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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The milk looks dangerously whole.



From tests that everyone will pass, games where everyone wins a prize, to competitions where everyone is a winner, the march of the PC-adult-diaper-wearing-Nazis (yes, yes, I'm committing a Goodwin.) continues:

Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child."

Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

Nothing in the children’s entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.

Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time. Elsewhere, two brothers risk concussion while whaling on each other with allergenic feather pillows. Overweight layabouts, lacking touch-screen iPods and headphones, jockey for airtime with their deafening transistor radios. And one of those radios plays a late-’60s news report — something about a “senior American official” and “two billion in credit over the next five years” — that conjures a bleak economic climate, with war debt and stagflation in the offing.

The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.

[ . . . ]

Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.
 

(Heffernan, Virginia.  "Sweeping the Clouds Away."  The New York Times Magazine 18 Nov 2007.  Retrieved 21 Nov 2007.)

The rest here.

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Why black sheep are barred and Humpty can't be cracked

TRADITIONAL nursery rhymes are being rewritten at nursery schools to avoid causing offence to children. Instead of singing “Baa baa, black sheep” as generations of children have learnt to do, toddlers in Oxfordshire are being taught to sing “Baa baa, rainbow sheep”.


(Blair, Alexandra.  "Why black sheep are barred and Humpty can't be cracked."  Times Online 7 March 2006.  Retrieved 22 Nov 2007.)

More here.

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Now, before the Sturmabteilung haul me away, here's a politically incorrect joke:


Little Tony returns from school and reports that he received an "F" in arithmetic.

"Why?" asks the father.

"The teacher asked 'How much is 2 x 3.' I said '6", replies Little Tony.

"But that's right!" says his dad.

"Yeah, but then she asked me, 'How much is 3 x 2?"

"What's the fucking difference?" the father exclaims.

Little Tony, "That's what I said!"


Further reading
When mean hides behind political correctness.
Speech by Charlton Heston to the Harvard Law School Forum, February 16, 1999.
Top Politically Incorrect Words for 2006.
Santa Claus outraged by 'ho ho ho' ban.

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