Remembering Jim Henson...

Hubert

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Well, I'm going to throw up my little piece about Jim now:

Ever since I was little, I had absolutely loved the work of Jim Henson. I remember the first time I watched the Muppets, when I was about 3 or 4. My parents were surprised that I was able to sit through all that I watched. There was a genius behind that, one that could entice kids and teach them.

I'm not talking about Sesame Street teaching either, even though that is one of the thousands of projects Jim had under his belt. I'm talking life lessons teaching. If anyone prepared me for life, it would be Jim. I can't even list all the things he has taught me. He taught me how to dream. He taught me that comedy is awesome, that joking around and having a plain good time is the greatest thing you can do. That you should enjoy your work. That there are adults who get paid for being children. That songs are good, making people happy is good, being nice is good. I know that half of this stuff I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. I really believe that Jim has saved me from pursuing a career that is just plain boring. I learned how to dream through him. I learned how to never take no for an answer when you believe in yourself and your work. There's nothing holding you back.

The thing is, Jim didn't have to stand in the TV and speak these long, boring lectures for me. He was fun. He did what he did best by him having a good time himself. And if you're having a good time, your audience is bound to. He showed me things, taught me things, and just plain made me laugh through singing frogs and joking bears, chickens and boomerang fish, swedish chefs and Fraggles, weirdos and misfits, penguin throwing, wig racing, lobster banditos, ragmops. He knew how to make fun stuff. And really, that's all the Muppets are, right? Just plain fun.

I can't believe that I'm a Muppet fan. Until you really get to know me, you don't really that there's this silliness and humor inside of me, that I'm not the boring, serious person I appear to be. I love to laugh. Laughing is my favorite activity to do. I really thing it means a lot to be a Muppet fan. That some random guy just came in, and we all followed him, believed in him and loved him and his work. People just don't get us. They don't get the Muppets. They see the Muppets as childish, singing, puppets. We see the Muppets as family entertainment, the best in the world. And that's it. It is the best entertainment in the world. I'll admit that. And I know I'm right. Only one arguer can be right when arguing about the best film and TV franchise in the world, and I'm right. Us Muppet fans are right. The Muppets are something different. Don't get me wrong here, there are gallons of other good entertainment, but to me the Muppets are just different. Something different. Something amazingly awesome. That while other people are being entertained by these people doing inappropriate things, we're here being entertained by chickens and bears and frogs and pigs and weirdos.

"Perhaps the substance of Jim Henson’s genius was the ability to see wonder in some far off crazy direction and get people to follow him there." That's a quote. And its so true. He had that ability to go and do something ambitious, something crazy. And then a bunch of us packed up our bags in a moment's notice, and jumped on the train along with him. Jim knew what he was doing. In fact, he may be one of the smartest people who have ever existed. Some people think being smart is getting good grades and having people refer to you as Dr. John Smith. That ain't smart. Smart is what Jim was. Smart really is being able to think out your ideas and execute them. Smart is planning, thinking, doing, working, continuing. Smart is being able to take your small self and start something big. It isn't measured by how many abbreviations you can boast at the back end of your name. It's thinking. That's what Jim did. He thought, planned, did, worked, continued. He didn't stop. He knew what he was doing out there. He really did.

Jim really was able to change the world. He knew how to change the world. And I have to believe that he spent his entire life knowing he would. He admitted sometimes that he always knew he'd be successful. I think he meant more than that. He knew he'd do something big, make the world a little better, or in his case, a lot better. I wish more people could come in and understand the magic of the Muppets. To truly get the rainbow connection. The rainbow connection is out there. It can't be put into words what it is. You just have to get it. To see it. To see that rainbow connection. We all need to find that rainbow connection. And that's what Jim was all about.
 

bandit

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Wow. That was pretty precisely put, Blunderbrain. Honest, everything you said there is so true.

You're so right. Jim Henson had this ability visualize what was -beyond-. I kind of think of his imagination and creativity as one of those 'Mind's Eye' puzzles that....it's staring you right in the face and yet you kind of have to let your eyes go slightly out of focus so that you can see things differently and then...BAM! The image has been staring you right in the face and it's so simple.

Kind of like you, I'm one of these people who could never really seem to grow up. I've always had this silliness that refused to go down without a fight. Slapstick and craziness and one line zingers, explosions, chickens, literal interpretations of something obviously metaphorical, ridiculously catchy music....All of that. It's recently that it hit me....this has been true from an early age and yet why do we have to outgrow it? Why can't we use it? Working with kids now I stop and think back and realize that I probably was heavily influenced by Jim Henson's ideas. Particular, you should always dare to imagine and you should always have an easy laugh and a song to sing.

Oh and don't be afraid to be a little warped. That keeps people on their toes and keeps things from getting to boring.
 

Hubert

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Wow. That was pretty precisely put, Blunderbrain. Honest, everything you said there is so true.

You're so right. Jim Henson had this ability visualize what was -beyond-. I kind of think of his imagination and creativity as one of those 'Mind's Eye' puzzles that....it's staring you right in the face and yet you kind of have to let your eyes go slightly out of focus so that you can see things differently and then...BAM! The image has been staring you right in the face and it's so simple.

Kind of like you, I'm one of these people who could never really seem to grow up. I've always had this silliness that refused to go down without a fight. Slapstick and craziness and one line zingers, explosions, chickens, literal interpretations of something obviously metaphorical, ridiculously catchy music....All of that. It's recently that it hit me....this has been true from an early age and yet why do we have to outgrow it? Why can't we use it? Working with kids now I stop and think back and realize that I probably was heavily influenced by Jim Henson's ideas. Particular, you should always dare to imagine and you should always have an easy laugh and a song to sing.

Oh and don't be afraid to be a little warped. That keeps people on their toes and keeps things from getting to boring.
Yeah. Exactly. Like one of those Mind Eye puzzles. That's a great analogy.

And that's the beauty of the thing. Something Jim was teaching us. We don't have to outgrow silliness, imagination. We have to use it. We can use it. Laughing and singing and imagining are the best things in the world. The problem is that no one applies it to everyday life. Everyday life needs it most. Humor plays off our everyday troubles. The thing is, that now I realize, for a while I didn't feel compelled to release this silliness that I've always had in me. I just kept it to myself. And then I had two super outbursts of Muppet fandom, one about 4 years ago, and another one this year, when I really did start releasing that silliness in me. Think what would happen if everyone imagined, sang, and laughed. Think where the world would be.

To be honest, after I posted that, I went back and pretty much read the whole thing. I really had no idea what I had even written, as soon as it started, I just typed from my heart. Just poured out what I felt.
 

fuzzygobo

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22 years . That was half my life ago. I was a week away from graduating from college, and was ready to make that leap into the big bad adult world, feeling I had to leave a big chunk of my childhood behind. I watched Sesame Street from Day One, grew up on the Muppet Show, cherished Emmet Otter, and thought Fraggle Rock was one of the greatest magical gifts ever bestowed on us. And part of me thought, with Jim's passing, and me being an adult now, I had to leave that part of my life behind. Thankfully that wasn't the case. I grew up, and the world seemed a little colder without his physical presence here anymore, but that spirit that touches your heart will never die. It's only grown stronger. Thank you Jim for letting me grow up with you and your creations, and that sense of wonder, that sense of love, and that wonderful comic absurdity, will always be with me. And all of us.
 

bandit

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To be honest, after I posted that, I went back and pretty much read the whole thing. I really had no idea what I had even written, as soon as it started, I just typed from my heart. Just poured out what I felt.
And you didn't even blunder once. Jim really IS magic! *lol* JK! ^_^ No, it's touching and sweet and I really enjoyed reading it. I couldn't have said it better myself. So glad I didn't have to.
 

Hubert

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And you didn't even blunder once. Jim really IS magic! *lol* JK! ^_^ No, it's touching and sweet and I really enjoyed reading it. I couldn't have said it better myself. So glad I didn't have to.
Earlier I tried writing a letter to Jim. I just sat there looking at blankness. I just couldn't put it into words. :jim:
 

bandit

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That's when you have to let your heart do the talking. Yeah yeah, it might sound cheezy but I can't help that's the truth! IT's when we're most honest.
 

Hubert

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That's when you have to let your heart do the talking. Yeah yeah, it might sound cheezy but I can't help that's the truth! IT's when we're most honest.
Yeah. That's true. And your heart is what it all comes down to. Even in life. People miss the fact that your heart is supposed to run your life, not your brain.
 

bandit

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Ahhh it's a little of both. ^_- Not necessarily equal parts at all times. Let it ebb and flow...ebb and flow....
 

Convincing John

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You know...all day today I thought about watching the Jim Henson memorial service. (I got a copy a long time ago).

Instead, I had a lot of errands and other things that got in the way. By the time I was finished, it was way too late to watch something that long.

I thought, rather than watch something so powerful, yet so sad, I decided I'd do something else. I had my supper (which included celery and carrots by the bunch). Then I watched something silly which never fails to make me smile: Captain Vegetable. I'm sure Jim got a kick out of performing him, just as fans get a kick out of watching the clip.

As sad as I am that Jim Henson is gone, I also have to remember that Jim loved silliness and would want us to keep focused on the positive. So, if anyone wants to laugh at that classic clip and eat some carrots and celery today in honor of Jim, I don't think he'd mind.

"Crunch Crunch Crunch!":jim:
 
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