Free to Be...You and Me / 35 years later

In 1972, Marlo Thomas (from That Girl. I know, it's before my time too) combined songs and skits to teach kids that it's cool to be who you are. Little did she know her little after-school-special would be the stuff teachers would dream of; a diversion that would buy them 60-minutes in the smoking room while their students learned not to pick on the gay kid in class. At least, that's what my teachers used Free to Be You and Me for. You could always tell it was going to be a Free to Be day when one teacher would come to class with red eyes (crying from a breakup or something) and then 2 or 3 teachers would corral their classes into the Library for an hour while they sat in the Teaching Resource Room and drank coffee and gossiped. They also used to do the same with reruns of Square One and 3-2-1 Contact, in which we were bored to death by math problems or grossed out by the dissection of a cow's eye (respectively).

Anyways, I don't know if teachers today still use Free to Be in the same way. In honour of Free to Be's 35th Anniversary, I have picked a few of my favourite pieces. It's funny, but when I was a kid watching this, I thought it was the lamest shit I had ever seen. Now? We'll, it's still pretty lame, but it's also pretty adorable too.

Oh mah god, Michael Jackson before he became...well...Michael Jackson. He's actually really cute here. Oh god, Marlo Thomas, what did you do to Lil' Michael?!?

I remember this one so vividly! It's about a little boy who wants a doll for his birthday and his dad is 100% sure that he will create a Homer Sexual if he buys him one. So what does the dad do to make him straight? Sports! That's always the answer; surround him with balls.

Damn...Harry Belafonte was fiiiine back in the day. Is he still alive? (Wikipedia check: yes, yes he is. But he is very very old). Regardless, this song is so cute - I wish I could sing like Marlo Thomas.

Um...does anyone else realize that a young child is murdered at the end of this? I think we need an epilogue.

I wish I could show this to every 20 year old girl who thinks that they need to get married in order to be someone. The message in this one is really sweet; whether you are a girl or a boy, choosing to skip marriage in favour of life experience doesn't make you a loser. One of the best gifts my parents have ever given me is 0 pressure to get married, to do what I want and not define myself as someone's wife.


alice said...

"if you've got the cri-i-ime, they've got the ti-i-ime, they're the bloodhound gang" oh how that song will stick in your head. Really though, 3-2-1 contact was #1

Lesson learned today: if you're a prissy bitch, you'll be eaten by tigers. Makes sense to me.

ilana said...

this was my favourite vinyl to listen to!

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