Friday, April 22, 2005

Paging Aldus Huxley...
The conformist, sterile society described in Brave New World has finally arrived. Civilization as we know it is no longer the dynamic engine of constant change and personal advancement. Time has stopped.

Cookie Monster is no longer the Cookie Monster.

I kid you not. In an effort to teach kids about the dangers of junk food, the Children's Television Workshop, the creators of the only show on PBS that was ever worth watching, have decided that Cookie Monster is sending the wrong message to our children. The Cookie Monster that my generation grew up with, loved, venerated, and if it had a chance, would elect to the Senate, will now become a 'healthy eater'. Next up: Bert and Ernie egage in Civil Union, Big Bird mercy kills Mr Snuffleufagus (finally diagnosed as being in a 'persistent vegetative state') for his stem cells, and Elmo is revealed to be a repeat sexual offender released from a Florida prison 24 times.

Conformity has finally arrived. Even for gluttonous puppets.

I used to believe that it was really 1984 that had arrived, with our newly-found ideological rigidnesss and politically-convenient mangling of the language, but I'm wrong on so many levels. We're living in the world that Huxley predicted.

A pill for every disease, no matter how minor. Human beings harvested for their parts like a junkyard. People being defined and categorized by their utility to society. The nails sticking out being pounded down by the hammer of conventional wisdom, and federally funded conventional wisdom, at that. Cookie Monster as vegan. The health and safety Nazis have finally gone too far.

I remember when I was a child that Cookie Monster was special because he was a laugh riot to the four year old brain. He tickled the fancy of children everywhere with his outrageous antics in the pursuit of the chocolate chip. Hs strove mightily for the brass macaroon. He was out of control and on a mission to leave not one crumb unconsumed. Cookie Monster, in short, was the last, true individual, hedonistically-driven to achieve the Hoy Grail of cookie-dom.

Political Correctness has finally killed childhood. May it Rest In Peace.

CTW claims that they are merely trying to send a positive message to children that binge eating and junk food are hazardous to their health. Obesity is dangerous: you can die from it, you know. In all my years, all that is fun about being a child, all that makes worthwhile, has been systematically stripped from succeeding generations until they become good little PC robots incapable of exercising judgement, unable to believe anything unless they see it on TV or have it drilled into their heads in a government school. Meanwhile, the messages they are sent are mixed, purposely, with the goal of creating empty vessels ever present:

Diversity is a wonderful thing; unless you are religious, obese or republican.

You have choices; provided those choices lead you to an abortion and homosexuality.

It's your right to dissent; provided that dissent is officially allowed and follows the party line.

It's your body do what you want to; Except drink soda, eat junk food, smoke ,or stay celebate.

And now this.

Now, my own childhood was not exactly some scene from Norman Rockwell, of course. In my day, we had to worry about Nuclear Holocaust, urban racial violence, and Earth Shoes. But, at the end of the day, we still had Cookie Monster, Bugs, Yogi, Woody and Scooby, all engaged in outrageous displays of excess; all revolving around violence or eating, of course. There's a direct correlation, you know, between violence and McDonald's. But, I don't know a single kid that ever placed dynamite in his antagonist's shorts because Bugs did. I know of not one single, documented case where two children beat each other senseless with overszed mallets, like Woody often did. None of us travelled constantly in a funky van, with a narcissist, a slacker, a hot chick and a sexually-repressed brainiac, chasing ghosts for a living. But we did eat cookies. And we enjoyed it.

And we enjoyed the antics of our Cookie Furher, that little ball of blue fur that taught us that a cookie was more than a simple pleasure in life; it was a God-given right. We laughed, we sang, we mimicked, and it was cute as hell.

I cannnot imagine a 4 year old today, joyously and recklessly devouring a stalk of celery, a head of lettuce or a plate of raddichio, screaming "Veeegggggieeeeee!".

But, as we learned in the 90's, anytime you say "it's for the children" that's supposed to end all debate. Destroy the image of the cookie as something good, take the fun out eating a cookie, take the laughter out a little slice of childhood, and it's all to the common good?

The Age of Conformist Nonsense is upon us, and it is a sad day.

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