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Saturday, April 23, 2005

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‘C’ Is for Crazy, Not Cookies
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There's no use in expecting those idiots to show concern for anything other than their own puffed up opinions.

My opinion of modern conservativism is that it has no heart, no compassion, and no basis in logic. Read your Asimov and you'll understand how modern conservatism has come to exemplify the worst sci-fi predictions.

let me get this straight. Cookie monster is eating some fruit. I assume he still gets in the occasional cookie? and these idiots are frothing at the mouth?

Is there no realm that is too minor for them to not politicize the heck out of it, to twist it to their own political advantage? (rhetorical question...)

Jim: I didn't bother to check the politics of the columnists, but that does seem to be the case. It goes to the heart of why I started this website, though. Our leaders only seem to look at issues as a tool to push agendas rather than make decisions that most helps Americans.

Chip: I should have squeezed in this Post that Cookie Monster still eats his cookies; he just says that he eats fruit too, to stay healthy. (That's what happens when I'm out of town and forced to use dial-up!)

To me, Sesame Street has been all about teaching my children and supporting the things that are right and good for children. Teaching them what's right, what's safe, what's smart. And teaching them what's good to eat shows me that they are thinking about my child and his health. I see no problem here with the Cookie Monster adding fruit to his diet and a little less cookies. The only problem I've ever had with the Cookie Monster isn't that my kids wanted to consume cartons of cookies, but that they tried to emulate his style of eating. What a mess! : )

Not sure if I am a "serious" parent or not although my sons have done better than average in pretty much every category one can think of and are growing into decent, productive human beings, but I agree with Jonah.

Cookie Monster was funny because he was crazy about cookies and nothing else. That was the point of him -- he was FUNNY!

Changing him to a "I love fruit and veggies, but will eat an occasionaly cookie" kinda monster is "moronic" in my humble opinion. Kids can get serious advice from a hundred sources -- why suck all the fun out of everything?

As to pushing political agendas -- well, it seems to me that the liberal people running Sesame Street are the ones pushing one.

Let the other characters eat all the fruit and veggies they want. Cookie Monster should be all about cookies and nothing else.

Oh, and as good as Asimov's SF is -- it's hardly useful as a window into "modern" conservatism anymore than Star Trek is a look into "modern liberalism."

It might explain that car I always see with the faded Kerry/Edwards sticker and the Vulcan University Alumni decal though.

Funny, "Mr. Serious Parent", that you like to call names so much (idiot, moron, etc). Maybe you should watch SS a little more often, rather than just talk about it. Name calling isn't nice - that's what the muppetistas say. Of course, you appear to a member of the "concerned-adult" club - and a zealous food-cop; and since you are "right" and other people are just giving their opinions, it's okay. Typical - hypocrisy and all other vices are okay as long as "the right people" are doing it for the "right cause". I'm sure it will result in a workers paradise. Pathetic.

A serious parent doesn't let a muppet teach their children about the dangers of overeating and obesity.

A serious person doesn't blame said muppet for obese children.

I won't claim to be an expert in Asimov, but I've read (more than) my fair share of his books over the years.

How, exactly, does he predict what you claim modern conservatism has become?

Think of the Foundation series: during a time of collapse, a small elite forms a foundation (a 'think tank,' if you will) to ride out the storm and work towards the eventual restoration of the Empire.

Sounds a lot like the American Enterprise Institute, et al. ad naus., to me ...

p.s. surely you'll admit that the "Silence of the Lambs" riff was funny.

OH NO! I'm not a serious parent! My children are ruined! And how could I not have realized that the condescending snarkiness of the left is the only way my life would ever have true worth? Asimov? Are you people for real? Surely this is a joke.

What a pack of grim, humorless shmoes. Truly, self-parody at its finest. Thank you.

Goldberg's column was hilarious. His point was dead on. If you >really< think it's necessary to reinforce an anti-gluttony message via cookie monster, why not add peer sanction against his gluttony instead of violating his essential cookie-monsterness? Ohhhh-right. You don't like peer sanction. Too judgmental. Feelings might be hurt. Kids might learn that a need to evaluate and form actual opinions of each other truly exists- can't have that! Would that actually be TOO serious? Hm. Toughie. Well, imposing a rule from above by fiat is clearly a >much< better answer.

What a self-righteous ass you are. I feel sorry for your kids.

I bet child obesity has something more to do with the parents who feed their kids cookies, soda, juice and chips than the Cookie Monster.

"Muppetistas?"
Are you trying to say that Muppets are all Hispanic? Or is that a way to make fun of muppets by putting an ethnic slant on a variation of the word?

If we're being politically correct here, let's keep it the same across the board, shall we?

So, the original point of the cookie monster (gluttony is bad) made in a humorous way, is now to be replaced with a sanctimonious, preachy monster, formerly know as the cookie monster.

This is an improvement? Kids listen to, and heed sermons all the time, right? They don't understand jokes, right?

Oh, I'm sorry, it's the adults who don't get humor.

BTW, as another commenter pointed out, if you want your child's values to be taught by puppets, you can't then claim to be serious about parenting. Or about anything. People who take puppets seriously are, by definition, not serious.

Solution: Turn off the TV.

Cookie Monster's diet isn't the issue with childhood obesity. The issue is letting children sit and watch TV/play video games/play on the computer all day, while eating junk food. I've tried to raise my kids the way I was raised, so my kids don't watch TV etc., we have sweets on special occasions and guess what - they are a healthy weight. Imagine that. They also aren't very materialistic because they aren't bombarded with commercials all day. They read well above their grade level, too. It's tough but it works, several other families I know have gone TV free with similar results.


Maybe we should monitor what our children eat a little more. For instance, fewer twinkies and more apples. Just a thought.

I resent that PBS has taken on the nanny role and considers that cookies are bad for our kids. Is that not MY responsibility as parent?

However, if you are concerned about how t.v. influences your kids... why not just turn it off.

Morons? Idiots? Physician heal thyself!

It's the Cookie Monster for crying out loud. He's supposed to be a reflection of all our irresponsible tendencies. Instead, the food fascists have to make Cookie Monster a like-minded health fetishist like themselves, lest they feel badly about themselves the next time they run into a child who's packed in a bit too many pounds. "It's all for the children!" remains their belligerent excuse.

Also, just to assist themselves in making them feel morally and intellectually superior, they feel the need to draw some sinister correlation between the mention of homosexuality to make a point and the supposed neanderthal qualities of the columnists they are frustrated by. I thought Jonah Goldberg's point was apt. These characters shouldn't be suddenly and unexplainedly yanked from the moorings of their characters, just because the Children's Television Workshop (or whatever over-zealous food police activist group is pushing them) suddenly decided they needed to make a few social/slash political points to salve their consciences.

The worst part of this is that, as I suggested at the beginning, CM serves as a much more valuable lesson by remaining true to character. The whole of Western Culture is littered with characters who represent our worst tendencies. As John Clesse pointed out once, comedy is about stupidity, selfishness, boorishness (I'm paraphrasing a bit). So, should we alter all these stupid, selfish, characters, just because they happen to be familiar, even beloved characters to our kids. Let's force Warner Bros. to go back to all the Daffy Duck cartoons at take out the little duck's greedy side. While we're at it, the Tasmanian Devil should become a pacifist and vegetarian, because hey, he's way too violent a carnivore. Let's make Scooby and Shaggy courageous and heroic, lest their cowardness discourage the kiddies. The list goes on and on. Of course, if you have a sense of humor, even a the primitive vestiges of one, you might catch on to why this would be a very stupid idea... because then all these characters would be alike, uniform cartoon Stepford Wives marching to the dull and brain-dead drumbeat of political correctness run amuck.

Calling Goldberg and others stupid for merely pointing this out, is a sure sign of one's own cognitively-challenged perspective.

PS Muppetistas is a reference to Sandinistas. It's not racial (despite your hopeful subtext that it might be) it's political, the same as if I called the program the People's Republic of Sesame Street. It's a shame that some of the posters on this board should decided to see racial and sexual-oreintation bogeymen, rather than address the real points being made. That's called ad-hominem attack for those of you unfamiliar with logical error and reasoning, and it simply means you're looking for another way to criticize your opponent, because your own argument reeks.

Cheers.

Before you spend all this energy defending the sanctity of a blue furry puppet, take a good hard look at the millions of obese children in this nation and start worrying about them.

What about Oscar the Grouch? Surly, misanthropic muppet today, Columbine, tomorrow, no?

I grew up with the Cookie Monster. I liked him when I was a kid, and now I'm 31, thin, and hate cookies. I don't see how he had much influence on me one way or another. Kids aren't fat because of the Cookie Monster. Sorry, but get over it. Maybe it's bad parenting, maybe it's genetics. But the so-called "obesity epidemic" is no more the fault of the Cookie Monster than homosexuality is the fault of Bert and Ernie. Leave him alone.

I am a nutrition-conscious, conservative father. I appreciate much of what Goldberg usually writes, but I do disagree on this issue. Characters like this do influence kids into developing bad behaviors. And I agree that conservatives are generally off the mark in their knee-jerk opposition to all attempts at promoting health on a public scale (smoking bans, the CSPI), as well as regarding the environment. But please don't dismiss or insult all conservatives because you disagree on these issues. Please know that conservatives are intelligent and capable of thought, and you might be able to talk a few of them into agreeing with you on some of these issues if you don't take to insulting them all outright.

Quasar Z. Hypothesis...

Thank you for 'getting' my political reference re: muppetistas. People's Republic of Sesame Street is probably a better way to put it.

No one is frothing at the mouth. The point of these articles was not to defend Cookie Monster per se, but to attack a general attitude that people have of conditioning every damned thing that comes into contact with their kids. All the defenders of the change to Cookie make it sound as if people really depend on shows such as SS to teach their kids, and the spirit behind the articles is to address that point. If parent's need tv to change its tune to such a silly degree so their kids don't grow up fat then parenting is in a sad, sad state in this country.

The defenders of SS remind me of a Simpsons episode where the reverend's wife says "what about the children?" about a dozen times in response to various things happening in Springfield, none of which had anything to do with children.

It is interesting that very few of the posts actually defend SS's actions. Rather, the posts attack Goldberg, et al., for criticizing SS while offering no real defense other than some form of "millions of kids are fat." Oh, and they criticize the language used by the Goldberg crowd.

That this site purports to be for "serious parents" must be some kind of joke since a serious parent isn't going to let a blue puppet raise their child and isn't going to believe that of all the influences in their child's daily life, the singing of C is for Cookie once a month or so is some sort of threat.

What will this SS cleanse next?

First off, if there is an obesity epidemic amongst children, then watching Sesame Street is a contributor to it, as there is no other way to watch it than sitting on one's expanding duff.

Second, changing the indelibly marked memories of the parents who turn on SS to recapture the good feelings of childhood will only hurt the program. Why should I put SS on when one of my favorite characters has been whacked about by Road Pavers whose believe in their influence far exceeds their actual influence on my child?

Good or bad, children are most influenced by their parents. Watching Mostly Cookies Monster eat a scrumptiously delicious stalk of celery isn't going to make your child ask for celery when Mom or Dad is eating a Krispy Kreme.

Raising kids is tough, but it is the parents of the child, and not the village, that exercises the most influence.

Jesus, I pity any son that has to rely on a sob-sister like you to raise him into a man. Diet is going to be the least of his worries.

Changing the basic behavior of Cookie Monster is a question of artistic integrity. Cookie Monster is a part of our shared cultural identity, and his goofy, exuberant shouts of "Cookie! Yum, yum, yum!" are built into the fabric of my generation's identity. Frankly, he's not just a blue puppet, but a signifier of our childhood, which is why all these adults have such strong feelings about it.

It's very problematic when, for the sake of ideological purity, a creation is bowdlerized. (And Cookie Monster is, believe it or not, an artistic creation.) Witness the deracinated, enervated, "approved" art that was produced by the totalitarian USSR: Gakk. Or that of 1940s Germany: Double-gakk. Politicians can't entirely wipe out the spark of creativity in us, but they can certainly flatten it by meddling and insisting that creators toe the line.

That's why I don't like what they're doing to Cookie Monster. By messing around with him, they're acting like a postmodernist director who insists that Shakespeare's Henry V was really a cross-dressing Chicago gangster-- but without the necessary sense of irony.

Besides, if Cookie Monster goes on a diet, are they going to have to change the puppet's appearance so he doesn't look so obese? Who ever heard of a skinny Cookie Monster?

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