Stick Stickly

October 27, 2009

stickstickly

Write to me, Stick Stickly, PO Box 963, New York City, New York State, 10108….!!!!!!

Stick Stickly! He was the mascot of many a Nickelodeon summer of my youth. He was always excited and upbeat. Encouraging and determined. Not to mention, he wanted me to be his friend…I mean he DID give me his address.

Stick Stickly (as much of early Nickelodeon does) deserves a second look for a number of very important reasons. First, Stick Stickly was “green” WWWAAAAYYYY before it was trendy. Sure, we knew about recycling way back when. Unfortunately, in the States, not too many people had really picked up on it during Stick Stickly’s hey day. Yet there He was. Stick Stickly could have been thrown in the trash after whatever treat he had been  melted away but he wasn’t. He was instead recycled and reused. Not so much reduced….he gained a face.

A recycled popsicle stick that was the perfect emcee for a children’s television network. I’m sure he knew that he had a network to promote but he was concerned about childhood obesity long before the current epidemic. He promoted going out and playing but didn’t judge during those times when you just wanted to sit and watch some shows. Also, he promoted shows that incorporated activeness and education even in the summer. Legends of the Hidden Temple anyone? Yes, Stick Stickly was concerned with the health of the bodies and minds of children.

Possibly the best thing about Stick Stickly comes from the fact that he was a popsicle stick. Programming today is full of 3D, warp speed, animated, CGI, ADD advancing hullabaloo.  Stick Stickly probably wouldn’t cut it anymore because he had no part in that. Stick Stickly was simple and he fostered creativity and innovation. Unless your child is that little girl on the Windows 7 commercials he or she would probably have a hard time making the host of any of their programming at home. Not so when Stick Stickly reigned supreme, kids could make him at home and in the process allow their imagination wheels to roll unchecked and free.

Stick Stickly was down to earth and genuinely cared about the programming he was made to promote and about the audience that watched it. He deserves a second look.

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Dysfunctional Families

October 21, 2009

***A little different than other Second Looks but hopefully okay***
Oh dysfunctional families, why is it that they fascinate us so? Nearly all television dramas and comedies have characters that are part of some sort of a dysfunctional family. Look at the iconic comedy Will & Grace. Grace’s mom is terrible and Will’s family is emotionally oppressive. Jack has a poor relationship with his father and Karen is in a loveless marriage. Programs of all types, art and literature have depicted dysfunctional families for what seems like forever. Jane Eyre had a poor family life. Matilda, hers wasn’t good either. Don’t even get me started on poor Harry Potter. The list of fictions characters with dysfunctional families seems to be infinite.
Now that it is established that in popular culture dysfunctional families are viewed for entertainment I’d like to look at why such families are so successful at being the center of entertainment drama. I will assert that dysfunctional families are so popular to watch on television and to read about in novels because they’re relatable. No one has a perfect family and most of us probably have some aspect of dysfunction in our families. For this reason it would seem that nearly EVERYONE feels comfortable with and even possibly obliged to rag on their own family experiences. Viewing the dysfunction of others may, because of the screwiness of human nature, make people feel better about themselves.
Dysfunctional families deserve a second look because, for better or worse (probably worse) they are a cornerstone of humanity as we know it. Having a cookie cutter nuclear family with no problems may exist but I am a skeptic. I think all families have some level of dysfunction. This ubiquitous trait of families unites and connects us all. Unfortunately, dysfunctional families deserve a second look.
Just a fyi: this author is most DEFINITELY a part of a dysfunctional family…a family that has now randomly come down with the swine flu. Enjoy your night, take you vitamins, love your dysfunction. If you don’t have any dysfunction I PROMISE that you’re very very lucky and the 95.99% of us that have endured varying levels of dysfunction are jealous.

***A little different than other Second Looks but hopefully okay***

Oh the misery of dysfunctional families, why is it that they fascinate us so? Nearly all television dramas and comedies have characters that are part of some sort of a dysfunctional family. Look at the iconic comedy Will & Grace. Grace’s mom is terrible and Will’s family is emotionally oppressive. Jack has a poor relationship with his father and Karen is in a loveless marriage. Programs of all types, art and literature have depicted dysfunctional families for what seems like forever. Jane Eyre had a poor family life. Matilda, hers wasn’t good either. Don’t even get me started on poor Harry Potter. The list of fictitious characters with dysfunctional families seems to be infinite.

Now that it is established that in popular culture dysfunctional families are viewed for entertainment I’d like to look at why such families are so successful at being the center of entertainment drama. I will assert that dysfunctional families are so popular to watch on television and to read about in novels because they’re relatable. No one has a perfect family and most of us probably have some aspect of dysfunction in our families. For this reason it would seem that nearly EVERYONE feels comfortable with and even possibly obliged to rag on their own family experiences. Viewing the dysfunction of others may, because of the screwiness of human nature, make people feel better about themselves.

Dysfunctional families deserve a second look because, for better or worse (probably worse) they are a cornerstone of humanity as we know it. Having a cookie cutter nuclear family with no problems may exist but I am a skeptic. I think all families have some level of dysfunction. This ubiquitous trait of families unites and connects us all. Unfortunately, dysfunctional families deserve a second look.

Just a FYI: this author is most DEFINITELY a part of a dysfunctional family…a family that has now randomly come down with H1N1. Enjoy your night, take you vitamins, love your dysfunction. If you don’t have any dysfunction I PROMISE that you’re very very lucky and the 95.99% of us that have endured varying levels of dysfunction are jealous.