essays

Adult Sesame Street?

Bert and ErnieIt could be that PBS ends up standing for Public Boomer Service if public broadcasters have their way. While commercial broadcasters will kill to reach the 20-something demographic, they rarely take an interest in boomers (except maybe to sell us Depends or Viagra). PBS, on the other hand, is poised to come after 45- to-65-year-olds in a big way.

They’re calling it Next Avenue (get it? there was Sesame Street for kids, but now they want us geezers next) and it’s going to be a web site that aggregates all sorts of PBS programming that centers on health and wellness, money and finances, and living and learning.

Already being dubbed "Adult Sesame Street," it’s supposed to launch this April and will include familiar programming such as “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “America’s Test Kitchen” and “LiveRetirement for dummies cover From the Artists Den,” along with some new programming created specifically for Next Avenue.

I guess we should get used to being the “it girl/boy” but after so many years of being ignored by advertisers it’s difficult to forget the shabby treatment. And they only like us now because we’re sitting on a tidy pile of equity/money (even after the economic melt-down put a big dent in it). It’s a little bit like being popular at lunch time in grade school because your mom packed some great goodies and then being totally ignored on the playground (I’m not working through this particular issue....I’m just saying).

The popularity game has always been a double-edged sword. Do they like us for what we can do for them, or do they like us for who we are? I’d have to go with cynical answer, but I don’t feel bad about it.

In the not quoted often enough words of Big Bird, “bad days happens to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself." Right on brother.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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