Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Gentle Answer Turning Away Wrath

Everyone knows Mr. Rogers. Slow-spoken and gentle, Fred Rogers began his career with the CBC in 1963. Yes, we in Canada found him first! In 1967, he was aired by PBS in Philadelphia. Fred Rogers died of cancer in 2003, but his show lives on, making Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood, the longest-running show in PBS history. His appeal was ever in his gentle kindness, and his passionate concern for the health and development of young children. This weekend, my husband found another bit of cultural history involving Fred Rogers on a blog he reads. Check out Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington, in which even a hostile, cranky senator is won over by Mr. Rogers' sincerity, love for children, and kindness. It starts slow - this is Fred Rogers, after all! - but it's worth waiting till the last section, where Mr. Rogers makes a brilliantly subtle anti-war statement that ends with a rendition of his classic "What Do You Do With the Mad that you Feel?". Brilliant.

8 Comments:

Blogger Granny said...

I wish Mr. Rogers could have gone on forever.

5/28/2006 08:34:00 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I must admit that Mr. Rogers always creeped me out somewhat. He just seemed kinda ooky.

5/29/2006 01:59:00 p.m.  
Anonymous BeckcaJo said...

Someone else posted a link to that video about a week ago, and ever since, Mr. Rogers has taken over my dreams. He keeps telling me I need to improve my self-esteem and that it's okay to be mad. Weird.

5/29/2006 02:06:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Granny: Wasn't he great?

Kittenpie: I used to find his speech odd - it was sooo slow! But I've since learned that's just the way he talked, always. Apart from that, I see him as one of the truly rare gentle men.

BeckaJo: And is he right??

5/29/2006 03:51:00 p.m.  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Thanks for the link, Mary P. :-)

Yeah, my first instinct was that he seems a little... off. But then I realized that's just the jaded part of me talking, that the world's so screwed up that a great person like him seems bizarre.

5/29/2006 11:39:00 p.m.  
Blogger Andie D. said...

I have always loved Mr. Rogers. Since I was a child.

A few years ago, Esquire magazine published an edition about heroes. Fred was on the cover. The article made me weep. Simply an incredible man.

5/30/2006 12:39:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

JA: I agree: it's hard for jaded people to see and accept a man so... unjaded. He was what he was, and what he was, was genuinely good. It's rare.

AndieD: I'll have to look that up!

5/30/2006 08:12:00 a.m.  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Here's the esquire article.

5/30/2006 09:53:00 a.m.  

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