There is only death and danger in the sockets of my eyes
Upon hearing about the death of my favorite TV personality from childhood, Mr. Fred Rogers, my immediate reaction was to crack a joke about his being capped by gangsters for his cardigan collection after trying to get a little TOO neighborly. It distresses me a little that my first reaction to almost anything is to crack a joke. I mean I am a firm believer that humor can help us deal with even the greatest tragedies in a way that nothing else can, but I also believe in solemnity for certain occasions, something I appear not to be so great at anymore. Fred Rogers was a good man in a way that not many men are anymore. He was dedicated to reaching out to children and instilling solid values, curiosity, and love in them. He was the emotional side of sesame street, instead of lessons about counting and socialization he taught personal values, ethics, and just flat out friendlyness as well as the importance of community and family. He also wore a cardigan like no man ever will again.
Mr. Rogers never sold out, he never merchandized himself in fuzzy dolls or copious numbers of computer programs. He wasn't about selling he was about caring. Today's children grow up with Barney, Pokemon, and even the better hearted stuff tends to be more about marketing than actually doing something worthwhile.
It's days like this and people like Mr. Rogers that really make you question progress, whether it's a good thing, and how much is lost as our society strips away the past to pursue whatever it is we're pursuing these days.