)

      Like

  • willieburgscrapper

    Well I don’t expect any better from Fox & Friends really- now or ever.
    I must say- ass hatness isn’t limited to rich kids. My Mom taught at a community college that mostly serves former drug addicts, teen Moms and high school drop outs- they grade grub too- and they get insulting when she refuses. She considers herself the last line of defense between these people and the public as many graduate to work in the public service system- many times working with kids. Every semester she has to go up against the school’s dean and explain why she failed some jerk who complained and is trying to get her fired. She has to show the multiple failed exams, the horribly written essays- forget grammar- she grades on concepts alone. Once the Dean asked her if she went straight to college after graduating from high school because that prejudices her against her current students who struggled. !!! Yet every semester she has a few students- moms who have jobs- older men who go back to school after they get laid off right before they are supposed to retire- they keep her going. Being an honest teacher is tough- talking things up on Fox & Friends- not so much.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I wonder why people think this is ok? (I mean, other than that evil, evil Mr. Rogers.) I had my ups and downs in college, but never once did I go to the professor and ask him or her to change a grade. I figured that was the grade I’d earned, and it was all on me. So why do some kids think it’s the professor’s fault if they’re failing, and put it back on them? Upbringing, I guess? Hmm. Curious.

      Like

  • A Pope

    I was born in 1966 and was a young child in San Francisco of parents who only allowed me to watch PBS for children’s programming (except for Looney Tunes cartoons on Saturday). Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was on between Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and honestly I found it a little slow compared to the other two, but I remember specifics about it even today, probably for that reason. Fred Roger’s point about being special wasn’t that you, and just you, are special–it was that all of us in a bazillion different ways are, and if all of us are then no one outranks the others (which hardly leads to a sense of entitlement).

    I haven’t read Professor Chance’s study so I don’t know exactly what he says, but I can hardly believe that generations of people were so completely influenced by just Mr. Rogers and nothing else. I was definitely an outsider when it came to TV–I didn’t know anyone else not permitted to watch the stuff on the commercial networks, and if the study implies that this entitlement effect came about because it seemed to start when Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood came on the air it would seem to be a case of correlation doesn’t prove causation.

    Obviously Fox News is going for sensationalism to improve ratings, but from personal experience I know there are too many people who really rely on them as if they are real news and not spin, lies and innuendo and who will take this story as gospel. Sad that they would think it acceptable to try to shred the legacy of Mr. Rogers.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      YES. That’s exactly the problem – people (such as my dad) rely on Fox for their news. And Fox makes them stay by telling them they’re the only real new source – that they’re showing you news that no other network would dare, that the other networks are hiding things from you, that if you watch other news networks, you’re part of the problem. They use sensationalism and scare tactics and that’s how they get both viewers and ratings.

      I’m hoping this was just the once, and they didn’t do it again (the Mr. Rogers is evil thing) but who knows. I try as hard as I can to stay away from this channel. If it’s on when I visit my family, I leave the room. They might have brainwashed my dad, but I don’t have to become collateral damage. My braincells are precious to me and that channel kills too many of them. I can hear ’em dying off as I watch.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    It’s always easy to blame someone or something else. Whenever something that you don’t like happens, the immediate reaction is to find a scapegoat. That’s how the fringe parties keep on coming to power. (Not that I’m saying Fox News is the new Nazi Party or that they would like to reinstate the Third Reich; for one thing, I’m assuming Nazism would be to be too ‘left’ for them.)

    When I grew up – way back in the 1960s and 70s (ok, more the 1970s than the 1960s), we only had two channels. Both were basically info channels, with news, sports and documentaries. And once a day, in the early evening, there was children’s television. Mostly shows sounding somewhat similar to your Mr Rogers, talking about feeling and jealousy and fairness. It was all rather soft and cuddly. And socialistic, I guess. A lot about solidarity and learning about other cultures and people in poor regions of the world. As you mentioned above, today it’s mostly about impact and effects. Cartoons, mainly.

    But the old children’s shows from the 1970s are experiencing a revival here in Scandinavia. A lot of people are buying them on DVD for their children, as a more grounded and pedagogic alternative. So I guess the spirit of old soft 1970s children’s telly is living on. Which makes me less stabby about those arseholes at Fox News. They just don’t get it. More the pity for them, I guess.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Per my dad, Fox hates the Nazis, and compares the liberals to the Nazis all the time (which is why he keeps telling me I’m one of the “Hitler youth” or, even better, the other day, actually called me Hitler when I disagreed with him on something. Yep. Thanks, Fox News, for introducing THIS fun new thing into my life!)

      Hee, we were both watching socialistic television! I won’t tell Dad, he’ll get angry. (He already says “FINLAND IS ALL SOCIALISTS!”)

      I’d buy those shows for my kids, if I had any. They’re so much better than what’s on.

      Like

  • themathmaster

    Best thing I have read all day. Thank you.

    Like

  • poetlandia

    Yay! I love the 2nd video. He’s so calm. Especially when you think of the fact that he had anxiety. Damn. Also, this was a very good post. I love.

    I have a great story for you. It’s a Mr. Rogers story. It takes place in the ’70s. (I don’t even remember which of the people I know this happened to. I’ve known lots of people and who it was is just gone in the mists of time. But I remember the story. And the light in the person’s eyes as they recounted it. And no, it wasn’t me.)

    So the friend of mine and a few of their friends were hanging out on the beach. And they were getting high, smoking pot.

    And sort of sitting around shooting the breeze when they hear:
    “Boys and girls. What are you doing?”
    And it’s Mr. Rogers. Walking towards them. On the beach.

    So they quickly put out the joint, as they’re now paranoid and it’s Mr. Rogers! And he sat down with them right there and talked to them about why, even though it seemed like a not big deal, they were making a choice that he thought could harm their future.

    And he asked each of them what their dream was, what it was they wanted to do, talked with them a long time about why that was their dream, and told each of them why, after talking with them, he felt they could do it. And to make sure they made choices that would let them live their dreams.

    He talked to them for a long time. As, apparently, he was wont to do.

    Anyway, it did make a difference to my friend.

    Whether someone is pro and anti marijuana legislation doesn’t matter to me, as far as the story is concerned.

    Because what I love is the concern.

    I love this story. How many adults do you imagine would sit down with a bunch of hippy teenagers in the ’70s and talk about their dreams with them? When they found them getting high on a private beach? How many would do it now?

    I can tell you one who would do it: Mr. Rogers

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      He really was wonderful. He seemed to just really love everyone. Equally. No matter what. He believed we all could be the best person, and he BELIEVED in us. I was lucky to have parents that did, as well, but a lot of kids weren’t. So they had Mr. Rogers. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

      Like

  • Corvidae in the Fields

    “Mmmm, butter.” So Homer J. Simpson is now making appearances on Fox and Friends? Seems apropos.

    I think it’s laughable that anyone argue a man who has presented us with nothing but genuine kindness be attacked for ruining a generation of children. How about the “Me Generation”? They would never have started a pattern of selfish, self-indulgent, spoiled behavior at all. Not in the slightest.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the “Fox & Friends” skit on “Saturday Night Live,” but it’s pretty spot-on. The guy playing the “mmm, butter!” newscaster is the best. He’s like a very unintelligent puppy, eager for attention but not very overloaded in the old brain-area.

      A WHOLE GENERATION! Yep, one show, one man, ruined us all. Actually, they said TWO generations! Think of all the kids he ruined! That’s a lot of kids! (I don’t know. I don’t feel very ruined. Nope, just checked. I’m pretty whole, actually. How about you? Feel ruined?)

      Like

  • Samantha

    I never watched Mr. Rogers, I didn’t watch much television at all really, but I do think that he was doing good things with his show. Making a positive impact on people.

    Entitlement doesn’t come from teaching someone to have a good self-image and realize that they are okay the way they are. It comes from parents who don’t parent their children. Everyone should stop looking for someone to blame besides themselves for their own children’s basic principles. Of course, eventually children are going to make their own choices, but having a good foundation is going to make all the difference.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Exactly. Parents don’t want to blame themselves…and this professor doesn’t want to blame himself (although I’m willing to bet, were he to lay down the rules a little more stringently, the kids wouldn’t be coming to him so frequently for grade improvements and/or extra credit – kids benefit from boundaries.) Kids model what they see. And if they see parents acting entitled…well, they’re going to think it’s ok. Mr. Rogers didn’t teach us to act like that. Not even a little bit.

      Like

  • Sin City Siren

    I love you for posting all of this and the videos so much! Rock on for Mr. Rogers. Today and everyday!

    Like

  • Vagina

    First upon watching that fox video…I felt enraged, then watching the video at the end, I am bawling!! There is so much I want to say!! I would like to share this video that was done in 1972: “When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe- http://www.finerminds.com/consciousness-awareness/purpose-and-potential-what-you-need-to-know/

    Like

  • sj

    I need to take a break, this whole post is just too emotional for me.

    (you did good with this one, Amy.)

    Like

  • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

    “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
    frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
    words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
    respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
    [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint”
    ~Hesiod, 8th century BC

    “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders,
    they disobey their parents. They ignore the law.
    They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
    Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”
    ~Plato, 5th century BC

    “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
    authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
    rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
    chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
    legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”
    ~Socrates, 5th century BC

    “The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of
    today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for
    parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as
    if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is
    foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest
    and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”
    ~Peter the Hermit, 13th Century AD

    Mr. Rogers, you are sorely missed.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Wait, children were bad BEFORE Mr. Rogers?

      Heh.

      He is missed. Very much. I was thinking today, if I had kids, I’d be sure to get my hands on Mr. Rogers’ DVDs, so they could see what I did, growing up. I think they’d benefit from it.

      Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

        You said: “I think they’d benefit from it.” Indeed they would. After watching the video you posted with Mr. Rogers speaking to the U.S. Senate, I was reminded of a TED talk I posted on my blog last year. I was gobsmacked at just how intuitive (way ahead of the research) he was with regard to young children. In the Senate hearing, Mr. Rogers said he was concerned about the “bombardment” of cartoons, about “what’s being delivered in our country” to our children via media. He was concerned about the content in cartoons.

        Interestingly enough, he was spot on with his concerns. In the video, research is presented to show that when children age 0-3 are exposed to violent TV programs (animated), coupled with non-stop frenetic action, they have a 110% increase of attentional problems. Entertainment, that is non-violent but contains non-stop frenetic programs, increases their risk by 60%. They show a Mr. Rogers clip, and mention that educational programs like his posed NO increased risk of attentional problems. http://youtu.be/BoT7qH_uVNo

        Now if these young people are having issues in school, why look for a scapegoat in people like Mr. Rogers? (huge red flag) Why in the hell is their character the first to be judged? Are these mindsets pissed off because kids are no longer considered property, but rather human beings, and dare I say equal?

        Study after study shows that positive early experiences are critical for brain development and prosocial behavior. As noted in the quotes, older adults have been accusing younger adults and children of narcissism throughout recorded history. It seems apparent that this mindset (including professor Chance) lacks critical thinking skills and has forgotten what it was like to be young in an “adult” world.

        Thank you for this excellent post.

        Like

    • Vagina

      I adore your comment! I just wrote a rant about this very topic and have not published it yet. I would love to use these quotes in my post. This is exactly what I am looking for. Would it be okay if I used these? One of the most over used sayings in life is ” kids today are so much worse than they have ever been before.” What a load of BS!! A 12 yr. old is always a 12. yr old. NO matter what! It is personality that makes them different. PLUS…we were all 12 at one point in time or another. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and he was most definitely ahead of his time. Raising children with the idea that it is okay to love yourself, and that you are perfect EXACTLY as you are is something that ALL children should be able to have. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone knew they were okay just as they are!

      Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

        Very well said, and of course you can use the quotes. I look forward to reading your post.

        Like

        • Vagina

          Thank you. I will put a link for your blog on it since you are the one that did all the work. ;) Plus a link for lucy’sfootball because everyone should read about Mr. Rogers. The post I wrote is more of a rant, but sometimes you just have to say what you are thinking. Thanks again.

          Like

  • kbespy

    Aw, dammit, now I’m crying too. Sadly, I didn’t watch much of Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. Not sure why — probably my parents’ way of protecting their delicate children from religion. ~shrug~ Now I’m kind of sad I didn’t.

    As for Faux News in any of its guises, a pox on it!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      He never mentioned religion – which is cool, since he was a minister. There was no mention of God at all, other than the basic tenets of Christianity – love one another, I love you all, that sort of thing…but there’s nothing wrong with that. The world could use a little more of that.

      Sigh. Fox News. It just makes me sad that people go there for REAL news and think they’re getting it…and then go forth as if they’ve got the truth. Even Glen Beck admitted he wasn’t telling the truth on his show, that it was all for entertainment.

      Like

      • kbespy

        Wasn’t there something about “God loves you just the way you are”? For my parents that alone would have been enough.

        Sadly, Idiocracy is looking more and more like a documentary.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I don’t think so. I could be wrong, though…I was young, and we liked God a LOT in my house. (But I don’t think they would have allowed God in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood without someone complaining. God always brings a party down, doesn’t he? And I don’t think he would have fit in the trolley to the Land of Make-Believe.)

          I don’t know if I’ve seen all of “Idiocracy” but from what I remember…yeah. Yeah, that’s about right.

          Like

  • becomingcliche

    Dear Fox News, know who else thought everyone was special even if they didn’t deserve it? Um, lemme think… Could it be… JESUS?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee! You’re the BEST Church Lady! (And, YES. Fox News is the first one to cry “GOD AND COUNTRY!” but the first one to forget the teachings of the first and the rules of the second.)

      Like

  • Empress Natalie (@Empress_Natalie)

    Your tumble into the rage-hole has made you grow and develop into an even better person. Mr. Rogers would be proud.

    Full disclosure: I didn’t watch the clips; I teared up just from your descriptions. I already know how very much this dude rocked. And also how much Fox “News” is a poopy stinky head. I like when SNL makes fun of them. That is all.

    }:)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I love when SNL makes fun of Fox News. My favorite is at the end of the skits when they have that roll of “corrections” that scrolls by too fast to read, and if you catch any of them, they’re so hysterically over the top.

      Like

  • emmawolf

    I always wondered what bedtime stories conservatives read to their children. Most the things I read my kids are about sharing, taking care of other people and those less fortunate, compromise, accepting people who are different, protecting the environment. The sort of things that seem anathema to the GOP.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That’s a good question. I wonder if there are Little Golden Books about how to make sure you’re getting yours? Or about how to look down on those less-fortunate?

      Like

  • grrgoyl

    We had the exact same rooftop antenna setup, and I still have to picture the box on the tv when figuring north, south, etc.

    Nothing wrong with telling kids they’re OK, and in my memory this whole “everyone gets a medal” is only a recent thing in the last decade… A little after Fred’s time slot.

    Mr. Rogers spoke at my college graduation, which was the highlight of my academic experience.

    I unfortunately share a name with Lady Elaine Fairchild, but no one at school picked up on that luckily. Daniel Tiger was always my favorite (natch), but I recently went on a youtube hunt for Purple Panda. Remember him?

    Fox is such a cancer. This morning my brainwashed brother-in-law, otherwise a decent human, created a FB anger-wormhole in defense of Paula Deen and racism. For reals.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      How did everyone have these awesome college graduation speakers? Mine was some guy telling us to save for retirement. We were so bored. And so hung over. Ouch.

      You can defend Paula Deen? Hmm. I bet my dad would, if I let him. But the minute the conversation starts turning that way, I change the subject trickily.

      I DO remember Purple Panda! Two of my favorite things, the color purple and pandas. Yay!

      Like

  • I shouldn’t post this, and you shouldn’t read it… | Ooops, I Said Vagina... Again..

    […] recently read am AMAZING post that Lucy’s Football wrote about Mr. Rogers here!  While I was reading and commenting on this post, a fellow blogger Neuronotes- link here,  left […]

    Like

  • mandaray

    As someone who also grew up watching Mr. Rogers, I love everything about this post. Thank you. =D

    Also, can I just say, I am SO sick of people telling me that my generation is narcissistic? Seriously, it’s on TIME magazine and everything. Seemingly all because we like to take a few selfies and know how to use Twitter. The truth is, my generation really isn’t that much different from any of the other generations. Sure, you’ve got your entitled assholes, but that’s DEFINITELY not something which is restricted to only one generation. I don’t understand why there’s this sudden wave of middle aged folks waving their hands and angrily crying, “YOU’RE ALL NARCISSISTS AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF EVERYTHING EVER BECAUSE YOU MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE!!!!”, because from where I’m sitting, they all look a helluva lot more narcissistic than me.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I agree. The other generations always find something to pick apart in the younger ones. We’re all just people. Some of us are jerks; some of us are awesome; some of us are inbetween. You can’t categorize an entire group of people as having the same traits like that. It’s rude and dismissive and small-minded.

      Like

  • Tony Bird

    I have a serious man crush on Fred Rogers. Fox and Don Chance can suck it.

    Like

  • Heather

    Oh, kids definitely have a sense of entitlement these days (not all, but many, many, many), and I think we can safely say that it has NOTHING to do with Mr. Rogers.

    I just refuse to let Faux News suck me into their bullshit. Blerg.

    Like

  • b.h.quinn

    Many good points were brought up. (Although most of the kids I know aren’t very entitled, but most of them are now between 18 and 25, so are we still considered children? And the 4-year-olds I work with don’t seem very entitled, but they’re 4. Perhaps I just happen to know many young people who are not entitled? I am not sure and I feel too young to determine this point.) Anyway.

    I grew up on Mr. Rogers, but I don’t remember much. His greatest contribution to my life came well after I’d outgrown (ha) his television show. I was 11 when the Sept 11th attacks took place, old enough to understand what was going on and to be frightened, but young enough that I still looked to the adults in my life for guidance that they didn’t seem capable of giving.Our principal came to each of our classrooms and spoke with us. She reminded us of something that Mr. Rogers once said (not verbatim) that when scary things happen, we should always make sure to look for the helpers because there are always people helping, and those are the people that make the world good.

    I cannot express how much that helped. Even now, whenever something bad happens and I feel helpless, I can look for the helpers and feel somewhat better. And when I am able, I make sure that I am one of those helpers.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I love that quote, too. And I do the same thing, and also try to be one of those people, too. He was a good influence on me and a lot of kids who grew up with him.

      Like

      • b.h.quinn

        It’s the parents, not a single man on television, who makes the children entitled. I grew up with kids whose parents were very community-minded and I’m a part of the Potter fandom, which is community-minded, so my perspective may be skewed a bit.

        Like

  • Julia

    I love, love, love Fred Rogers. I have several blog posts about him and will likely have many more. Thanks for this post. “I’m proud of you…I hope that you’re as proud as I am.” There is probably nobody in American culture more steeped in myths that have no basis in fact. Which is a compliment in itself, if you think about it!

    Like

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