There is a petition out right now to ask the producers of Sesame Street to have Bert and Ernie gay marry each other. It is stupid:
An online campaign to pressure the producers of “Sesame Street” into having lovable roommates Bert and Ernie get married is gathering steam.
Getting hitched would change things for Ernie, who has long sang about how his bath toy, Rubber Duckie, “was the one.”
“We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful,” reads the petition for the muppet merger. “It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different.”
A debate over the sexuality of Sesame Street’s most famous duo has dogged the show since Bert and Ernie first appeared in 1969. The puppet pair sleep next to each other and bicker almost as much as a married couple.
Uh huh. I would go into great detail explaining why this is stupid, but Gabe at Videogum already gone and done it. Quoting liberally because, really, he says it all:
If Sesame Street decided on its own volition to make Bert and Ernie married, that would be one thing, but a stupid on-line petition? And while we all know that the evangelical talking point that there is some kind of gay agenda aimed at teaching our children to be gay is both patently ridiculous and unacceptably hateful, this is certainly going to add fuel to that ignorant fire. No one should ever fear doing the right thing just because it’s going to provide lazy ammunition to a bunch of idiots, but whether or not this is the right thing is still VERY MUCH up for debate. Oh, also, here’s another thing:
The original speculation over Bert’s and Ernie’s unusual relationship and jocular jokes being made about their homosexuality COMES FROM A MILDLY HOMOPHOBIC PLACE. If they were accused of being gay in the past, it wasn’t out of PRIDE. Yes, they live together and sleep in the same bed room (twin beds, very repressed 1950s, I’m sure). Yes, they argue constantly just like a real couple. You know what else? THEY’RE F***ING FELT PUPPETS. The point of Bert and Ernie was never to discuss the types of compromise and conflict resolution required to make long-term relationships functional. It was about friendship, always. There is, as the final quote in this article points out, absolutely no reason to brush a patina of ACTUAL SEX onto this relationship. It’s not undefined because the Children’s Television Workshop was too scared to have a gay couple due to societal pressure but now it can be defined because the cultural values are shifting. It’s undefined because THEY ARE PUPPETS ON SESAME STREET AND NONE OF THE GODDAMNED PUPPETS ARE MARRIED BECAUSE THAT’S NOT AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE EXPLORED FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS. Just let these dudes collect paper clips and learn how to spell A-P-P-L-E-S-A-U-C-E for heaven’s sake.
Thank you, Gabe.
To sum up:
1. Bert ‘n’ Ernie = felt puppets who are besties.
2. Number of felt puppets at 123 Sesame Street who are hitched: zippo.
3. Shut up.