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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Sometimes Moron 

Cookies are a “sometimes food.” I know this to be true because the world-renowned authority on cookies has told me so. In case you missed the latest campaign for improving your child’s nutrition, the be-all, end-all icon of indulgence, has spoken. Let’s hear it for sage advice from the Cookie Monster himself! Sesame Street is no longer the hedonistic paradise I knew it to be when I was young. Now the loved and revered characters are taking up individual causes. And while I do applaud the coerced alliance between Muppets and Producers, I have to wonder, where does the responsibility of TV end and a parents’ kick in? Will Oscar the Grouch, known for his love of garbage, begin eschewing the benefits of recycling, cleanliness and respect? Will we insist that Big Bird become the mouthpiece for range-free, hormone-free chicken? Will The Count renounce his association with vampires, suggesting, “Fangs are for fun!”? I find it nauseating. Slack parenting is the crux of so many social ills, but are we so helpless so as to place the responsibility on the inhabitants of Sesame Street? “Because I said so,” worked on me as a kid. Have things become more complicated than that?
I admit, that if this transfer of authority takes hold, we’ve set a new precedence of unlikely spokespeople. Imagine Hugh Hefner talking about the perils of pornography. “Orgies are a “sometimes” event. Among consenting adults. Who are drug-free and sober.” What really grinds my axe is all the bartenders cheering the “no smoking laws.” “It’s better for our health,” sincerely quipped a local barman. Hard for me to feel much sympathy, considering they knew what came with the territory when they made this career choice. That’s like being a Doctor who can’t stand the sight of blood. “Quick! Get this patient started on hemoglobin. Stat!” Personal accountability over legislated idiocy, that’s my creed. But I’m a “sometimes” moron.

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