Another column printed in my school newspaper. And, to clarify, I did not make this up, although I wish I did.
Of course, the big story that has been in the news for weeks now is the engagement of Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt, and what color the flowers are going to be at the rehearsal dinner. But if you’ve dug down deeper into the bowels of the news, you will have noticed that something sinister took place with hardly any media attention at all: the Cookie Monster is not allowed, per se, to actually eat cookies anymore.
That’s right. As if the Jolie and Pitt love affair wasn’t enough to completely tear this nation apart at the hem, we now have to live with a cookie-less Cookie Monster, who for all we know is now required to consume Low-Carb, Low-Cal, Low-Fat, Low-Sodium Cardboard Wafers—Now with 25% Less Flavor.
The central thrust behind this campaign was that the parties involved were cowering under their protective layers of cardboard, afraid that impressionable, young children will witness the Cookie Monster eat cookies and be corrupted into thinking that cookie-eating is a good thing, if you can imagine such an atrocity.
So of course they had to put a stop to THAT. The Cookie Monster is still apparently allowed to eat cookies (but to a much lesser degree), and his internationally famous song (“‘C’ is for ‘Cookie’”) has been changed to—get ready!—”A Cookie is a Sometimes Food.”
I don’t know why these people are so frightened that children are going to want to eat cookies when they see the Cookie Monster eat them. Children like to imitate violent stuff, not questionable eating habits or other innocent things.
For instance, I was one of the three children in the ‘80s who regularly watched “Fred Penner’s Place,” a show filmed in Canada about a man (Fred Penner), who, every week, would drag a guitar into a clearing in a stage forest and sing.
While this show was great fun and allowed my parents to leave me in a room for 30 minutes while they attempted to clean baby vomit off their shoes, I never once got the urge to take up guitar lessons because I saw it on TV.
However, it was a different case when it came to shows like “Power Rangers.” This—as you will remember—was a show where 25-year-old “teenagers” would have their stunt doubles fight grotesque monsters by using obscure martial arts arm movements, although what ended up happening is that it looked like their actions were being controlled from a distant planet by an alien that was a little too hopped-up on tequila.
When I watched that show, I immediately wanted to learn martial arts, but not enough that I wanted to join a class on it. What I did was flail around in the basement, kicking and running around, and pretty much acted exactly as the Power Rangers did, except that they had better medical coverage.
However, despite all of this, I have never seen any moves to create a more watered-down version of the “Power Rangers,” where the Rangers, showing off their machismo and martial arts know-how, defeat the looming monster by beating it at a game of chess.
In fact, as I write these words, plans are probably in the works to have the Cookie Monster guest star as the next city-smashing monster on the next episode of “Power Rangers,” to further frighten children of the evils of TV.
And, depending on what Brad does, he may be in there, too.