It’s been said that things always show up in threes. I noticed that my last two posts on PopMatters.com were related to Dodos. One was a review of the San Francisco-based band, The Dodos, at the Music Hall of Willamsburg. There, I discovered that the Dodos are lot more interesting than they sound on their last album, which was produced by Phil Ek, who has worked with other not-immensely-interesting bands like the Shins. (Not that I really have anything against the Shins…)
The other was a review of Ralph Nader’s new book, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! in which Nader proves over the course of 736 pages that he is, himself, a Dodo, or at the very least, a bad writer with delusions of grandeur.
I was waiting for the third Dodo to fall from the sky when I saw Cookie Monster on the Google homepage and realized it’s the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street. The PopMatters Mixed Media Blog has Sesame Street covered, too, with the Sesame Street Turns 40 Video Collection. You can also visit the official Sesame Street Homepage for more child and adult-friendly videos.
Personally, I love all things Sesame Street, but nothing more than the movie Follow That Bird, the story of how Big Bird goes to live with a family of Dodos so he live with animals “of his own kind.” It turns out of course that even though the Dodos are birds like Big Bird, his real friends are the one on Sesame Street who may not look like him, but certainly understand and love him. Still, the Dodo family is pretty hilarious and from what I remember, Follow That Bird is a top-notch film. On a whim, I decided to some hunting around YouTube for Follow That Bird videos and found this song, “Ain’t No Mountain You Can’t Climb.” I was surprised to discover I remembered all the words, but concluded the song is probably the reason why I was such an astoundingly over-confident three-year old.
Mainly I think this song is so great because Sesame Street is so realistic and ironic. While Jennings is spouting his cheery, kickin’ country inspiration, Bert and Ernie are fighting about the color of Big Bird, Oscar is driving off the road, and Cookie Monster is looking for cookies. In fact, Big Bird is no where close to home, but tapping his webbed-foot along to a catchy tune certainly doesn’t hurt. Grown-ups get the sad humor of Big Bird hopping delighted off the truck only to realize that he has no idea where Sesame Street is located, but it doesn’t take away from entertainment value of the tune. Somehow, Sesame Street finds a way to make fun of everybody and inspire toddlers at the same time. This is basically my goal in life. (minus the toddlers.)
I think of all the characters, the Count has the best idea. He points out that no road is too long, as long as you can count telephone poles. If you suspect you are in for a long wait, it’s always a good idea to find something to be passionate about other than the ticking of the second hand on your watch.