to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
Johnson. This week:
listen to music from Katy Perry …
listener question about how parents teach their children about money …
first, we look at the television family "The Simpsons," still funny after a
historic number of seasons on air.
popular American animated television show began its twentieth season last
month. "The Simpsons" now ties the old
show "Gunsmoke" in number of seasons broadcast. "Gunsmoke" was a Western dramatic show. It was on
television from nineteen fifty-five until nineteen seventy-five. "The Simpsons"
was first broadcast in nineteen eighty-nine.
It is the longest running situation comedy series on television. Faith Lapidus tells about the show and how
it stays current.
Simpsons" is about a white, working class family in an average American town
called Springfield. The mother is the
intelligent and responsible blue-haired Marge. The father, Homer, works at the
nuclear power center. Homer is lazy, fat, stupid and selfish but still lovable.
The Simpson children are Bart, Lisa and
baby Maggie. Bart gets into a lot of
trouble and does poorly in school. Lisa is an excellent student and deep
thinker, as well as a great saxophone player.
Maggie does not talk, but expresses herself with the baby pacifier that
never leaves her mouth.
Matt Groening created "The Simpsons." He has said that Bart is partly based on himself. Groening named some of the Simpson
characters after his own family members.
cartoonist has said no one expected "The Simpsons" to become such a huge
success. One reason for its popularity is the large number of funny characters
in Springfield. They provide a good, if sometimes extreme, representation of
America. Another reason is because the
show explores current issues in American life. They include freedom of speech,
election corruption, rights for homosexuals, environmental destruction and
common family problems. The show makes fun of many social, religious, political
and cultural issues.
it is a cartoon show, the Simpsons can go anywhere and do anything, so the
writers never run out of ideas. Critics
say the show is still interesting, intelligent and funny after almost twenty
years. "The Simpsons" has won
more than twenty Emmy awards. Critics have called it one of the best American
television shows in history. Listen now to a little from "The Simpsons."
BART SIMPSON: "Yo. Who's this?"
DENNIS LEARY: "Dennis Leary, you
little puke. I'm gonna rip out your
heart with two fingers. They taught me
how to do it for my show."
BART: "Which show? The one that
got canceled or the one that's gonna get canceled?"
DENNIS: "You are so dead."
(Bart and friend Milhouse laugh)
MARGE SIMPSON: "That laughter
sounds like the result of misbehavior.
Bart! How did you get a cell phone?"
BART: "Same way you got me … by
accident, on a golf course."
MARGE: "Mmmph … whose phone is
BART: "You'll never get it out of
MARGE: "O.K. Milhouse?"
MILHOUSE: "It's Dennis Leary's!
I'm sorry, Bart. I'm desperate for any
signs of adult approval."
Because of its popularity, hundreds of famous people have
been heard on "The Simpsons," playing themselves or other characters. They include actors, athletes, journalists,
musicians and even astronauts.
Teaching Children About Money
listener question this week comes from Chirawan Chidchob who wants to know how
American parents teach their children about money.
answer this question, we talked to several parents and a teacher. Many parents
said they give their children small amounts of money each week called
allowances. Some parents ask their children to do work around the house to earn
the money. Having this small income helps children learn about the cost of
goods and the value of money. It also helps them learn what it is like to have
a job and earn money for doing it well. Many parents give their smaller
children "piggy banks." Children collect their coins in these containers and
learn about saving money.
Suze Orman is a well-known American financial expert. She gives advice
about money on television and in her articles and books. She suggests that parents set clear limits
with their children when shopping. And she says parents should explain where
their money comes from to show children the value of working and earning money. Miz Orman also says it is important for
parents to show their children how they pay for living expenses such as energy,
telephone and water each month. This
will help the child understand what it costs to live. And, she suggests
teaching young adults about credit cards and the dangers of owing too much
Christy Levings has taught elementary
school children in the state of Kansas for over thirty years. Her money lessons
include teaching students about financial centers like the Federal Reserve Bank
in Kansas City. She also helps her students create imaginary businesses. She
gives the children an amount of money for wages. She helps them imagine what it
would be like to run a business and plan a budget. She also advises her
students to have good habits like counting their change when make a purchase.
Levings says many students have asked their teachers questions about the
current financial crisis. She says children hear their parents talk about the
failing economy. She says the role of teachers is to be calm and supportive.
Miz Levings says teachers are telling students that Americans must make careful
choices and help each other during this difficult economic period.
year old singer Katy Perry sings playful and energetic songs about the ups and
downs of love. Her album "One of the Boys" has become a hit around the world.
This singer from southern California says that all of her songs have a sense of
humor whether they are happy or sad.
Barbara Klein has more.
That was the hit song "I Kissed a
Girl." It is a good example of
Katy Perry's smart, funny and often surprising songs. She started her singing
career with a much less wild kind of music. The daughter of two religious
workers, Katy grew up listening to and singing gospel songs. Her parents did
not permit non-religious music.
Katy Perry was staying at a friend's house, she discovered the music of the
English rock group Queen. She says she was greatly influenced by their colorful
style and musicality. As a teenager, she began writing her own songs with
experts in the music industry. At the age of sixteen she even produced an album
of Christian music.
Here is her new album's title song, "One
of the Boys."
Katy Perry is known for her fun clothes.
Her clothing is influenced by the styles of the nineteen forties and the bright
colors of the nineteen eighties. Many clothing designers have praised her
special sense of style. We leave you with the energetic song "Hot N Cold."
Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
written by Dana Demange and Caty Weaver, who was also the producer. Join us
again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.