Friday, July 27, 2007

You've got to do it

There are many complaints about children’s television. Some of these complaints are valid, and others are ridiculous. We’re going to look at a recent ridiculous claim made about “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

It seems that a professor was trying to figure out why so many students were coming to him begging to get an “A” when they were only getting Cs. What could be causing this phenomena? Why, Mister Rogers, of course! These guys are saying that Mister Rogers is not doing our kids any favors by telling them that they are special.

The argument goes like this: Mister Rogers has spent so many years telling kids that they’re special that most kids feel like they deserve special treatment and are unwilling to “try harder” and work for the things they want and need. Well, that’s wrong, and that’s not at all what Fred Rogers meant. “You are special” does not mean “the world owes you a living!” If the fools who made this study had watched Mister Rogers a little bit longer, they would have heard Fred sing this song:

You can make-believe it happens, or pretend that something’s true;
You can wish or hope or contemplate a thing you’d like to do;
But until you start to DO IT, you will never see it through.
‘Cause the make-believe pretending just won’t do it for you.

Every little bit- you’ve got to do it, do it, do it, do it!
And when you’re through, you can know who did it,
For you did it, you did it, you did it.

If you want to ride a bicycle, and ride it straight and tall,
You can’t simply sit and look at it, ‘cause it won’t move at all.
But it’s you who have to try it, and it’s you who have to fall (sometimes)
If you want to ride a bicycle, and ride it straight and tall.

Every little bit- you’ve got to do it, do it, do it, do it!
And when you’re through, you can know who did it,
For you did it, you did it, you did it.

It’s not easy to keep trying, but it’s one good way to grow
It’s not easy to keep learning, but I know that this is so-
When you’ve tried and learned, you’re bigger than you were a day ago.
It’s not easy to keep trying, but it’s one way to grow.

Every little bit- you’ve got to do it, do it, do it, do it!
And when you’re through, you can know who did it,
For you did it, you did it, you did it!

Okay folks. Does that sound like Mister Rogers is telling our kids that they don’t have to try? That they should just sit on their butts feeling special and watch his show? HELL, NO! Just watch his show. Almost every episode shows people working in some way! Fred knew the value of hard work. (Think of all the years he spent behind the scenes in TV before the “neighborhood” came along)

You see, being “special” has nothing to do with what the “world” says. We’re talking about who you are personally. If someone rejects me, it doesn’t mean I’m not special. By the same token, if I reject someone else, or if I refuse to live up to their standards somehow, it doesn’t mean that they’re not special in their own way.

Let’s suppose you work hard to get into a job. And every day, you work hard at your job. Then, one day, the company goes bankrupt. Are you no longer a hard worker? Of course not! You’re still the hard worker you always were. Now, you just have to work hard for someone else. The stuff that makes you “special” is not dependant on the world. That means that if you want to be treated “special”, you’d better not expect it to come to you on a silver platter. Because my uniqueness is my own. It doesn’t belong to you. Some people will see and appreciate that uniqueness, but many won’t. And that’s life.

Hey, this is what we’ve been talking about all year, isn’t it? In March, we talked about the fact that you’re special whether you have a family or not. Later, we talked about the fact that Underdog is special, even though he’s only an “Underdog.” Later, we drove the point home even more by pointing out that you don’t need a damsel in distress to be a true hero. The stuff that makes you “special” is not something physical. Remember what Yoda said? “Luminous beings are we!”

The idiots behind this idea seem to forget many things. Mister Rogers has been on the air for almost 40 years. Why “just now” are people beginning to believe that he was damaging our kids? If he were really damaging our kids, wouldn’t we have figured it out by now? And why is it that the folks who didn’t watch Mister Rogers sometimes think the world owes them a living? Hmm? Could it be that this is a human problem, not just a Mister Rogers problem? Selfishness and greed were around long before Fred Rogers.

Don’t blame Mister Rogers for the selfish kid who thinks he deserves an “A” no matter what he does. Blame that on simple stupidity. Blame that on a different kind of selfishness. A selfishness that does not understand that the school is special, too.


Read what Family Communications has to say about all this:

The Fred Rogers/ Courteney Cox connection. Bet you never thought those two would have anything in common, did you? But they do. Read about it here:

And catch a clip from a very, very early episode of Mister Rogers in the favorites folder of my YouTube page. (It's in the links section. It’s in black and white! Fred’s hair isn’t gray yet!)


Recently the creator of the “Old fashioned Christian Radio” web page came up with an interesting idea to solve the possible crisis over paying music royalty fees. Just don’t play the music anymore!

No, he didn’t quit the Web site. He’s just not playing the artists that are represented by the “big wigs” in the music royalty world. This is possible since many of the Christian artists he plays are not signed to big recording companies. Anyone who collects Christian music knows that some artists are quite literally “Mom and Pop” operations! The garage (or the church basement) doubles as a recording studio. When these artists tour (if they tour at all), it’s not a huge move, or a huge production. Think “The Partridge Family” and you begin to get the idea.

That doesn’t mean the recording quality of religious albums is poor. It’s usually quite good. But because there is no huge marketing plan going on, and because (in most cases) the songs aren’t being played on the radio, and because these albums can be incredibly difficult to find, these artists remain relative unknowns. And that’s just fine. Really! The point of any Christian artist should not be to become rich and famous. If it happens, fine, but that’s not the goal. The goal should be to glorify Jesus. You can’t measure that kind of glory by album sales. In a sense, these Christian artists are closer to true artists than anyone who is in it just to make a living. For they are probably in it for the love.

Having said that, here’s the comment Michael posted on his site:

In light of the recent Copyright Royalty issues...
As of June 1, 2007, Old Christian Radio (OCR) has LIMITED its airplay ONLY to artists, musicians, labels who have granted airplay permission to OCR to play their music. Doing this is the only way around this mess.

I don't see the sense in paying those wicked heathens at Sound Exchange (another extension of RIAA or "big record") a pile to money for the right to broadcast "major label" music which makes up only 10% of OCR's play schedule anyway. [Major Label as in: 16 Singing Men, Don Marsh, Melody Four, Hale and Wilder, Tom Fettke, London Philharmonic Choir And Orchestra, Brentwood Music, and etc.]

It was a lot better for me to quit "air playing" the 10%, cancel my Sound Exchange License, and license directly with the "small guys" who are doing (it) for the Lord instead of the money.

OCR's music store will continue to sell the aforementioned items in its online music store, even though they will NOT be played on the air anymore.

However, Old Christian Radio will continue to pay the "songwriter fees" that are owed to BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC through Live365.

Mr. Michael M McFadden

While I certainly admire Michael for making the best of a bad situation, I'm not sure about calling the Sound Exchange folks “wicked heathens.” Isn’t it theoretically possible that they’re only wicked? :) I’m all for supporting the “small” Christian artists, but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that all the “big” ones work for wicked heathens.

Enjoy the beautiful music at Old Fashioned Christian Radio. It’s in the links section to the right.