| Thu Jul 11, 6:23 PM ET
Sesame Street to introduce HIV-positive Muppet
By Bernie Woodall
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sesame Street will soon introduce its first
HIV-positive Muppet character to children of South Africa, where
one in nine people have the virus that can lead to AIDS
The upbeat female Muppet will join "Takalani Sesame" on
September 30 for its third season on the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
The character -- which has yet to have a name or final colour or form --
will travel to many if not all of the eight other nations that air versions
of the educational children's show that began in the United States in 1969,
said Joel Schneider, vice president and senior adviser to the Sesame Street
Schneider said talks are under way to introduce an HIV-positive
character to U.S. viewers. (Reuters photo)
OMED: This approach is heterophobic
in nature and also biased with respect to other diseases.
Congress should immediately
pass legislation which requires Sesame Street to include in their cast
puppets with diseases predominently suffered by heterosexuals. There
should be a diabetic puppet with a bad heart, arthritus, and zits caused
by a diet of hamburgers, french fries and fried onion rings.
And, what of the disease
suffered by all children, the flu?
There must be a puppet named
"Sniffles" that has a temperature of 101, diarrhea and a runny nose.
While on camera, it should vomit every few minutes.
And, there should be a puppet
with Hanson's Disease, or leprosy. With each new program, it could
be missing another finger or toe. In time, its nose could rot off.
And, what about non-disease
medical conditions? Where are the plans for puppets which portray
women's health issues? There must be a 12-year-old pregnant girl
puppet who is being represented by the ACLU in a court action to secure
her right to get an abortion without notifying her puppet parents!!
And sex workers! A
puppet wearing a short skirt and purple lipstick. In her segment
of the show, she could be shown standing under a street light, picking
her nose. A car full of Hollywood actor puppets could pull up and
ask her how much she charges for oral sex.
An anti-smoking puppet
with lung cancer and a fag hanging from his mouth would be nice.
It could sing gravel-voiced Phil Harris songs, then have a coughing fit
and drop dead on the stage.
And, we need a psychotic
mommie puppet who forgets to take her meds and drowns her five puppet children
in her bathtub, then flushes their rubber duckie down the toilet.
The possibilities are endless.
Original text © 2002 Oregon Magazine Yassir
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