Caution: “This is a narrative of very heavy duty proportions.” Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, from The Muppet Movie, by Jim Henson. I consider that fine gentleman my first teacher. I had adults around me all my life that knew I had a special gift for words in any form. Somehow I was lucky enough to be born at a moment in time when a guy with puppets could change the world, and he did. Just like Gepetto. Mr. Henson reiterated Ma’s love for the Beatles over and over before my very eyes. He put the pictures to the words the boys were painting in my impressionable young mind.
Throughout my entire life, if I hear the number twelve, I sing the “Number Song” from Sesame Street. I adore frogs, and because of Jim, I now love and help protect many species of endangered frogs by teaching kids the things this man shared with children everywhere. FOR FREE. Yes, duh, he makes money from it, so did the Beatles, don’t you get paid to do YOUR job? And if people like them are successful it’s because they put their entire souls into what they knew was a wonderful thing to share with the world. Human Decency goes far in our relationships with others, don’t you think? Good manners, general empathy for your neighbor, and personal accountability are things I’ve chosen to protect in my own little personal space. I believe that words can change the world. I believe that with all of my heart. But words are empty without someone else to understand and share those words with others.
Through Jim Henson Studios, I’ve been given a lifetime of free education, and in today’s world, we need more Sunny Days, and less Survivor. Why not teach our kids real reality? Mr. Henson’s been doing it very well since 1969. And guess who he invited along to teach? The Beatles. Henson totally plugged The Beatles, and still does, and ya know what? They were honored, and we were as well. What pops in your head when you think of the word “conjunction”. If you were a child in the post hippie revolution/ pre Welcome to the Machine, you were indeed blessed. You had what children in earlier eras and simpler times had, free love of learning. And that, my friends, is how we can all change the world one smile at a time. By being simple, and loving the little moments that makes us “Sing A Song” and find “Rainbow Connections”. My favorite guys were always flattered that the Puppet Master (that used to be considered art, not something sinister) would portray them and with his own eyes. He passed down their legacy to an entire generation, knowing we would need it later.
We have often been called Generation X, my classmates and I. We’ve chosen as an age group to pretty much do what we were taught to do by wise men. Learned men, who were not full of their own superiority; rather men that had incredible gifts, legends in their own time, who gave back infinitely more than they ever took from millions of children, who are now parents and trying do their best in a world gone terribly away from their simple instructions.
John asked us to Imagine, and Jim showed us how to play pretend. Thank you gentleman, for starting me along my path, and for also choosing a plethora (learned it on Sesame Street) of other J’s for me to be influenced by with so much love. Thank you for teaching that being kind doesn’t cost a thing. And that truth is seldom “nice” to everyone’s feelings, but it is always the kindest option in the long run. If you think back Gen X-ers, I bet you’ll find yourself hearing a Muppet as your personal Jiminy Cricket, eh? Another J.
They did not attempt to do it alone however. Like so many freedom fighters, they start the war at home, teaching their children to question, learn, explore, prepare, and become self sufficient citizens of this Earth, who are generous and kind. Think about it, have you really ever heard of a Beatle offspring or Henson progeny Growing up Kardashian? I think not. We are all sensing a building of communal thoughts, common grounds being restaked. We are too busy closing ourselves off into tiny little instant gratification boxes, and are entire too stressed out to stop everything and just listen to the music, and let it do what it was made to do. Or read a book and find infinite new worlds and ideas.
I’ll close with another caution: Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody, I need someone to help me. Let’s all just Give Peace a Chance. If I’m not convincing you these are less lyrics than a guidebook for making it Across the Universe, let me know how you disagree, or what makes you think that. I love a good discourse, and am hoping to find more people to talk with me, and walk with me, as I stumble down this Long and Winding Road. Check it out, it’s like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon: John has a Bacon number of 1,2,4,5,& 7. I don’t really get the math, but I get the connections. The Circles Within the Circles. John will always teach others, as long as someone will listen, And, I must say, I’m always listening, and always learning. Cause I get by with a little friends, and also learned that a stranger is only a friend you haven’t met yet.
Looking through a glass onion,