Sesame Street’s Karli, the Muppet whose mother is addicted to opioids, is a good first step
Sesame Street has introduced Karli, a puppet whose mother is addicted to opioids. I applaud them. For too long, children’s shows have been bright, happy, colourful and filled with problems that can be easily resolved. It’s time we saw the alleys and overflowing gutters behind the buildings of Sesame Street—the suicides, prostitution and addictions that run rampant after the sun sets. It’s time children learned about real life. It’s time children learned about flesh-eating diseases, absent fathers, and the unforgiving cycle of life. That their heroes are frauds and everyone dies, including their favourite pets and all their hopes and dreams.
It’s time children learn why people are drawn to heroin in the first place. That life can be so crushing and hopeless that the only other answer is death. It is time children learn that although on the outside the heroin addict may look sick, miserable, terrifying and disgusting, inside they feel better than you will ever know. That the feeling is so good inside, the addict forgets about the vessel and the outer part of the body slowly begins to slip away. From the outside it is hard to watch a heroin addict slowly deteriorate, and even harder to imagine how someone could let themselves fall into that state. But inside they feel perfect. Religion, spirituality, and gurus have often spoken of finding inner peace and joy, and there is no peace within as perfect as the high of heroin.
Loving The Onion for its satirical takes and hating The Babylon Bee for theirs is all in a day’s work for CNN “reporter on disinformation” Donie O’Sullivan.
While he has endlessly tweeted out uproarious Onion stories on everything from “Clinton Throws Flash Grenade to Divert Attention from Question About Senate Voting Record” to “FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot to Just Sit Back and Enjoy Collapse of United States,” (hilarious), he has taken issue with The Babylon Bees’ off-the-wall comic piece “Democrats Call For Flags To Be Flown At Half-Mast To Grieve Death Of Soleimani.”
The fictional story was shared abundantly on social media, as much as top New York Times and CNN stories, which rankled O’Sullivan.
Babylon Bee founder Adam Ford took to Twitter to parlay the hypocrisy he saw in O’Sullivan’s crush on The Onion and displeasure with The Babylon Bee.
Ford points out that O’Sullivan, a fan of The Onion’s skewering of American politics, doesn’t like it when The Babylon Bee does it. Why not? The Onion racks up clicks, as does The Babylon Bee. The Onion has often been accidentally shared as though it were real news, as has The Babylon Bee.
There was the time The Onion ran a story about how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was named sexiest man of the year, and it was reprinted by the South China Morning Post. Or the time a congressman shared an appalling story about Planned Parenthood opening up an “abortionplex.” There was even the time The Onion ran a story “Congress Takes Group of School Children Hostage” and the actual Capitol Police sprang into action to save the school children from Congress.
The Onion has been publishing satirical content online since 1996, and we, the public, have almost gotten used to not believing what they post. The Babylon Bee has only been on the scene four years, but they’ve been constantly crushing it.
There’s one major difference between these two outlets. And at first glance, it’s basically nothing. The Onion runs political and social satire, The Babylon Bee runs political and social satire. But while The Onion has always done so from something of a leftist bent, The Babylon Bee makes no bones about its Christian underpinnings. The Babylon Bee’s google listing clearly states “The Babylon Bee is your trusted source for Christian news satire.”
But explicitly stating that your site is satire not good enough for CNN expert in disinformation Donie O’Sullivan.
Disinformation campaigns are serious business. Bad actors and nefarious governments work hard to spread fake news in efforts to mislead the public. That’s not going to stop, in fact it’s just getting worse.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are in a rush to try and curb the spread of fake news and influence campaigns. But as they rush to do so, they must be made aware of the efforts of bad actors like O’Sullivan who wish to silence their ideological opponents by crying “disinformation” at every turn.
The character dubbed Baby Yoda has recently been introduced to the world in the new Mandalorian series that premiered on Disney+ November 12. Recently people have started making the character into cookies with a baking trick shared by Twitter user J.R. McGrail.
McGrail posted a tweet informing people that if you take off the head of your angel shaped cookie cutter you will end up with a Baby Yoda shaped cookie.
McGrail posted the tweet on December 12 and it has received a lot of attention so far with over 27,000 retweets and almost 150,000 likes.
Many people have responded on Twitter with their own version of the Baby Yoda cookies.
The origin story of the Star Wars character is still mysterious. He is not referred to as Yoda in the series but as “The Child.” The character is, of course, the same species as the original Yoda and is not actually a baby but is 50-years-old. That’s apparently still a pretty young age for the species with Yoda dying at about 900 years of age.
The Mandalorian found the baby on the desert planet Arvala-7 and he has taken over the internet ever since with memes and videos and now cookies.
Perhaps inspired by “Home Alone,” one woman in has taken it upon herself to fend off package thieves or “porch pirates” this year. She decided to fill her old amazon boxes with trash and put them back outside of her front door.
Colorado resident, Christine Hyatt has had multiple packages stolen from her front porch. She told KKTV that there has been at least 20 incidents so far.
She tricked the thieves into taking out her trash for the third time on Wednesday.
“We forgot to set our trash out for Thanksgiving, so we were overflowing with trash,” Hyatt told KKTV, “I’ve had packages stolen and I went, ‘You know what? I have extra boxes — let’s see if someone will take our trash!”
Hyatt became fed up with the criminals after one of the packages they stole contained diabetes medication meant for her daughter.
“She can’t afford to have her own medication stolen just because people are jerks. This is my way of fighting back.”
She is planning on having her next package include things like cigarette butts, food wrappers and kitty litter.
Hyatt also noted, “My daughter told me that it was gross, but they deserve it.”
She also wanted to extend a thank you to the thieves involved in taking out her trash free of charge.
My conscience was tweaked last year when a Huffington Post blogger exposed the cruel behaviour exhibited in the animated Christmas film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Because of Rudolph’s shiny, red nose, he was continuously mocked by his peers and exploited for Santa’s gain. This begs the question: Do the themes inherent in most Christmas classics constitute forms of indoctrination?
Take, for instance, Home Alone, a movie that encourages anti-social behaviour. Stripped down to its core, it is essentially about two adult men stalking a young boy. Even the main character, eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, is a sociopathic, spoiled-rotten brat. He constantly disrespects his parents, binges on junk food, and takes pleasure in torturing hapless criminals. The laughter generated by “take that, ya filthy animal” does not excuse the fact that it comes at the expense of a mob-style execution. What’s next, Christmas with The Sopranos?
It’s a Wonderful Life spreads socialist propaganda. George Bailey is an ambitious young man with global aspirations, but first, he must escape the dead-end future awaiting him in the crumby little town of Bedford Falls. Working like a slave in his family’s home-loan business, George barely scrapes by. Unhappy with his lot in life, he receives some angelic advice: “No man is a failure who has friends.” George succumbs to anti-capitalist hogwash, stays poor, and pities the uber-wealthy. Every Christmas, my family bought into this film’s illusory happiness. Now we see it for what it is: opium for the masses.
A Charlie Brown Christmas epitomizes conformity. As the director of the school play, Charlie Brown is assigned a simple task—pick out an appropriate-sized Christmas tree—but according to his narcissistic peers, he fails miserably. A barrage of insults soon follows—”STUPID,” “HOPELESS,” “BLOCKHEAD.” Even his dog Snoopy laughs at him (so much for man’s best friend). The crass commercialization that now defines Christmas makes the Charlie Browns of this world easy targets for schoolyard bullies. Small wonder he is in constant need of Lucy’s psychiatric help.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas promises a false utopia. Fueled by rage and jealousy, the Grinch guts Whoville of every ting-tingler, blue-tooper, and slew-slumper. Residents are left with nothing—not even a crumb too small for a mouse. After going on a crime spree, which includes animal cruelty, break and enter, and grand theft, the Grinch is held unaccountable. Instead, the citizens of Whoville forgive the Grinch, hold hands, and gleefully sing “fah-who foris, dah-who doris, welcome Christmas, bring your light.” The message is clear: crime pays. The Grinch is welcomed back with open arms; he’s even allowed to carve the roast beast.
Frosty the Snowman personifies white male privilege. While mansplaining to Karen about weight loss, Frosty turns into a puddle of water after being trapped in a greenhouse by Professor Hinkle. Typical of the old boys’ club, Santa saves a fellow dude. He opens the door, lets a good jolly December wind blow in, and voila: Frosty turns into Christmas snow all over again. Meanwhile, poor Karen, who nearly froze to death in a refrigerated boxcar, is dropped off on the icy, snow-covered roof of her house while Santa, Frosty, and Hocus Pocus fly away merrily into the night sky. This is a prime example of how popular culture props up the patriarchy.
The underlying themes embedded in traditional Christmas movies and animated films do not reflect reality. Their only purpose is to perpetuate discredited value systems. This holiday season, I will be boycotting these shows. Why? Because it’s 2019!