Much like the pied piper, Cookie Monster spreads his seeds of obesity and heart disease with a smile and delightful tune.
Kids are not stupid, y'all. Kids are very, very smart. The kids I babysit for reign me in so fast sometimes I get whiplash. "Amy, you should be an auffor," they say. "Amy, you and Sam should write a book." "Amy, you're being really silly." "Amy, you shouldn't spend all your money at Target." Kids are not without will. Have you ever tried to make a four year old get his boots on faster because you want to get going? He'll do it in his own damn time.
Greeted with the news that Cookie Monster has been made PC made me feel sick. Instead of "C is for Cookie," Cookie Monster will sing "Cookies are a Sometimes Food." What? WHAT? Fuck you, PBS. His name is Cookie Monster! His name suggests he eats cookies. His is not Carbless Monster. He is not Carrot Monster. He is not Cucumber Monster. His name is Cookie Monster. Give him his dignity and his awesome song.
Even as a kid, I knew Cookie Monster was a joke. He taught me the letter C, what the letter C looks like (a cookie with a bite taken out, a waning moon) and what words begin with C. I laughed at the spray of cookies showering from his puppet mouth. I knew, even as a preschooler, that Cookie Monster was PRETEND. He was awesome, but he was pretend. He was there to sing, make jokes, interact with the real kids who never ate the cookies with him.
That's another thing. Cookie Monster never swallowed any cookies, much like Bill Clinton smoking pot but not inhaling. It's physically impossible. His mouth is two pieces of cardboard joined together. I had a Cookie Monster puppet, and anything I put in his mouth always came out. He puts the cookies in his mouth, masticates and spews them out like the joy he gives to children. Any kid with any sense of curiosity will figure out that Cookie Monster isn't eating those cookies, but making gluttony a joke. Let me say it again: it is a joke.
I am so tired of our gluttonous culture looking for the magic cure-all when it comes to obesity. Americans are fatasses, despite our worship at the altar of the underweight, sickly figures. People think if soda is taken out of schools, kids will lose weight. If McDonalds doesn't supersize, people will be healthy. If you eliminate carbs, people figure the weight will melt away and stay away. Pills are sold, videos are sold, everybody thinks that finding the one thing that makes people overindulge will cure the country of cellulite and saddlebags. I don't think Cookie Monster led America down the primrose path to obesity. Any parent with half a mind will teach their kids that eating cookies by the handful isn't healthy. My mother kept watch over what I ate for most of my childhood. We had cookies, but we also had chicken and vegetables. A good parent will make their kids go outside instead of sitting their ass in front of the television watching Cookie Monster set his PC example. ("Go outside, kids, it's good for you! But stay tuned for Barney and Friends on PBS.") I took gymnastics. I played softball for a while. I rode my bike in endless circles around the house. If a parents shows a kid that it's fun to play outside, that baked sweets aren't breakfast, lunch and dinner, that Cookie Monster is teaching letters, not dietary requirements than it'll all work out. Let Cookie Monster sing his song about the letter C and let kids enjoy Sesame Street without giving them body image issues at age 3.