another father sent to Iraq, another lonely child - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-11-2008, 04:23 PM   #1
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another father sent to Iraq, another lonely child

[q]Elmo's Dad Gets Sent to Iraq
Posted by Cole Gamble

Sesame Workshop, the people behind Sesame Street, is helping military families with young children cope with the deployment, redeployment and homecoming of their mommies and daddies. Would you like to see something a little surreal this morning? How about watch a music video in which Elmo’s dad tells Elmo he’s being shipped off to Iraq?

[q]I must be a little behind, I didn't know Elmo had a dad and that his dad knew how to really rock the goatee/track suit combo Oh, and apparently he's southern? Kidding aside, I think this is a wonderful thing Sesame Street is doing. It’s the kind of thing they were created for. The program is called Talk, Listen, Connect and if you are a family with young kids and a loved one at war, you may want to check out this kit at www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc/. There is information and advice for both the child and the parent in dealing with this difficult time.[/q]

What depresses me is that this program is still needed. The reality for military familes is that mommies and daddies go to war, they come home from war, but then they get sent back to Iraq again. It’s just tragic. Once the kid has seen the video when mommy went off to Iraq the first time, what are we supposed to do when mommy goes back to Iraq a second or third time? Show them the video again? Some day this war will end and it will be up to families, not politicians, to pick up the pieces.[/q]



i mean this not to mock. it actually makes me very, very sad. i hope Elmo's father isn't killed, and comes back with all his limbs and benefits, especially now that Bush thinks the surge has been such a smashing success that the July 2008 troop drawbacks are unnecessary.

it's surreal, but this is the real. there's a child watching this, nodding, and partially understanding, and feeling very, very sad right now.

just remember, soldiers are for fighting, and for running out the clock in a political year.

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Old 04-11-2008, 04:39 PM   #2
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And yet another generation is brainwashed.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
And yet another generation is brainwashed
Not sure what you mean by that.

Kind of similar to a parent that goes to sea, works on the river, etc... sometimes gone for months at a time. It's cool that they have something to identify with.

I'm going to the desert in late summer, but only for 6 months. I'll miss the holidays, and I know that will be sad for my kids. It's important for me though, to help out. It's important for me to make the best of our situation there.

I'm down with Elmo's dad. I can relate.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
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it reminds me of the South African version of Sesame Street that has a character who's HIV+.

there's a need for this stuff. it's just sad that this exists at all.

stay safe MI.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:07 PM   #5
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It's actually a very sweet video, maybe a little too sweet for some children. It's never actually stated what line of work Elmo's dad is in or where he's going (and he returns at the end), though it's interspersed with vignettes of real kids and their parents talking about how they handle goodbyes and being apart, and several of those parents are in uniform (Elmo's dad isn't)...again, I don't think Iraq is mentioned, but one mother explains "I'm active duty Air Force" and a father alludes in passing to his multiple deployments. It seems to have been written to address a wide variety of "when Daddy/Mommy has to go away for a while" situations. Yes, it's sad there's as much use as there is right now for a film like this (it's actually been out a little over a year), but like MadelynIris said, there are always going to be some kids who can relate to this material, and it's a nice enough way to address the topic with small children.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
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Originally posted by MadelynIris

Kind of similar to a parent that goes to sea, works on the river, etc... sometimes gone for months at a time. It's cool that they have something to identify with.
I'm afraid I don't see many similarities at all. There's not much cool with this whole situation, to be honest. Instead of trying to make the brutal realities of war cool or understandable, we should be teaching our kids how we can put an end to war. This is not "Elmo's two dads", this is "Elmo's dad's going to war and has a great chance of not returning" - well at least in a physical and/or emotional state that Elmo recognizes. Maybe they should add a segment on how the president of United Sesame led Elmo's dad to believe it was all legitimate and it all turned out to be false? Maybe some images of all the innocent dead Muppets left behind?


edit: I realize Elmo's dad is not overtly depicted in uniform. I'm using him by way of example.
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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I read that they are producing another video about a different muppet's parent returning home in a wheelchair and how the muppet copes with that. But these films are for 3-5 year olds--they're not going to go into whats, wheres and whys; the point is to address basic fears about still being loved and taken care of.
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by acrobatique
This is not "Elmo's two dads", this is "Elmo's dad's going to war and has a great chance of not returning" - well at least in a physical and/or emotional state that Elmo recognizes. Maybe they should add a segment on how the president of United Sesame led Elmo's dad to believe it was all legitimate and it all turned out to be false? Maybe some images of all the innocent dead Muppets left behind?
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