Sunday, January 30, 2005

Time for Sugartime

This nonsense really steams me. To be honest, I don't even like to read about it; it just makes me frustrated at the stupidity of the leaders in this country in which I live and pay taxes and vote and raise my child. I know it's just a TV show, but still.

Lots of other people have been covering the Great Buster Sugartime Controversy in their blogs, with more eloquence than I can muster. All I can say is: Go read their posts, and then, if you're inclined, write scathing e-mails to PBS and the Department of Education.

My own contribution to this brouhaha? The suggestion that you also shoot a quick e-mail to your local PBS station, as soon as possible. Write and tell them that you value diversity of all kinds in the programming your children or your community's children watch, and urge them to air the "Sugartime!" episode of "Postcards from Buster." I know that the Seattle PBS station is reviewing phone and e-mail messages before deciding whether they will air the episode.

Here's the e-mail I sent to our local station, KCTS, earlier today. It's far from the most eloquent thing I've ever written, but I pounded it out in 10 minutes, rather than doing what I usually do, which is to think I should write something perfect and then write nothing. I challenge everyone to do better than I did--or just to do what I did and write something quick and unpolished--and post your effort in comments below after you send it.

I urge KCTS to fulfil its mission of providing relevant and educational programming by airing the upcoming "Sugartime!" episode of "Postcards from Buster," despite Margaret Spellings' statements in the press and the capitulation of national PBS.

As a Jewish lesbian parent, I want my daughter's television viewing to help expand her world, not narrow it; I want her to learn about many different ways of living in the world, not just ours. Thousands of other Seattle-area parents--whether gay or straight, Jewish, Christian or Muslim--want the same for their children.

As the only public television station in the Seattle area, KCTS has an obligation to all families, not just the Christian right wing. Please fulfil that obligation by airing "Sugartime."

Now, go! Write!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. As I have been living for two weeks in baby-surgery-land, I had totally missed this. I'd been feeling mildly positive about Margaret Spelling, in an at-least-she's-not-Rod-Paige kind of way. But, OK, here is my diatribe:

In kindergarten, black children test about a year behind white children (Farkas, Teachers College Record, v 105 n 6 pp 1119-1146). So how effectively does American schooling close this gap? There is only one randomly-administered national standardized test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, usually called the "nape" though the acronym is of course NAEP. On it, black 12th graders test about as well in English & math as white 8th graders (see, for instance, So, yes, American public schools not only don't close the one-year gap that kids bring to school, they WIDEN IT BY THREE MORE YEARS. But Margaret Spelling's first big act as education secretary is to protest a CARTOON?

I used to think I could not get any more cynical, but perhaps I have an infinite capacity for disillusionment.


5:41 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Wish I could dahling, wish I could...

4:01 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

This whole thing makes me just sick; I've been fretting about it ever since I read Carrie's post last week. I'll be writing my letters tomorrow and hoping the filthy taste in my mouth goes away soon. Bleah.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

Done. Gah, it's so infuriating.

5:36 PM  
Blogger LilySea said...

I have had my head in the sand on this one all week. Bush-saturation!
But yeah, yeah, fine, so I wrote the letter.

8:40 PM  

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