The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sesame Nation - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

Unlike Mitt, I loathe Sesame Street. It bears primary responsibility for what the Canadian blogger Binky calls the de-monsterization of childhood — the idea that there are no evil monsters out there at the edges of the map, just shaggy creatures who look a little funny and can sometimes be a bit grouchy about it because people prejudge them until they learn to celebrate diversity and help Cranky the Friendly Monster go recycling. That is not unrelated to the infantilization of our society. Marinate three generations of Americans in that pabulum and it’s no surprise you wind up with unprotected diplomats dragged to their deaths from their “safe house” in Benghazi. Or as J. Scott Gration, the president’s special envoy to Sudan, said in 2009, in the most explicit Sesamization of American foreign policy: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes . . . ” The butchers of Darfur aren’t blood-drenched machete-wielding genocidal killers but just Cookie Monsters whom we haven’t given enough cookies. I’m not saying there’s a direct line between Bert & Ernie and Barack & Hillary . . . well, actually I am.


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This is moronic; it gives conservatism a bad name. The demographic for which Sesame Street is intended hardly needs to confront "evil monsters out there at the edges of the map." And Steyn's bizarre notion that there is direct line between Sesame Street viewership and recent events in Benghazi is a thought beneath the intellect of folks with room temperature IQs. Want to defund PBS and Sesame Street? Well and good, I suppose (though the science-related progams of PBS far exceed those available elsewhere). But Steyn's column reads like a parody of right-wing thought and reminds me of the more eccentric ramblings of the late Robert Novak. In sum, boo! Or, as Oscar the Grouch might put it, nice job, turkey.

Posted by: Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk | Oct 6, 2012 5:05:49 PM

"the infantilization of our society": and not just yours. Though of course yours is to blame!

Posted by: dearieme | Oct 7, 2012 2:27:05 AM

MS goes over the top pretty regularly. But he's funny sometimes.

Posted by: Tom Smith | Oct 7, 2012 8:54:24 PM

He can be quite funny. Perhaps, I'm taking Steyn more seriously than he takes himself here. It's a firm possibility that a grown man who feels obliged to mount a robust defense of Oscar the Grouch suffers from a humor deficit.

Posted by: Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk | Oct 9, 2012 7:06:19 AM