I love cookies. My two favorite Sesame Street monsters were Oscar the Grouch – no surprise there – and Cookie Monster. But those who are whining about Sesame Street’s new healthy eating ads, which include Cookie Monster eating some fruit, are total morons.
These pundits, who like to think they’re being funny by writing snarky odes to the blue monster’s supposed demise, prove how difficult it will be for America to become a diet healthy place.
In case you haven’t been following all the fuss, this The Washington Post article will help get you caught up:
There is a panic in the land, and it started on “Sesame Street.”
The rumors, they are rampant. Taken together, in dark tones, and one could fear that the beloved boulevard is rapidly transforming into the Avenue of the Politically Correct Puppetariat.
Elmo and Zoe are on an exercise routine. Singing vegetables and talking fruit have invaded the neighborhood. Miles has a new song. It is about broccoli.
And, darkest of all, Cookie Monster has been stripped of his piles of quickly and loudly consumed chocolate-chip cookies.
From California to Australia, from New York to Oregon, fears have arisen about the sanctity of “Sesame Street,” the children’s show that just started its 36th season. The Los Angeles Times editorialized on the crisis, a staffer at the South Australia Sunday Mail declared herself “rocked to my foundations” by Cookie Monster’s transformation, and The Associated Press bemoaned Cookie’s new circumstances in a missive sent across the land. The blue fuzzball even wound up on this week’s “Hit List” in Entertainment Weekly.
“Cookie Monster To Cut Down on Sugary Treats” reads the EW item, followed by a rant that begins with the word “Sellout!”
Some of these pundits the Post article hints at are more moronic than others. Take Jonah Goldberg, in his column for Jewish World Review, who writes:
If the Cookie Monster is no longer a cookie monster, what is he? Why didn’t they just name him “Phil: The Monster Who Sometimes Likes to Eat a Cookie”?
Conceptually, this is no different than the idiot animal rights types who want their dogs and cats to be vegans, too. Cookie Monster cannot help being a Cookie Monster any more than your tabby can stop liking fish. It is their nature to do so. Why not just declare that Big Bird is now an elm tree? If the ineffable, inexorable, immutable nature of Cookie Monster’s cookie-eating can be erased for some good cause, why should Big Bird’s birdness be safe?
You can follow the rest of Goldberg’s silly argument if you like, which manages to work in homosexuality, racism and the handicapped. Goldberg seems to be entirely oblivious of the fact that media characters have a huge impact on kids and that if such a character can provide positive guidance on children’s diets, that is what the Muppets were created for in the first place.
Goldberg’s column is not isolated. Here is what Bronwyn Lance Chester, who also manages to work homosexuality into a piece that should be about healthy eating, says in her Charlotte Observer column:
It’s unnerving to contemplate what’s next. Sending that ultra-thin grunge pioneer Grover to rehab for heroin addiction? Forcing confirmed bachelors Ernie and Bert, whose 36-year-long live-in relationship has been the object of intense speculation, to start eyeing girls?
There’s no arguing that kids today have a weight problem. But surely kids could find a better healthy-eating model than a blue carpet remnant with someone’s hand up its backside.
The only thing that is unnerving to me is how idiotic these columns are. I rarely go out and attack the average journalist or column writer, but you folks should be ashamed of yourselves. 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.