Comment of the Day #2, On the Pointless Marriage of Bert and Ernie

Marrying a puppet is illegal in all 50 states, plus the Dictrict of Columbia.

This is where maintaining integrity and consistency becomes tricky.

Obviously the Comment of the Day suggests only one, yet for some reason this particular day has generated an unusual number of contenders, all deserving. If I refuse to highlight any of these because a Comment of the Day was already posted, I am obscuring important content to maintain a rule, in a situation where the rule doesn’t have any benefits.

But if I have more than one “Comment of the Day,” that creates a precedent and suggests that the designation is more of a formal verdict on comment quality than it is meant to be.  I simply do not, and do not have the time to, give Comment of the Day status to every deserving post. One is usually plenty, and will remain so. But it is foolish, and a contradiction of the principles I argue for on Ethics Alarms, to withhold recognizing a valuable comment for no reason other than an admittedly arbitrary limit.

So here is Comment of the Day #2, on what I will, for this time only, designate as Comment of the Day Friday, as Jeff is inspired by the discussion of bigotry in the continuing discussion generated by Enzo and the Contessa, to weigh in on a particularly stupid news story, the appeal by some gay marriage advocacy groups to have Bert and Ernie, of Sesame Street, tie the knot…if gay marriage is legal on Sesame Street.

(Yes, I know: this is a Comment of the Day on a Comment of the Day on a Comment of the Day. Curse you, Jeff!)

“Didn’t someone just start a campaign for Bert and Ernie to get gay-married? Despite that the people who make Sesame Street have said that Bert and Ernie are just friends, and furthermore, are puppets and therefore not sexual beings? And even then, it’s up to Bert and Ernie themselves if they want to be married and not some jagoff trying to make a statement?

“Is it just because they represent positive values that they want them on the “gay team,” despite the fact that they might not be gay? Does this work in reverse, like with Anne Heche? Can they take the gay library card away from Boy George for his minor criminal transgressions, or from Rosie O’Donnell for becoming totally unlikeable? “Sure, we’ll keep Alan Turing, but the heteros can keep Michael Jackson.”

“It’s the same thing I think when people claim Jesus was ‘black.’ This is silly since the races didn’t exist exactly as they did 2000 years ago. Second, Jesus was likely not any race (since he was God and all). But even if Jesus was African, what difference does that make? Does that raise your stature to know that someone unrelated to you was virtuous and shared the same skin tone? Are you so bereft of positive qualities about yourself that you have to assign something of yours to an important historical figure and say it’s significant?

“Why don’t we all just worry about what WE are, instead of what other people are?”

16 thoughts on “Comment of the Day #2, On the Pointless Marriage of Bert and Ernie

    • OK, Chase, maybe I’m just gullible or buying into something when I should know better, but I just have to ask: Is that true, or are you just having a little fun here?

      • I don’t know about puppets, but there was a South Korean who married his body pillow.

        But yeah, Japan is a land of repressed urges that end up getting expressed in the strangest of ways.

      • Marrying an inanimate object IS legal in Japan. There was a story a while back about a Japanese guy who married his Nintendo DS.

        • Well, technically he married a character in a DS game, so it’s more like marrying an intangible object. Also, I think the ceremony actually took place on Guam. Also, why the hell am I even discussing this, except to maybe express relief that he removed himself from the gene pool?

  1. In a Simpsons episode, Homer opens up a ministry that will marry anyone to anything. When Enthusiastic Christian Ned Flanders debates him on TV, Homer retorts, “If you love your Bible so much, why don’t you just marry it? In fact, I’ll so it for you: I now pronounce you man and Bible!”

    I wonder how Rick Santorum would feel about that?

  2. “…to weigh in on a particularly stupid news story, the appeal by some gay marriage advocacy groups to have Bert and Ernie, of Sesame Street, tie the knot…”

    As far as I can tell, this isn’t true.

    An individual person started a petition online; but s/he’s not representing an organization or (as far as I know) in the leadership of any “gay marriage advocacy group.” And the petition has so far gotten fewer than 10,000 signatures, which is peanuts considering how large the US is and how much news coverage the petition has gotten.

    But this is really a non-story being blown up into a big story by the media because “Should Bert and Ernie Get Married” is such a juicy headline. If the media hadn’t elevated this non-story, I bed there would be under a thousand signatures on the petition.

    I do think Sesame Street should be willing to have lgbt characters presented in a child-appropriate manner, just like they’ve had straight characters presented in a child-appropriate manner. But that doesn’t mean they should change Bert and Ernie.

    As for why we should want this, I think it would be beneficial for all kids, regardless of their future sexual orientations, to grow up seeing a world in which all kinds of positive families are depicted, valued and respected. In other words, I want kids to grow up thinking of both same-sex and opposite-sex couples as normal. What’s wrong with that?

      • Jack, what do you mean by “sexual themes”?

        If you mean that depicting a married couple is a “sexual theme,” then it’s already all over children’s TV. Countless kid’s TV shows depict married couples, and have done so for decades. See this clip from Sesame Street, for instance.

        If you mean showing one character having an innocent romantic crush on another character — well, then, once again, kids shows have depicted that for decades. Oscar the Grouch has his girlfriend Grundgetta, for instance. Miss Piggy has a crush on Kermit. Etc, etc.

        I’m not calling for explicit sex, or even “sexual themes.” I’m saying that there’s nothing wrong with same-sex couples being depicted on family TV in exactly the same way straight couples are constantly depicted on family TV.

        • I mean specifically designating characters according to their sexuality in a pre-school show is introducing sexual themes. A six year old doesn’t need to know, speculate or be told about what genders a puppet or cartoon character wants to have sex with. There’s plenty of time, and better places, for THAT.

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