A Childhood Other Than Mine


I’ve written before – it’s Saturday night and I’m going to bed early to accommodate the time change so don’t make me look back and link to those posts – about prevailing inequalities and prejudices that I wouldn’t have imagined existing amongst my generation in adulthood because of the early education I had. The level of ignorance in not only regular people but those who have the privilege of getting paid for spewing such shit is outrageous when not hopelessly depressing.

I can understand the difference that comes from my formal K-6 education. I can understand the difference that comes from my parents. I can understand the difference that comes from my peers throughout my entire childhood. But the fourth major agency of socialization – mass media – I find that to have been equally powerful in my development, and I remember so much of it designed for the outcomes it effected in me.

Why didn’t it do the same for others? Most of us had the same television programs to grow up by. Why is there so much resentment for math and science when Square One and Bill Nye were on the airwaves? Why is there still racialized prejudice with all that Sesame Street did to tackle that as our senses of reality formed? Why do middle-aged men still take a disproportionate amount of positions of power when Penny was clearly far more competent than her Uncle Gadget? Why are people my age still homophobic when pretty much the entire town of Zoobilee Zoo was fags and their hags? (Full disclosure: I’m not innocent of this problem as that show should’ve also been REALLY effective at making me more openly accepting of furries.)

And why – seriously, WHY – is marijuana still illegal when MULTIPLE generations have been raised on The Muppet Show? Come to think of it, a large chunk of children’s entertainment owes its creative brilliance to drugs that we were hypocritically told not to take.

If society’s progress went in linear projection with the values taught to us through children’s entertainment, the heights we would’ve reached by now would’ve been far more astounding.


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