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Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?: Bert and Ernie Getting Married Is a Dumb, Destructive Idea

Some people see politics everywhere,  even where they don’t belong.

Case in point a Chicago-area man who,  according to Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL, has  started an online petition at a website called Change.org seeking to pressure  the people behind the landmark children’s program Sesame Street to “let Ernie & Bert get married.”

As a child—and as a parent—I  watched a lot of Sesame Street.  I’m a big fan of Bert & Ernie and their antics. I can still sing most of  the lyrics to “Rubber Duckie” and “Doin’ the Pigeon” from  memory. They are  funny, engaging characters who demonstrate to children  that people—no matter  how different they might be in temperament,  likes, dislikes and personalities—can still be the best of friends. But  they are also, as apparently has been  lost on some people, Muppets—a  combination marionette and foam rubber puppet  invented decades ago—by the legendary Jim Henson and his wife  Jane.  Muppets are not people, and while they are in many cases gender  specific they,  as the Sesame Workshop felt compelled to point out  Thursday, “Do not have a  sexual orientation.” Nonetheless someone out  there thinks they would be useful  to further a point about sexual  identity.

It’s an idea that’s foolish, and  moreover, culturally destructive  because, if enacted, it would further the end  of childhood innocence in  America. Children are already bombarded, in and out  of school, with  messages and meanings that, in my judgment, are far too  sophisticated  for them to comprehend. Instead, they just confuse and, in some  cases,  scare them—as was the case when, as the Boston Globe reported back in   2009, “an anxious, depressed 17-year-old boy was admitted to the  psychiatric  unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.”

“He was refusing to drink water.  Worried about drought related to  climate change, the young man was convinced  that if he drank, millions  of people would die. The Australian doctors wrote  the case up as the  first known instance of climate change delusion,'” the  paper reported.

A 17-year-old man is far more mature  than the average viewer of Sesame    Street.  We have an obligation to protect innocents  and innocence and, in a  sense, childhood itself. Children are treasures,  precious gems that  are our future and should be treated as such, not as targets  for  indoctrination.

By: Peter Roff, U. S. News and World Report, August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011 - Posted by | Ideologues, Ideology, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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