Friday, April 08, 2005

"C" was for cookie

Some people aren't pleased about the news that Cookie Monster will soon adopt more health conscious eating habits on Sesame St.

I certainly see the show's perspective of teaching kids the right things. But I fear that people underestimate children's ability to grasp humor and irony.

When I was a kid, I never once assumed that I could survive a jump off a cliff or a shotgun blast to the face like the Looney Tunes characters. I understood that it was a cartoon, and I thought it was funny. Nevertheless, the cartoons were eventually condemned for being too violent.

Likewise, when Cookie Monster scarfed down plates of chocolate chip cookies (just as when he gobbled telephones and typewriters), I knew that this wasn't appropriate eating behavior. He was a Muppet, and his actions were simply humorous.

I never based my views of health and hygene on the actions of Sesame Street's crazy monster characters. In fact, those characters acted crazy to serve as a contrast to normal behavior — that way the sane characters (usually the grownups) could explain a better way to approach things.

But apparently these days, kids are too dumb to know the difference, and Cookie Monster is going to eat cookies only in moderation.

I wonder if they'll clean up his vocabulary next. After all, "Me want cookie" isn't exactly astute grammar.

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