"Before you can search for truth, you must be interested in finding it." -Miroslav Volf

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Sesame Street

From an anonymous source:

Participants in the ever-spreading Occupy Wall Street movement have yet again expanded the reach of their protests. Following their most recent demonstrations in Portland, OR, protestors have taken their movement to another famed street: Sesame Street.

Home to such beloved characters as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and, unfortunately, Elmo, the renowned street was flooded yesterday with a slew of child demonstrators.

But in contrast to their adult counterparts, children were not directly critiquing the greed of Wall Street. Their concern is not the withholding of wealth from the majority of the nation, but with a crisis much more immediate to their situation: the withholding of dessert.

“My parents continue to refuse me dessert, just because I don’t finish my greens…I’m sick of it!” remarked an angry nine-year-old. “What right do they have to dictate my eating habits?” When asked the meaning of “dictate,” the child shrugged his shoulders.

Children marched down Sesame Street, expressing their frustration in relatively non-violent ways, save the occasional pinching of a Muppet’s nose.

“Too long have we been oppressed by parents interested in our ‘health’ as they say,” asserted a three-year-old girl, before quipping sarcastically, “‘yes, mom, that makes a lot of sense…I should definitely finish my pepperoni pizza…what good habits you’re teaching me, to eat more than I’d like of such healthy main courses. Gosh, mommy, I can’t figure out why the obesity rate in this country continues to rise.’ I mean, come on!”

Cookie Monster witnessed the procession. When asked for comment, Cookie Monster characteristically shouted: “COOKIES!!!”

His retort captured the sentiment of many participants, who, like Cookie Monster, want to believe in a world where anything really is possible—not merely the reality of a just economy that gives hope for every individual to pursue his or her dreams—but of a world where if one wants a cookie, one may have it, without all the preliminary hoops to jump through.

“I remember one time that I wept and wept because my parents didn’t let me have dessert,” an eight-year old girl somberly recalled. “They sat in the other room, feasting on strawberry shortcake, laughing, talking about the great taste, all while I sat in my room alone, sent there dessert-less because I wouldn’t eat my damn lima beans. They could have at least been quiet about it; they didn’t have to gloat.”

A five-year old boy, when asked what oppressive actions by his parents drove him to join the protests, remarked: “Oh, nothing really. When I want something I just throw a fit and usually get what I want. My parents are pretty accommodating. I’m just here because I heard there was free tiramisu.”

Free tiramisu. And with all the free dessert at the OSS rally, there is sure to be a significant amount of waste covering the streets. One local excited about this? Oscar the Grouch.

“Oh I don’t mind the kids,” Oscar told us. “They have a right to express themselves. I don’t care much for dessert myself, but I do love leftovers! And by leftovers, I do of course mean: TEEERRRAAASSSHHH!!!”

Elmo was also asked to comment on the protests, but rambled incoherently for about two minutes, the only intelligible words being “parfait” and, of course, “Elmo.”

Dr. Ping, professor of sociology at Boston College, was present, eager to observe the phenomenon of an organized child protest. When asked to what extent the demonstrations would impact parents’ attitudes toward dessert, Ping chuckled. “Um, not at all. This whole ordeal is a joke. I’m not sure why I came. I’m actually extremely confused.”

A joke to some, perhaps. But to children eager to make a statement, the protest was anything but funny. A child summed it up: “Parents, if you’re listening, we’re not going to take it anymore. We’ll get our dessert, and we’re not going to eat kale or asparagus to get it.”

But while their mission is very serious, they are children, and know how to laugh and have fun. “Cake and ice cream, get your cake and ice cream!” shouted Ernie at one point. “But only if you’ve eaten your dinner,” he said, deadpan. After a moment of silence, the entire street erupted in laughter. The children have gained a sense of purpose, without losing their sense of humor.

(Source: Me and my imagination, killing time between classes yesterday afternoon.)

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