Monday, April 23, 2012

“It’s Time to Play the Music...”

Depending on your age, you know how the rest of this goes... “It’s time to light the lights...” Ah, yes, the Muppets theme song. And, I know, once you have started it will stay there in your head as an endless mobius play list, ending only when replaced with the theme song from Gilligan’s Island. I grew up with the Muppets and could not wait for Saturday night to come. It was a time of excitement and anticipation of waiting for that specific time, and that time only, to watch something on television. And there was something so real and human about those stuffed talking creatures. They laughed at themselves, they cared, they taught, they loved (in a way only a blond bombshell pig and singing frog could) – and we did the same, right along with them.

The Muppet Movie (, recently released, was an immensely enjoyable experience for me. Not that I am getting all sappy here, but it took me back to a time in my youth where things seemed simpler, safer and easier to understand. From my extensive survey (4 teenagers), I found that the Muppets were not so exciting for them. Downright “boring,” to quote one succinct responder. Mention Harry Potter or, clear a path, The Hunger Games, and all ears are at attention. Is that really where we are now – more dangerous, more complex, more real?

At a University, I strive to find that place, that image, that “flavor” that will spark the attention of that 18 to 24-year old demographic. How can I express to them that we are all in this world together and that thinking about their own survival in times of crisis is not only practical but necessary? Maybe a survival WOW-type video game, or a Hangin’ With... game in which you hang the icons of yourself when you don’t win enough bottles of water or first aid kits.

Seton Hall has created something that I think is genius. They created an emergency preparedness website specifically for that younger set (Sue’s definition: Anyone under 30) that is in a comic-book style format. Visually interesting and fun. Take a look at:

While I know that tastes change, it’s just hard to let go of what once meant so much. I guess it is just it's time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational emergency preparedness program that I know. Maybe I can call Kermit for some help...

Hear the whole song here:

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