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Thursday Threads: A Very GenX Strand! Schoolhouse Rock... What was your favorite?
It taught us everything from civics to grammar (adverbs, hello?) to math to the planets & ran 7+ seasons. If you grew up with Saturday morning cartoons, you had a favorite!
So, I know I’m a bit of a grammar nerd.
And I’ll admit to feeling a frisson of excitement when Benjamin Dreyer's card game STET! came out (based on his bestselling book Dreyer’s English because I thought:
“Finally, here’s a chance to secretly teach the riff-raff end of our extended family at Thanksgiving ALL about semicolons, proper syntax, and how to use who and whom! Never mind the proper usage of ‘They’re getting their coffee over there!’”
Resistant to any actual learning or reading whatsoever, if you can sneak learning into a card game—like Cards Against Humanity but with grammar or history or (God forbid) science—my idiot Tr*mper relatives will turn their heads from Fox News and actually learn facts that may ultimately shift their worldview for five-ten seconds or even create 45 minutes of common ground and laughter…
Growing up, Schoolhouse Rock was a democratizing force and had everything from I’m Just a Bill to Interplanet Janet to VERB: That’s What’s Happening! My favorite was Interjections. (Surprise, ha.) It made me who I am along with learning what a noun and conjunctions were by age 4. My siblings, who are not GenX, have terrifying grammar! I am convinced it’s because they grew up without Schoolhouse Rock.
See, you really grok the difference between shouting in a sentence and speaking strongly.
The only negative with this one is that it DID make me slightly scared of shots. But it also gave me an overly developed sense of license to express myself—I loved playing Geraldine. “Well, I never!” My runner-up is (of course) VERB. But the thing about this is… starting in 1973, Schoolhouse Rock made 65 videos that taught a whole generation of kids and ran them constantly. From My Hero Zero to Electricity, Electricity performed by Jazz great, Bob Dorough, it was a glorious little phenom.
Alors, what’s your favorite Schoolhouse Rock? Is there one you think is particularly relevant for a younger generation to know about now? Is there one that needs massive revision?
I had the CD when my kids were little and so we sang them in the car, but for my young nephews right now, I think I’d brainwash them with the women’s rights one… it’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
But what’s your favorite? If you didn’t grow up with them, it’s never too late to discover this true GenX gem.
🤍🤍🤍 - xoxo - gotham girl
p.s. If this post feels rather limp, just know the Hiaasen-esque Chechens with blow torches and wedding cakes are coming soon. Huzzah! 😂