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Tulane Honors Program

Friday, April 08, 2005

CNN.com - Has Cookie Monster given up sweets?

"Cookie Monster was not available for comment. (I'm hoping he hasn't gone to Hollywood.)

'We are not putting him on a diet,' said his spokesman, Truglio. 'And we would never take the position of no sugar. We're teaching him moderation.'"

First Snuffleu...Snufflupga...Snuffy (how DO you spell his full name?!) can be seen by everyone and now this! As my wife pointed out, Snuffy was visible to no one but Big Bird and Cookie Monster ate plates full of cookies when we were children and our generation was not scarred by it. Perhaps if people did not leave parenting to the television...

(Sorry, perhaps that was preachy?)


  • You insist that your generation was scarred neither by Big Bird's schizophrenia nor by observing Cookie Monster's massive consumption of sweets, but I wonder if anyone has investigated a possible causal relationship between the latter of the two above factors and the situation you lament, parenting by TV. Maybe the joyous emotions that Cookie Monster's gluttony inspired in your generation has led it to have positive associations with Sesame Street, and left the generation's constituents more likely to overexpose their children to TV. Now, children will hate Sesame Street for siding with their parents on the vegetables issue, and leave them with negative associations that will in turn discourage them from leaving the parenting of their children to the tube. What we really need, in short, is for television to become genuinely educational and ethical, and hence boring.

    By Anonymous Alan Murphy, at 2:17 PM  

  • Well, I reject the assertion that that which is education and ethical is boring :-) But Alan once again I must concede that your logic makes me think (I'm trying to think but nothing happens!).

    Of course the reality is that (not necessarily) parents have long sought surrogates for their children. TV was a part of my childhood, but not my parents. I watched a fair amount of SS and Mr. Rogers and I enjoy watching things like Kim Possible with my daughter (new KP movie tonight!).

    Education is, I obviously believe, never a bad thing, so I am all for encouraging better eating habits. I think, however, that there are more fundamental issues involved in the development of childhood obesity, violence, etc. TV, movies, music, and video games play their role just as westerns, wars, and Bible thumping preachers did in my father's central Texas upbringing.

    My point (if I have one): We should spend less time looking for a cause (and placing blame) and instead be striving for a healthy (educational and ethical?) life. In this sense I have to put humor aside and say that I believe SS is doing the right thing and I am glad for it.

    By Blogger Cb, at 2:31 PM  

  • "...that which is educational and ethical is boring..."

    The educational and ethical IS boring when propagated by public television. As a kid, I could have slept through the educational bits of Sesame Street. We were all waiting for the non-educational stuff - namely, Cookie Monster, those conjoined-twin monsters, and others similar sequences.

    The educational bits of Sesame Street were only marginally more interesting than a lecture by Linda Wertheimer on environmentally responsible civic engagement or something like that. Public broadcasting does its best work not when it tries to educate but when it SHOWS things, like NPR's reporting from far-flung foreign countries, Ken Burns documentaries, and Cookie Monster in gluttonous frenzies.

    Additionally, public broadcasting can actually be entertaining when not trying to be educational, at least if you enjoy Garrison Keillor...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:05 AM  

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