So, who watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood?
We did, growing up. Maybe not religiously, but we visited Mr. Rogers’ world and the Land of Make Believe a few times a week as kids. We learned a lot about life from Fred Rogers.
Last night, we checked out Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a docu telling how Rogers came up and how he thought of and fought for Mr. Rogers in the late 60s with the novel idea of straight talking to kids about life issues instead of talking down to them or using slapstick to dummy down said issue. Of course, his ideology came under fire from parents all the way up to Congress, which he successfully argued his case, winning the PBS station and his show a $20,000 grant. We learned the catharsis that he got from the show from his past, and how each character in the Land of Make Believe was inspired by a fam member.
When someone loves everybody, we as a society, think of them as strange, “gay”…like Rogers was accused of being. He was married with two sons, all of whom took part in the doc. His co-star, Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons, is gay. He was instructed to play straight for show popularity purposes, which kind of mars the acceptance message of the show after the fact. Joey and I never knew that until last night. Fred Rogers wasn’t without his faults.
Anyway, the point I’m getting at, is it’s amazing how people perceive pure goodness…idiots picketed his funeral…with their kids…the same kids that probably watched his show…ironic, huh.
Guys, you could do a lot with your time than spend a hour and a half reacquainted Mr. Rogers and the very real characters from the Land of Make Believe.
Be good to each other.