I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

Good Morning neighbor!  I’ll admit that’s a bit over the top and if you’ve not had coffee yet and find that a bit too enthusiastic I apologize, and I’ll wait right here while you get some coffee so you can keep up.  Ready?

I find it ironic and amusing (because I do love me some irony) that in my “meet the neighbors” post I completely missed the mark on just WHO my neighbors are.  I referenced a US children’s program, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” which left a good portion of my non-US audience a bit left out in the cold.   Today is another day and as my day 4 assignment is find your target audience and write for them, here I am to try to close that gap a little.

One of my favorite co-workers is in South Africa (we have a distributed workforce, much like WordPress/Automattic itself and my co-workers are all over the world) and I love the cultural exchange we have with things like food, current events, and popular culture.  I am absolutely guilty of thinking that my cultural experiences are similar to everyone else’s, when clearly they are not. I have no doubt that people in Europe or Asia know far more about American culture than I know of theirs.  I will try to be cognizant of that when posting lest I alienate my non-US readers.

Why did I love Mr. Rogers? and more importantly why did I love him MORE than Sesame Street?  Let me elaborate.  Sesame Street was a wonderful show, full of songs and educational items and muppets, lots of muppets. It’s the show that gave us Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and has been exported to countries all over the globe.  It was pure fantasy + colorful + learning and I loved it as a child.  Mr Rogers was different, sure there were puppets helping explain (or provide the object lesson) for abstract concepts like jealousy or sadness and even divorce, but I really loved when Mr. Rogers left his house and showed us what other people were doing!  His field trips to meet other people is what fascinated me,  visits to museums, factories (too see how things are made), musicians, stage actors… the list goes on and on.  I realize the reason I loved the show is a bit like why I like blogging, and why I love the internet.  I get to meet new people who live and do things differently, sure we all have common interests but what fascinating differences!

14 thoughts on “I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

  1. I liked this show too and gained more appreciation for it as an adult. Side note: the piano music in the show was outstanding! I am a fan of jazz and listened to the music with greater understanding as an adult.

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  2. My favorite part of the show was when Trolley went through the Land of Make Believe! I loved those segments. The thought that behind an ordinary-looking living room wall was a whole different world, populated with characters is something that has stuck with me into adulthood. (My favorite was the cat who would inserts a “meow” after every word – kind of like in the movie Super Troopers.)

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  3. I referenced Mr. Rogers in one of my recent posts, The Strength of Good Words (I suppose I should put a link here but that seems just too self-serving.) Anyway, it talks about why I admire him so much. The more I got to know about him, the more my admiration increased. When he got the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, I cried at what he had to say, it was so moving. Half the audience was in tears too. The man had a heart.

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  4. Whoah, throwback! I used to watch Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street all the time when I was a kid. I think that your comparison of Mr. Rogers and blogging are so true… Mr. Rogers really opened up the world to us and made us see the big picture, and I think that’s what Blogging 101 is doing for us too! Thanks for posting. :)

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  5. Hey there! I just wanted to say I think this is a brilliantly creative way of dealing with today’s 101 task which I am having much trouble figuring out myself ;) Hoping the inspiration will have arrived between now and bedtime. Let’s say bedtime is at its latest midnight, I still have a good nine hours. ;) Also thank you for clearing up that little hole, I was wondering exactly that when I read your post yesterday. Good job!

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  6. Definitely liked when he went to other places too. Its really interesting to look back and see what we liked and didn’t like as a kid while usually hardly understanding the underlying concepts that these shows presented.

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    • it’s funny when I went to YouTube to find the theme song I had almost forgotten his show on divorce, I vaguely remember there was controversy about it at the time. It seems almost laughable now that people would be up in arms trying to protect children from knowing about divorce. Oh those wacky 70’s

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