Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Capital I

In a recent discussion with my buddy Chad, he mentioned watching a lot of old Sesame Street programs recently with his toddler. In particular, he mentioned the following clip.
He sang the little jingle, and I vaguely remembered the scene. I was stoked to find this thing on YouTube. And he is right, clips like this are why the 70's ruled. First, I agree that the music sounds a lot like the band America. But what do the lyrics mean? Oh sure - three dudes in a capital I... That's not odd, is it? "We all live in a capital I, It floats above the desert in the middle of the sky..." I propose that the actual meaning is more to the concept of ego, and the sad plight of man, left trapped in the lonely caverns of the mind, shining the self and shutting the door of conciet, keeping the self a beautiful yet solitary monument awash in the vast empty expanse of the universe. It's a sad and hard lesson for a toddler, or a man, but it may contain a glimmer of hope for trancendance. The line, "Polishing the I, high up in the sky", could also be written, "Polishing the EYE, high up in the sky", a sly and subtle refrence to the eye of mind, ego's bane, and the possibility of broader human understanding and experience beyond the walls of the "I". These are the lessons that a large swath of America grew up with, lessons that are sorely lacking from modern children's programming.

3 comments:

Adrienne said...

Right on. The only comment I would make - having now seen the clip a hundred times - is that the capital I guys seem to lead pretty simple, content lives - "It is great to be so happy on a busy afternoon." You can tell by the looks on their faces that they don't spend too much time contemplating the ego. Or maybe that's just so the kids watching don't get too freaked out. Anyway, Sesame Street rocks.

Tree said...

Agreed. Seasame Street rules! My favorite is the pinball machine counting to twelve. It's catchy and it sticks in your head for days!

Anonymous said...

The true meaning is a brainwashing effect to the worship of money and to cultivate the behavior preferred for the fuctionary employmee that were needed by the burgeoning faceless corporate oligarchy. Where else does the EYE float in the desert sky - on the back of the dollar bill! 3 communists doing there collective work! Hypnotic monotone lyrics set to 9 beat pantameter music set to pierce our generation's sense of Individualism - J