Elmo and the Decline of the American Nation

I read this op-ed by Joel Stein in the 8/18/2006 Milwaukee Journal, but I could not not find the article on-line.

Here it is in Qatar’s The Peninsula (thank you google):

Yes, I know that children love Elmo. But children are idiots. That’s why we don’t let them have jobs. Could you imagine an office full of children? They’d spend all day telling dumb jokes and talking about their poop. It would be like it was before women entered the workplace.

and

Now the human cast gets almost no airtime, and the show is dominated by Elmo, Baby Bear and, now, Abby Cadabby — preschoolers enamoured by their own adorable stupidity.

and

The lesson they teach — in opposition to Oscar, Big Bird, Grover or Bert — is that bland neediness gets you stuff much more easily than character. We are breeding a nation of Anna Nicole Smiths.

and

Chatman, who refers to Elmo as the Jar Jar Binks of “Sesame Street,” worries that Elmo teaches kids to care only about themselves. “Elmo is just a baby-voiced, self-obsessed character who is only concerned with Elmo,” says Lee. “He just passively observes things: ‘Elmo is looking at a sandwich. Elmo is eating a sandwich. Elmo is crapping out the sandwich and writing his name on the wall with it.’ “ The last celebrity to so obsessively refer to himself in the third person was Richard Nixon.

and

I desperately don’t want the show to go away, so I know they can’t afford to run the “Elmo accidentally drank bleach and died” episode. Instead, they need to simply take Elmo and his buddies and give them their own hourlong show for the idiot spawn. Then put Luis, Gordon and the cool Muppets on their own half-hour “Classic Sesame” for the kids who will one day actually contribute to our society.

Wow.

I could not decide if he was trying to funny/serious or just funny. I guess a little of both.

Update: More (classic) Muppet Humour: Bert is Evil! 

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