Yes, in light of recent world disasters, my problem is a negative 498 on a scale of 1 to catastrophic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make me extra punchy today having learned that my children can no longer watch Mister Rogers Neighborhood on TV.
Mister Rogers, the true pride of Pittsburgh, thankyouverymuch Wiz Khalifa, enshrined in statue, immortalized in museums, has had his show relegated to some channel called the Create Channel, and no longer appears on WQED Channel 13. At all.
I don’t know why I’m taking this so hard. I’ve been joking with people lately that my life has become a country music song since December. Mah car crashed. Mah business burned. Mah house done flooded. Mah dog done died. Now I’m adding, “And ‘dem dagnabit fools took Mister Rogers away from mah chillins.”
I guess if you have Comcast you can catch Mister Rogers on Saturday’s on the Create Channel, WHATEVER THAT IS, but for those of us in the middle of a contract with Dish Network, we’ll be watching what we can on-line.
My daughter has taken a real liking to Mister Rogers lately. Asking to watch it. Singing the song. Miming him putting his shoes on and off. I started DVRing the show for her and noticed that the last time it recorded was about two weeks ago. So today I went hunting to see when I could expect to show her a new-to-her episode, and no luck.
I tweeted to WQED, kindly, but inside I was all, “MAH DOG DONE DIED AND NOW THIS?!?!”
Their answers, read from the bottom up:
I understand their reasons, but I tell you, if I were running WQED, I would never stop fighting for Mister Rogers.
In a weird coincidence, I noticed that Mister Rogers was gone on the same day when I have a post up about him over at Pittsburgh Magazine featuring a segment in which Mister Rogers tries to breakdance and it is everything that is right and good about Fred Rogers.
These days, children’s shows are produced and choreographed and bedazzled to a top-of-the-Chrysler-Building-seizure-inducing-everyone-is-happy-and-perfect-and-has-learned-something-important kind of shine. If a take isn’t perfect, it’s simply edited out. The stars are trained singers and dancers who will spend hours with a choreographer before they’ll allow themselves to be filmed for an episode about breakdancing.
But Mr. Rogers essentially says, I am who I am. I’m going to try this because I’m always telling these kids to try new things. I’m probably going to be terrible at this. Oh well. Action!
I can only hope that his estate eventually releases a DVD set so that those of us with the inclination to do so, can be sure his memory lives on in our children’s childhoods and their children’s childhoods as well. There are some things in this world that should just never fade away.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go break the news to my daughter. Let’s hope she takes it well and isn’t all, “But, mama, mah dog just done died! What next?!”