PBS cuts, Toy Story news, and kid memories of yesteryear

Before I started writing novels (in 2014), I wrote short stories and articles for parent and family magazines. The compilation of many of those articles resulted in the book To Insanity and Beyond, A Mom’s Journey, which was published in 2002. The title of the book was timely and inspired by Buzz Lightyear’s famous words in Toy Story (To infinity and beyond), at a time when I was raising two young children and writing on the side.

Toy Story 1 first came out in 1995 (the year my daughter was born). Toy Story 2 came out in 1999, and Toy Story 3 made its debut in 2010; in 2019 we will be seeing Disney’s 4th installment of Toy Story (also produced by Pixar).

Toy Story, Aladdin, Land Before Time, Beauty and the Beast, A Bug’s Life, Pagemaster, and Mulan were all very important to us as a family, and even though they took us to foreign and fantastical lands, these stories were our anchor and an opportunity for snuggles and laughs with my kids that I will never forget and will always cherish.

As a military family uprooted every 2-3 years, anchors have always been important (and no, no pun was intended here since my husband was not in the Navy). In any case (and with every move), we shipped ahead furniture and other household goods and clothing, but with us (in a car or on a plane), we brought essentials like immediate weather clothing and documents, but also our VHS tapes and a whole lot of books for sanity and entertainment until the rest of our things arrived.

Our moves were frequent, and our planning was methodical. I had lists I updated regularly on what to bring and what to leave behind, with the goal always being that no matter where we went or for how long, the place we moved to would be “home”. So my lists were like survival kits, and one item on my list was to search for the local channels of TV shows like Sesame Street, Barney, Reading Rainbow, Magic Schoolbus, Wishbone and Lamb Chop. The “constant” of kid friendly/educational/fun and entertaining shows, provided us with some necessary stability in an ever-changing lifestyle and a need for continuity.

Fast forward 20+ years, and I wonder how essential these educational shows are to parents and kids today. My guess is that they are still relevant, still important, and still very entertaining (even if you don’t move 2-3 times every five years).

The funding cuts to PBS are a concern to me for that reason. Of course, I’m also concerned about the cuts to NPR. These are in the works with the proposed privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides funds to both PBS and NPR. *

As it develops, I’m not sure how soon we will see the effect of these cuts. The companies involved are being asked to step up their fundraising activities to draw more pledges, something they’ve always done and now may require a lot more. In any case, I’ve signed every petition that has crossed my desk to make sure that (what I consider to be) quality broadcasting remains accessible to all, and I urge others to do the same.

There is so much confusion about the many changes that are being made everywhere, and I’m still confused about the outcome on a lot of things and disconcerting viewpoints and opinions we all read, or see on the news.

In the current climate we live in, truth and reality are often hard to extrapolate from the drama, misinformation, and alternative facts that plague the media today. I try to find unbiased opinion, but I am starting to believe that’s not even possible anymore.

I found a couple of articles regarding the PBS and NPR cuts (below), and hopefully they will explain what’s going on a lot better than I could ever do. I’ve also added notes.

About CPB – http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/

  • CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.
  • CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

CPB by the numbers:

  • 410 grantees, representing 1,123 public radio stations
  • 170 grantees, representing 366 public TV stations
  • 220 of the total 580 grantees are considered rural
  • 99% of Americans have access to public media
  • More than 70% of CPB’s federal funding goes directly to local public media stations
  • Less than 5% of funding is spent on CPB operations
  • $1.35 – Average annual cost per American for public media

http://www.snopes.com/2017/01/27/is-trump-planning-on-killing-pbs-and-npr/ – this article on SNOPES is meant to clarify the truth and half-truths on what is being discussed.

As always, I wish you peace, love, family, health, friendship, and all that is good, and I urge you to read carefully, be aware, be tolerant, but also stand up for what you believe is right and resist (in a peaceful manner), that you don’t agree with.

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