Can’t Win for Losing

new-yorker-cover-bert-ernie-gay-marriage-580 The New Yorker Bert and Ernie cover is under attack from all sides. First, the American (Straight, Missionary Position) Family Association says this (via):

By promoting same-sex marriage, and using Sesame Street to do it, the New Yorker staff in effect is promoting child abuse. They should be ashamed of themselves.

So, the victim here is obviously the children, many more of whom will be raped due to the New Yorker intimating that Bert and Ernie are teh ghey.

But wait, Freddie thinks that the real victims here are the homosexuals:

I would argue that this is in fact a really unfortunate portrayal of common attitudes. First, it’s actually not conducive to gay rights or gay dignity to act as though every close male relationship is necessarily a sexual or romantic relationship. But worse, this is subtly a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views gay people, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

Unlike the above-average liberal Mr. deBoer, who finds nothing in gay culture entertaining–or if he does find it entertaining, is not entertained in a condescending manner–you average liberals should be ashamed for deriving any entertainment from gay culture.

So, I’m confused. If I like that cover, does it make me a wannabe child rapist, or a traitor to true progressivism?

330 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    So, I’m confused. If I like that cover, does it make me a wannabe child rapist, or a traitor to true progressivism?

    No need to choose. It’s both/and, not either/or.

  2. 2
    Soonergrunt says:

    “So, I’m confused. If I like that cover, does it make me a wannabe child rapist, or a traitor to true progressivism?”
    Ask Ted and Helen.

    You can be both you know. Like the dessert topping/floor wax.

  3. 3
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    I see Freddie is still auditioning for that position at Slate.

  4. 4
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Freddie got fingered.

    Thanks.

  5. 5
    pete says:

    Wait, what? He says “your average liberal views gay people as … sexless“?

  6. 6
    Emma says:

    It makes you a person with a sense of humor? Nah. Too easy.

  7. 7
    bill d says:

    We haven’t had a good puppet sex brouhaha in a while, this is fun!

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    this is subtly a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views gay people, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

    Projection much?

  9. 9

    At least Freddie is writing about something besides Girls.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    But worse, this is subtly a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views gay people, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

    Unless their lesbians, then they’re hot.

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    So, I’m confused. If I like that cover, does it make me a wannabe child rapist, or a traitor to true progressivism?

    It makes you a bad person; you can work out the exact details with your conscience.

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    Unless their lesbians, then they’re hot.

    No, no. That’s how Conservatives view homosexuality, not liberals

  13. 13

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS): Contrarian liberal who hates Democrats and other liberals. He will be a perfect fit.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The AFA is a group of Jeebofascist twits who should be rounded up and put back under the rock from which they crawled. With flamethrowers.

    As for Freddie, good grief, can you stop being a dickhead for at least five fucking minutes? Please?

  15. 15
    jayjaybear says:

    Jesus fuck…I’m gay (REALLY gay…last time I touched a vulva was at birth) and I thought that cover was absolutely charming and heart-warming. Get a sense of humor and wonder, Freddie. Geez…

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    Didn’t Sesame Street issue some statement awhile back saying that Bert and Ernie were not gay?

  17. 17
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Wait, I thought Bert was hanging out with bin Laden. How did he survive the shootout in bin Laden’s compound?

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    WIN!

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    Unless it’s the people who actually own Bert and Ernie complaining about the misappropriation of these characters, I can’t see anyone having a right to object to this.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    you average liberals should be ashamed for deriving any entertainment from gay culture.

    Does this mean that showtunes should be immediately removed from our play lists?

  21. 21
  22. 22
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’m not sure if I agree with using the characters as symbols of the gay rights movement, but the artwork is georgeous and the image itself in this context is quite moving; (Dan Amica quote in the Hollywood Reporter)

    “To have a closeted gay couple lends the image deeper meaning: In an intimate moment in the privacy of their home, away from the public eye, they feel heartened that society is finally coming around to accepting them for who they are,” he wrote.

  23. 23
    Ted & Hellen says:

    So, I’m confused. If I like that cover, does it make me a wannabe child rapist, or a traitor to true progressivism?

    I like the cover, but I don’t think it hurts a bit to consider Freddie’s take on it and, you know, challenge my assumptions a little bit.

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m just sad Jeff and Akbar didn’t get the New Yorker cover gig….

  25. 25
    Bob says:

    @pete: Yeah, that one caught my eye too. I see gays as a lot of things, but “sexless” ain’t on the list.

  26. 26
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Am I allowed to laugh at the Gay Men’s Chorus at the end of Blazing Saddles?

  27. 27
    scav says:

    Anyone else trying to dredge up the perfect dangerous, offensive, virile, mastermind actively and constantly engaged in sexual behavior that expresses a deep and fundamental dignity?
    Black leather must be involved somewhere, so long as it’s sober. Sort of a three-piece cat-suit with power tie. I’ve no idea where this is going.

  28. 28
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    That cover is not helpful, and I agree with Freddie. Assuming two guys that spend a lot of time with each other are gay is meant as an insult.

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    Does Freddie think they are sexless because they are permanently middle aged? He’s like the kid who is grossed out by the thought tha tmiddle aged people, parents, teachers have sex lives.

  30. 30
    Mark S. says:

    Would Freddie have been okay if they put Batman and Robin on the cover instead? They are another pop culture duo that everyone jokes are secretly gay. Or is that how your average liberal sees gay people, as superheroes, mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people?

    Oh wait, I just remembered I don’t give a fuck about what Freddie DeBoer thinks about anything.

  31. 31
    muddy says:

    I’m surprised Freddie did not post this here. Doesn’t he love us anymore?

  32. 32
    Bob says:

    @Ted & Hellen: No, sorry. Freddie is a humorless scold. He’s a left wing version of the right wing culture warrior: getting upset over Bert and Fucking Ernie is ridiculous, pure and simple. Go to the NRO Corner any day of the year and you will read the exact same style of argument written in the exact same tone. Can’t you just see his pursed lips, his finger shaking, his utter exasperation with those who are capable of not really giving two shits about a New Yorker cover with a couple puppets on it?

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    @Mark S.: I care more what loko-matoko thinks than deBoring.

  34. 34
    Sierra Nevada says:

    Whoa there. Let’s not question the New Yorker’s privilege to decide Bert and Ernie’s place in our culture.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    From Sesame Street:

    When a petition was circulated in 2011 urging the pair to marry, Sesame Street Workshop posted a statement on their Facebook page insisting that the characters were just “best friends.”

    “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation,” the statement said.

  36. 36

    I think the point is that an artist selecting a cultural icon for gay rights could have picked something a little better than, you know, a pair of fictional puppets who aren’t gay.

  37. 37
    ellie says:

    I’m confused, doesn’t this Freddy post here? And I am a liberal and don’t see gay people in the way he describes. I see them as people. I’m confused. Oh, and I like the cover.

  38. 38
    Jewish Steel says:

    sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

    This almost perfectly describes New Yorker covers.

    Freddie De Boer. One Thought Too Few ®

  39. 39
    bill d says:

    @MattF: Oh my. I was wary of your link. Now I am more wary of all humankind.

  40. 40
    jamick6000 says:

    @aimai: that is gross though

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is there any Freddie DeBoer argument that doesn’t take the form of “appallingly, most liberals do/feel X, but not me!”

    As the classic joke about the New Yorker goes, Christ, what an asshole.

  42. 42
    bill d says:

    Looks like we need another DOMA, Defense of Muppets Act.

  43. 43
    Anya says:

    Mr. deBoer makes a good point here. I absolutely agree with him on this.

    First, it’s actually not conducive to gay rights or gay dignity to act as though every close male relationship is necessarily a sexual or romantic relationship.

    His second point is just insane.

  44. 44
    dance around in your bones says:

    Some people just think too much. About stupid shit. This AFA baloney should go down in history as a pair with ‘Teletubby Tinky Wink GAY because purse!’ Falwell.

    Don’t know what to say about Freddie. Too many words to ‘splain nada but his own projection. Hey, maybe projection’splainin’ should be a new word.

    I like the cover and I have no complicated explanations for that.

  45. 45
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    this is subtly a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views gay people, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

    I’m sorry, but I have to go back to this sentence, because it is just possibly the stupidest thing said on the Internet this week, and that’s a high hurdle.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    @August Pollak: Can you name an iconic couple that is as easily recognized who is gay?

  47. 47
    scav says:

    @ellie: You see them as people? well, clearly you are doing it wrong. They are iconic symbols of deep seriousness and dignity and must be approached in a single, undeviating manner as outlined by Those That Matter. (there does seem to be an argument about whose limiting stereotypes win though).

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS): I agree that this is Freddie’s audition for Slate. So wrong it leaves you breathless.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Sadly, they’re not iconic enough in the broader culture.

  50. 50
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Anya: Except nobody thinks every close male relationship is romantic, although there are quite a few talibangelical idiots who think all strong females are lesbians. So, no, it’s not a good point, at all.

  51. 51
    Joey Maloney says:

    @August Pollak: Like John McCain and Lindsey Graham?

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    I agree. Too many people are over-thinking this.

  53. 53
    pokeyblow says:

    As far as I know, neither Bert nor Ernie have engaged in anti-gay behavior. They also haven’t announced their sexual preferences, as far as I know.

    Isn’t it still inappropriate to “out” them? If someone chooses to be heterosexual, gay, asexual, or whatever; without announcing as much, isn’t the respectful choice not to do so for that person? Again, assuming he/she isn’t in the hypocrisy business, like that evangelical who looks for travel companions on rentboy.com (ha ha).

  54. 54
    YellowJournalism says:

    To me, one of the great things about the Muppets and Sesame Street characters is the way people, especially children, can find something unique in the puppets to identify with. Some people see Elmo as a the representation of an innocent three-year-old child, while others see him as the annoying, commercialized embodiment of all that is unholy and evil.

    As for Bert and Ernie, some time ago my sons told me that they are brothers. When I tried to explain that they’re just friends, my boys gave me a pretty compelling argument for Bert and Ernie being brothers based on similarities to my boys being brothers (not always agreeing, caring about each other, etc.). So maybe it’s okay that some people identify the characteristics of a loving homosexual relationship, which is how I prefer to see this cover rather than a crude joke.

  55. 55
    Shalimar says:

    I didn’t realize Freddie was gay. Lucky for us, we have him around to tell us when gay men feel insulted.

  56. 56
    Geeno says:

    Wasn’t it the rightards that suggested Bert and Ernie were gay in the first place? Back during one of their rounds to deny funding to PBS and CTW they were suggesting that Sesame Street was bad for children ‘cuz OMG! TEH GHEY!!!
    It’s just a cute picture making a humorous play on a silly trope. Some people really need to get a grip.

  57. 57
    Alex S. says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Well, I remember Ernie sitting in the bathtub, singing, and Bert in the bathroom with him. That’s not what guys do…
    But of course, Ernie and Bert are just puppets… and it’s all very meta. These Puppets are infantilized adults presented to children. And only when the children grow up and become reflective nasty young adults, and they think “What did I actually watch there?”, only then does sexuality enter the picture. Children ignore that.
    Freddie refuses to follow the pop-culture conscious ironic hipster route, I don’t know if it makes him humorless or serious.

  58. 58
    Dre says:

    @ruemara:
    Statler and Waldorf?

  59. 59
    patrick II says:

    @Bob:

    Can you be sexless and gay? Or straight for that matter?

  60. 60
    El Caganer says:

    Glad Freddie’s available to Muppetsplain to all of us Great Unwashed out here.

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, I don’t know what world DeBoer lives in where the “average liberal” only knows imaginary representations of gay people rather than, like, actual, physically present gay people.

  62. 62
    Anya says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS): But a lot of people base their claim that [Insert name of historical figures] is gay based on close relationship with another male. This also includes pop culture figures, major sport figures and entertainers.

  63. 63
    Alex S. says:

    From Sully’s page:

    “Bert and Ernie clearly love each other. But does Ernie suck Bert’s cock? I don’t think so,” – June Thomas.

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS):
    You’re right! He really is applying for Slate.

  64. 64
    👽 Martin says:

    @Geeno:

    Wasn’t it the rightards that suggested Bert and Ernie were gay in the first place?

    Yes.

  65. 65
    Bob says:

    @patrick II: If you are defining people by their sexuality – be it gay, straight, bi, whatever, then by definition you are not defining them as sexless.

  66. 66
    ruemara says:

    @Dre: ZOMG! You just called gays old, cranky, wrinkled and with bad taste in theatre.

  67. 67
    YellowJournalism says:

    If you want to see a couple of children’s tv show characters that uncomfortably hit a lot of the gay stereotypes, watch “Toopy and Binoo.” Conservatives would have a field day if they were popular in the US.

  68. 68
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Anya: That’s an entirely different kettle of fish, which I’ll concede. The problem here is the use of a vague number (a lot) versus Freddie’s claim, which is “First, it’s actually not conducive to gay rights or gay dignity to act as though every close male relationship is necessarily a sexual or romantic relationship.”

    Nobody acts that way.

    Also, all the guesstimating on the sexual preferences of historical figures for which there is little to no actual evidence is pure bullshit.

  69. 69
    Sierra Nevada says:

    OK, for you dumbasses that don’t get it: if the New Yorker wants to use its privilege to assign Bert and Ernie, or Barack and Michelle Obama, a place in the culture war to sell magazines to its privileged asshole readership, that’s its motherfucking privilege.

  70. 70
    NickT says:

    a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views Conor Friedersdorf and Freddie deBoer, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the amused entertainment of more sensible people.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob: Certainly plenty of people think of “gay” as an attitude more than as a set of sexual desires and practices. If it’s possible to be a non-observant Jew, it’s possible to be sexless and gay.

  72. 72
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This often happens when you’re too far out in front.

    Groening: Here’s my standard reply: Akbar and Jeff are either brothers or lovers–or both. Whatever offends you most, that’s what they are. [pause] Yeah, of course they’re gay! Big commercial mistake on my part, by the way. A big brewery approached me wanting to have Akbar and Jeff promote their beer. We were walking about an Akbar and Jeff spring break train, Akbar and Jeff tattoos, an Akbar and Jeff blimp. [laughs] We were talking about it very seriously until they read an article on me in Rolling Stone and found out that Akbar and Jeff had an alternate lifestyle

    Flux Magazine, Issue #6, September 30, 1995.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    @Anya: Many are just as quick to assume that all close relationships between men and women are necessarily sexually, as though that’s a mandatory critical ingredient in all (non-familial) emotional relationships. There’s nothing joining us but our hoo-haws, all else is foreplay.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NickT: I dunno. I think they can be both harmful and offensive.

  75. 75
    NickT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Culturally Jewish is the term, IIRC. I imagine people will be able to describe themselves as culturally gay in a more enlightened age.

  76. 76
    Cacti says:

    @aimai:

    Does Freddie think they are sexless because they are permanently middle aged?

    It might be because the President of the Children’s Television Workshop that produces Sesame Street has said that their muppet characters don’t exist below the waist.

  77. 77
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    I have a couple FB friends who took issue with the cover because it was sexualizing something (E&B) that is supposed to be innocent. I asked her if she was similarly upset when Kermit and Miss Piggy were “sexualized” every time they kiss or have some sort of romantic interaction? If not, what’s the difference?

    When I look at the image nothing particularly sexual comes to mind. I see a sweet couple enjoying a historic moment. The gay implication is obviously a play on the rumors that have been present in our pop-culture re: E&B for many years, juxtaposed with the context of the political moment they are witnessing on the tv screen. It doesn’t change their “innocence” at all in my view. Any more so than implying that Fred & Wilma Flintstone are a heterosexual couple would. In fact, if anything I think the adoption of E&B by gay rights advocates actually sends a great message “see these two lovable characters they may (or may not) be gay, and it doesn’t make them any less sweet.” And also that gay couples don’t have to be stereotypical. I don’t think this cover is aimed at children, but I would have no problem with it if it was.

  78. 78
    NickT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think they are both too self-pityingly milquetoast* to be genuinely harmful or offensive. Clueless bumblers, the pair of ’em.

    *Please note that I intend no insult to the milquetoast community at large and no milquetoasts were harmed in the making of this comment.

  79. 79
    pokeyblow says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I used to really love the long articles in the New Yorker. Serialized over three or four weeks, about some odd topic in geology, or whatever.

    Then they brought in Tina Brown, saying “what Americans, especially thinking Americans, need is more celebrity photos!”

    And a good thing crashed and burned.

  80. 80
    MomSense says:

    Oh FFS, it was a nice cover. Couples put their arms around each other. Best friends who have lived together for 40 + years put their arms around each other sometimes too. It was a happy moment and good news when we all wanted/needed some good news.

  81. 81
    aimai says:

    @YellowJournalism: Of course its not a crude joke–no matter how you look at it. The point of the closet is that people (muppets in this case) often have to pretend to be “merely friends” when they are, in fact, lovers. For christ’s sake people have been calling their lovers “roomates” and “friends” for centuries.

    Your sons’ reasoning reminds me of my daughters, very early on, when they were working out all kinds of relationships and they insisted that since every “daddy” had a “mommy” that every woman associated with every man was “his mommy” i.e. his wife.

    I think a closer parallel to Bert and Ernie is the adult show “The Odd Couple” which though supposedly explicitly about two heterosexual post divorce men rooming together out of convenience always walked a fine line in terms of sterotypical gender norms.

  82. 82
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @pokeyblow: Even in decline, the New Yorker has some of the best writing on the planet. But this cover, like the Obama fist bump one, is bullshit.

  83. 83
    NickT says:

    I have to say that the New Yorker deserves quite a bit of credit for exposing just how pathologically stupid and frightened the anti-gay mob are. All it took was one gently ambiguous cover – and the howls rang out from Texas to Alaska.

  84. 84
    eric says:

    I saw loving companionship in the picture. That is all that matters, ever.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: And the reason why they’re an “odd couple” is because… They’re not a straight couple.

  86. 86
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Shitstain cleanup on aisle 23.

  87. 87
    pokeyblow says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I agree. But the conscious dumbing-down of half the content just pissed me off. And my recollection is the covers were less “edgy/topical” in the Gottlieb days and before.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Any more so than implying that Fred & Wilma Flintstone are a heterosexual couple would.

    Yeah, but we know that Fred and Wilma did the wild thing…because…Pebbles!

  89. 89
    eric says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: looks way more like barney rubble to me

  90. 90
    Bob says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I was raised Presbyterian. Today I’m an atheist. Should I be called a lapsed Presbyterian? If I define myself by religion, I call myself an atheist – that defines me with regards to that one issue. It says nothing else about me. But when the question of religion comes up I am NOT a lapsed Presbyterian – I am an atheist.
    If I am asked to define myself by sexuality I will answer heterosexual. That doesn’t mean I’m having sex right now – but it does mean I am a sexual person who does have sex and does so with partners of the opposite sex.
    If a person is not engaged in sexual activity at all in their life there is a word for that – asexual.

  91. 91
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    I say Pebbles is the love-child of Fred Flintstone and Daphne Blake. Just look at the hair and the features.

  92. 92
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Anti-Adoptionist stereotyping! And what @eric: said.

  93. 93
    eric says:

    @Bob: i thought the word for that was “Ben Shapiro.” Oh well, live and learn

  94. 94
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @eric:

    Barney had Betty, who was way hotter than Wilma, and … BamBam!

  95. 95
    MomSense says:

    @eric:

    That is what I saw, too. Loving companionship. I do confess that when I was young I saw seniors as sexless but the older I get the less I see them that way! In my defense, my grandparents were kind of like Ernie and Bert in that they slept in twin beds for most of the 62 years they were married.

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Doesn’t rule out other Wham-Bam-Mamns.

  97. 97
    Kevin says:

    Just hire him already Slate!

    Read a few posts below that one on Freddy’s site, and you can see him lament that the gay rights movement sucks now because it isn’t a bunch of radical theater queens like he grew up with. And they are doing silly things, like fighting for equality. Psssh, who needs that? They should talk to Freddy, a straight white male, because he knows what they actually need, and exactly how not to get it (getting things you want is actually bad, so please fire bomb something..not sure what his actual point was other then “hey gays, you’re doing it wrong, my fantasy homos would do it like THIS”)

  98. 98
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @scav:

    So Betty was a beard?

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS): Agreed on all points!

    @scav: My cousing was just complaining last night about her frustration that her people (Somalis) assume that every male female relationship that’s not familial is sexual in nature. This is a cross cultural fallacy, I guess.

  100. 100
    Violet says:

    @MomSense:

    my grandparents were kind of like Ernie and Bert in that they slept in twin beds for most of the 62 years they were married.

    Probably helped them get to that 62nd anniversary. Given the age of your grandparents, they probably would have slept in a small double bed, which is terrible for actual sleep when two people are in it. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to health.

  101. 101
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    I had the same male roommate until I was 30. I’m married to a woman.

    At one point we could only afford to live in the same room, in separate beds.

    Are there any opposite sex Sesame Street muppet characters who lived together? I don’t get it.

    Seems like they should come out. What does that tell kids? I’ve had deep platonic same sex friendships, why does it have to be appropriated? Why do we need muppets to represent gay people?

  102. 102
    RSA says:

    Ernie kissed Bert once, and Bert smacked him: http://youtu.be/nq1CxLTRwEk?t=2m10s

    (Kidding. Not the same Bert and Ernie. But it’s still affecting.)

  103. 103
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Look, I hate Freddie de Boer, but I at least somewhat agreed with him this time. That is not something I easily admit to.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob: That all makes sense within itself, but IMHO both Jewishness and gay-ness are different, because there are other “signifiers” at play. For instance, guilt and overprotective passive-aggressive mothers are well-known signs of Jewishness, cited by people who identify as Jews at some level, whether or not they think about or even know much about religion and theology. That kind of distinction is crucial to what DeBoer is on about.

    So to the degree that DeBoer is raising any point worth acknowledging, it could be restated as this: “average liberals” are comfortable with the signifiers of homosexuality (like campy wit) but not with all the icky sex-having part, which is why they see gay people as Muppets. I think that DeBoer is 11 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag, so I totally disagree, but that’s how he can make the point about “sexless” and have his whole stupid suggestion make sense in his mind.

  105. 105
    steve says:

    I loved the fistbump cover! I thought it was hilarious. I thought it was a humiliating mockery of the deranged right wing. I agree with Remnick: If you can’t get that it’s a joke, I don’t know what to tell you.

  106. 106
    RaflW says:

    Ohrefpittyssake!

    Its a dumb bit of art, not authorized by Sesame Street and on the cover of an obviously liberal magazine for arugula-eaters.

    But lets all have an absurd pile-on.

    And for the record, though I’m sure it’s rare, can’t two asexual (or purportedly straight) roommates cuddle? Does cuddling actually imply man-on-man (muppet on muppet?) sex will happen off-screen later?

    Does it? An evening cuddle between friends has to mean they’re intimate lovers? I suppose this is why, as India gets more westernized, we’ll see men stop holding hands as they walk. Which will be a very big loss for human culture.

    Men can be physical with each other besides hockey and football, y’know.

  107. 107
    p.a. says:

    @Mark S.: maybe SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo?

    Speaking of ambiguous, leave it to cultural scolds to chose to interpret an ambiguous work of art in a way that makes them angry and unhappy.

  108. 108
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Kevin: So you don’t like Freddy’s SWM take. Check. But you are all fine with the the the New Yorker’s privilege to assign Michelle, Barark, Bert and Ernie to their proper places?

  109. 109
    Anya says:

    So, are Carl and Lenny out and proud?

  110. 110
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Shalimar: Well that’s an extremely silly point. No one person can speak for an entire class of people. I certainly don’t speak for all Hispanics.

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    Perhaps.

    But I distinctly recall Fred making a joyous announcement that the Flintstones were going to have a baby. This means that Fred THOUGHT he was the father, which means that he and Wilma DID do the wild thing, at least once. Even if Barney was getting some in on the side.

    And yes, Betty was way hotter than Wilma. And most assuredly Wilma’s mother…

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anya:

    Well, are Mr. Burns and Smithers out and proud, or is it still all just in Waylon’s mind?

  113. 113
    eric says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut: Why cant Jonah Goldberg speak for all douchebags?

  114. 114
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Bob: I know you’re just illustrating a point, but If I’m asked to define my sexuality I’ll tell the person who asked to fuck off.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: That is a very peculiar use of the word “privilege.” ETA: I mean, you can certainly say you find it offensive, but I don’t get where “privilege” comes in. It’s a cartoon. It’s not a definitive statement on something.

  116. 116
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @steve: We can tell it’s a joke dumbass. Just like we can tell when racist assholes tell racist jokes, that jokes are being told. Privileged assholes have always had the privilege to tell whatever jokes they want. We get it.

    Dumbass.

  117. 117
    eric says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I dunno: Fred drank a lot and was for sure a’ passing out when the time for loving and squeezing came about. He was a honky-tonking, barefootwalking, man whose wife was steppin’ out.

  118. 118
    Kevin says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I don’t know what Michelle and Barak have to do with this (sorry, maybe i missed the last New Yorker cover outrage), but this is just a cover, there is no assigning of anything. It’s a cute picture, big deal.

  119. 119
    RaflW says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Assuming two guys that spend a lot of time with each other are gay is meant as an insult.

    Only if the premise is that being gay is bad.

    It’s not an insult if being gay is a neutral or positive social atribute. Which it is becoming… well, for some of us it seems.

  120. 120
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @eric: I don’t think douchebag is a race/orientation et al with a variety of different kinds of people. Douchebag is just the same insecure, warped, bigoted mind.

  121. 121
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No it isn’t.

    When you take something that isn’t yours, to use any way you want, that’s fucking privilege.

  122. 122
    handsmile says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This. Precisely.

    @pokeyblow:

    Tina Brown last edited an issue of The New Yorker fifteen years ago. Under David Remnick, the magazine has recovered quite a bit from those grim days. If he’s no William Shawn, well, who is, and he’s every bit the equal of Robert Gottlieb. Like Norma Desmond’s “pictures,” it’s the readers of The New Yorker that got “smaller.”

    @NickT:

    Well, I’d have to say that the “anti-gay mob” needed no help at all from The New Yorker to expose their pathological stupidity and fright.

    Finally, this liberal will be thinking of Freddie’s characterization while I’m cheering on the tens of thousands of gay men and women marching/celebrating in tomorrow’s Pride Parade in NYC.

  123. 123
    NickT says:

    @Kevin:

    Sierra’s getting all enraged about the infamous “terrorist” cover of July 21st 2008. How that supposedly equates to putting Bert and Ernie “in their place”, FSM only knows.

  124. 124
    Kevin says:

    Damn, shouldn’t have replied to Sierra Nevada, looking at the misplaced rage, i see they are just a concern troll, never mind.

  125. 125
    PsiFighter37 says:

    This is such a goddamn stupid debate. If people think they’re gay, great. If not, great! Who cares? Fuck, I haven’t seen Sesame Street in 20 years, so why the hell does it even matter?

    More important things to bitch and moan about…next, please.

  126. 126
    Cassidy says:

    Eh, more Freddie taking a contrarian position just to be the cool, hipster kid in a feel good moment. Boring.

  127. 127
    quannlace says:

    And someone should tell these two hot-house flowers that the old ‘Bert and Ernie- are they or aren’t they?’ has been around for a least 20 years.

  128. 128
    Anya says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Poor Mr. Smithers and his unrequited love are no laughing matter. All the abuse he takes from Mr. Burns messed him up pretty bad.

  129. 129
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @RaflW: it’s still problematic if it’s neutral or even positive.

    I lived with my closest friend for a decade. Mostly because we were poor and working too much for relationships. People, even our closest friends, assumed we were gay.

    And you know what? I didn’t mind. I really don’t care if people think I’m gay or straight or bi or asexual or an elephant fucker.

    What I DID resent was some people aggressively trying to pigeon hole me into an identity and get me to come out, and suggest that there was “no way” I could be straight given the circumstantial evidence. That I was in denial or something. But there were only one or two people like that that I knew, and they were like Freddie. So it’s not even a big deal, but I see stuff like this and it reminds me of people presuming to tell me who I am.

  130. 130
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I don’t live in New York. I don’t even like New York. I could give a flying fuck about what The New Yorker does.

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: Is the entirety of hip-hop “privilege,” then, because it’s based on sampling? That’s ridiculous.

  132. 132
    Kevin says:

    @Cassidy: Every time i venture to Freddy’s site and read a post, I can’t help but picture him writing the post with a cross and nails next to his laptop. “I’m going to post this ever important thought I had about how liberals are failing us once again, then I’ll hang myself on this cross here”. That’s his entire persona.

  133. 133
    gbear says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Am I allowed to laugh at the Gay Men’s Chorus at the end of Blazing Saddles?

    Not with your face!!

  134. 134
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    More important things to bitch and moan about…next, please.

    The Jeebofascist fucktards beg to disagree. This is the end of the world. Their invisible sky buddy will smite the world and take them with it if it’s allowed to continue. Which makes me wonder…aren’t they so eager to bring about the end of the world, so they can be with Jeebus and count their bitcoins?

  135. 135
    NickT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Right. This falls solidly under the traditions of satire and parody. It’s not “putting Bert and Ernie in their place” at all.

  136. 136
    Lawrence says:

    Unless they meant to troll the fundies, the cover was a poor choice. I have always thought the Bert and Ernie gay question was stupid and annoying. They aren’t gay, and they aren’t straight, because they are not sexual. They have gender, but not orientation. Reminds me of the interview where Ian Mckellan get’s the “Sir Ian (because you are a big homo) who’s on top: Sam or Frodo?” And he just rolls his eyes and says “Well, (you stupid fucking American who has no knowledge of history) it’s a relationship based on social class…”

  137. 137
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Kevin: snicker. “Put your feet together, we’ve only got one more nail”.

  138. 138
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: You don’t like New York! Not inviting you to any NYC Balloon Juice meetups then, asshole!

  139. 139
    NickT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Apocalypse has been pretty disappointing so far in my neck of the woods. We’ve had some extra humidity, which is annoying, but that’s about it.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    “If you go soft on me, Fred, I’ll find a short hard man to take your place.”

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Lawrence:

    It’s a jab at people like the AFA, who started the Bert and Ernie rumors in the first place.

    I think it’s a great cover. A great deal is communicated there. Just two puppets enjoying each other’s company…and screw what the AFA is thinking.

  142. 142
    NickT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think the cover is a brilliant Rorschach test for what people are thinking on this topic. Liberals are likely to see the gay potential being trailed – and think “That’s a nice, affectionate scene. Good for them!”, homophobes will rage about the desecration of their childhoods – and then you get the crazies who just like to get upset for no particular reason.

  143. 143
    eric says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: you said “screw” huhe huhe huhe

  144. 144
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut: why does it have to be appropriated? Why do we need muppets to represent gay people? This. It reminds of the Jesus was gay crowd.

  145. 145
    eric says:

    @NickT: What about those of us that saw two class traitors watching corporate media and staring affectionately at the members of a hierarchal and anti-democratic institution?

  146. 146
    quannlace says:

    They should have put Tinkie-Winkie with his purse on the cover, and given Pat Robertson an aneurysm.

  147. 147
    pokeyblow says:

    While I thought the Obama fist-bump cover was stupid, because meatheads from the Limbaugh/McVeigh wing of American politics might regard it as a factual document, I think being the president opens you up to all kinds of crap.

    I’m hardly an intellectual-property zealot, but Bert and Ernie are represented as simply friends, in what strikes me as a purely benign fashion, and someone who seems to be doing a good thing owns those characters.

    Now cool hipsters can claim they’re gay, which is the sort of thing that’s funny and clever once or twice, but sad when repeated for the thousandth time. And not cool (IMO) when “mainstreamed” by a magazine like the New Yorker. Frankly, the “hip” idea is really old, and someone does own those characters.

  148. 148
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: this.

    People need to chill the fuck out; it’s just Muppets.

  149. 149
    NickT says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    What’s happening here is that the cover isn’t saying “Bert and Ernie are gay” – it’s asking the question “How do you react to the possibility that they might be gay?”. Some of the reactions to that question have been very interesting.

  150. 150
    eric says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: muppets dont “represent” gay people, they “are” gay muppets. sheesh.

  151. 151
    eric says:

    @pokeyblow: no, us cool hipsters will see them as Ernie and Bert.

  152. 152
    scav says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Beard? That would imply Fred, not Wilma and instead of Betty. Bedrock may be Swinging was closer to it. Cease with the binaries.

  153. 153
    pokeyblow says:

    @eric: Fair enough that you’d think I was calling you — the individual — a hipster. I draw the line at “cool.” That’s not something I’d say.

  154. 154
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    I think the three of you should definitely form your own political party.

  155. 155
    Nate says:

    What about those of us who hate the New Yorker cover simply because it unnecessarily sexualizes characters who are intended to appeal to children.

    I’m as firm a supporter of marriage equality as they come, but Bert and Ernie are neither gay nor straight. And either side using them as an avatar to make a point beyond “people who are different can get along” is ridiculous.

  156. 156
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Oooh, your grasp of logic is devastating. Hip Hop uses sampling ergo no taking of anything, ever, could possibly signify privilege!

  157. 157
    eric says:

    @NickT: comrade, there is only the Party.

  158. 158
    NickT says:

    @Nate:

    How many children do you know who read the New Yorker or care a button for its cover?

  159. 159
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    I do hope you aren’t a left deviationist in disguise, Comrade Eric.

  160. 160
    Lawrence says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I didn’t realize that was where it came from. OK, I retract my criticism.

  161. 161
    pokeyblow says:

    @Nate: I think you’re using the old definition of “child.” Used to be, children were regarded as sexless in the adult/active/purposeful sense (“polymorphous perversity” notwithstanding).

    Now we learn that a six-year old self-identifies as transgender. And I’m pretty sure that saying “wait a second, isn’t that a bit young to…” will get the harpies howling real good.

  162. 162
    NickT says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    But you can’t argue against his broader point, can you? Why is that, I wonder?

  163. 163
    Cassidy says:

    The cover wasn’t provocative enough. It should have had both dressed in leather, the bottom with a dog collar and chain, having ghey buttseks in a church pew while the decision plays in the background, a cross on the floor covered in fluid (lube or semen, whatever you want to see) with both screaming “oh god, free at last!”. That would have done it.

  164. 164
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NickT:

    Agreed. Tells us a lot more about the observer than the observer might like!

  165. 165
    Ted & Hellen says:

    As usual, the most hilarious thing about the dominant BJ commentariat Obam’s Security State Is Awesome Botsplainer cohort is that they still fantasize themselves as “liberals” rather than the Nixon Republicans they are.

  166. 166
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: that.was.awesome. :)

  167. 167
    eric says:

    @Ted & Hellen: this post surely had to be done by a word selection algorithm, right?

  168. 168
    MAJeff says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    If it’s possible to be a non-observant Jew, it’s possible to be sexless and gay.

    We call that “married.”

  169. 169
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @gbear: ha!

  170. 170
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    Must be a pretty badly composed algorithm, judging by what Teddy Pie-Eater used to babble before I rammed a selection of hard, hot, liberal pastry down his throat.

  171. 171
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    They’re probably splitters.

  172. 172
    BGinCHI says:

    I am in the town where Freddie lives for the weekend (seriously) and I may very well kick him in his junk if I see him.

    That is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve read on the whole DOMA issue so far, and that includes Bryan Fischer.

    He Freddie: write your diss and stop blogging.

  173. 173
    muddy says:

    @Cassidy: @Ted & Hellen:

    Eh, more Freddie taking a contrarian position just to be the cool, hipster kid in a feel good moment. Boring.

  174. 174
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @NickT: Look dummy, I’ll be glad argue broader points when the prevailing wind changes from “It’s just a joke, lighten up folks”. Until then, assholes that defend the privilege of a totebagger rag like the New Yorker to depict whoever they want, however they want, can kiss my ass.

  175. 175
    NickT says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I thought Perfectionate Freddie had been muppetized below the waist after the infamy of his Boners. Still, if you think he has some residual junk left to kick, may the Force be with you.

  176. 176
    Cassidy says:

    @muddy: Que?

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Projectsplaining. It’s been a concept, it’s now a word.

    We have real problems in this world, hell we don’t have to even look outside our own country, and this is what we are worried about? Fucking puppets? On magazine covers? So what if they were/are gay whose business is it anyway? It sure as hell is not mine.
    At work on Thursday was discussing young boys hanging about with older men and how today “everyone” jumps to the conclusion that the man is a pervert. Wasn’t that way when I was a kid, even though there for sure were perverts. It was a huge part of growing up and seeing other peoples lives, that they did things that my dad didn’t do, like one was a clown. My dad would never have even thought about being one. It helped open my eyes to other possibilities than just what my parents told me.

  178. 178
  179. 179
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    This thread is fun, serious back and forths amongst meta snark. Welcome back ballon juice! Where have you been?

  180. 180
    NickT says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    I’d love to respond to that deeply considered comment of yours, whatever it was, but I pied you five minutes ago, because my diningroom table wanted some conversation.

  181. 181
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    This thread is fun, serious back and forths amongst meta snark. Welcome back ballon juice! Where have you been?

  182. 182
    gbear says:

    People need to chill the fuck out; it’s just Muppets.

    This. If you’re going to worry about the sex life of puppets you have to come to the conclusion that the only thing that animates them is….well, never mind.

  183. 183
    NickT says:

    @gbear:

    True. If you can’t fuckrageously fucking chill the fuckity fuck out about fucking non-fucking Muppets, what the fuckrubbery fuck are you fuckaciously fucking around on the fucktrocitarian fucking internet for anyway?

  184. 184
    srv says:

    I’m so confused now, Freddie. I like the cover and hate Glee. Does that mean I’m a bad liberal or that I hate Teh Gays and am a good liberal?

    Or are you just the fucking Grouch?

  185. 185
    dmbeaster says:

    @Geeno: what Geeno said

  186. 186
    pokeyblow says:

    @srv: I like Glee because I think Naya Rivera is pretty much the hottest woman on TV.

    Actually, I don’t like Glee. But Naya is hot.

  187. 187
    NickT says:

    @srv:

    I think it means you have excellent taste.

  188. 188
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @NickT: You should definitely stick to furniture.

  189. 189
    scav says:

    @srv: As a Grumpy-American, I take issue with that appropriation of our image and needless stereotyping of our household management styles.

  190. 190
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Damn, people sure can get worked up about fictional characters (or having some fun at those characters’ expense).

    It’s almost like we are discussing apocryphal characters from a moldy goatherders manual.

  191. 191
    Suzanne says:

    Freddie is just hoping that he can get someone else to call him BONERZ.

    Seriously, what a fucking whiny douche.

    As an “average liberal”, I can assure you that I don’t see my LGBTQI friends, family, and neighbors as “sexless”. Has Freddie not heard of Grindr?

  192. 192
    NickT says:

    @scav:

    What about the other Seven-Dwarf-Americans? Have the Dopey-Americans no views on this topic? How about the Sneezy-Americans?

  193. 193
    muddy says:

    @Cassidy: I was inartfully using your comment about Freddie towards someone else. Didn’t change the name as I don’t know how to do the strikethough.

  194. 194
    gbear says:

    @Sierra Nevada: Why don’t you just sit down and write 47 letters to the New Yorker cancelling your subscription due to your outrage. Don’t forget to say that you can barely type through your tears. Then let it go (then switch to decaff). Their covers aren’t worth all this spittle.

  195. 195
    NickT says:

    @Suzanne:

    I am sure Freddie thinks of Grindr as terribly indecorous and not serious.

  196. 196
    srv says:

    Well, I can’t let a Sesame Street thread go without The Funkiest Funk Funktaculer Performance Evah On TV

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?f.....qz9Fjn_FRg

  197. 197
    muddy says:

    At least the cover art is clear. I have a really hard time seeing their cartoons, the lines are so thin and pale.

  198. 198
    BGinCHI says:

    @NickT: It’s free to kick so I’m going to go ahead and pursue my constitutional right to do so.

  199. 199
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NickT:
    It might be difficult to get the Bashful-Americans to commit to an opinion on this.

  200. 200
    pokeyblow says:

    @gbear: It’s a thread about the cover and subsequent controversy. The guy/gal has opinions.

    Why does that bother you?

  201. 201
    scav says:

    @NickT: Yeah, where are they? Polyamory with assexual members should be represented here.

  202. 202
    NickT says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Make sure you wear the steel toe-cap boots. A man could break a foot on Freddie’s mighty BONERZ!

  203. 203
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @gbear:

    . If you’re going to worry about the sex life of puppets you have to come to the conclusion that the only thing that animates them is….

    The hand up their ass?

  204. 204
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Joey Maloney: McCain and Graham are fictional puppets?

  205. 205
    NickT says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    OK, fine, no problemo. Make me injure my back delivering those internets to your door, why don’t you?

  206. 206
    muddy says:

    @Just One More Canuck: We could only hope.

  207. 207
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @NickT: deliver them to gbear. I just went there.

    Eta: well not exactly there. I just verbalized the notion gbear implied.

  208. 208
    Anya says:

    Nixon Republican? That must be the dumbest thing ever said on the internet.

  209. 209
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @gbear: Dispensing rage advice on a Balloon Juice comment thread, on a post that whines about another blogger saying mean things about totebag rag cover. Pure Gold.

  210. 210
    CaseyL says:

    I thought the cover was adorable.

    Just that: adorable.

    I didn’t sit and stare and ponder how to extract some outrage from it.

    I looked, I said, “Awww,” and that was all.

    Easy!

  211. 211
    NickT says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    “Where no man has gone before!”

  212. 212
    scav says:

    Graphic version of the entire Bible to be published
    Series will run to 2,000 pages in 12 volumes and aims to establish ‘”Marvel” of the faith market’
    To throw into the chum of the flat graphic end of the shark pool.

  213. 213
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Anya: Never question a shitstain. They just happen.

  214. 214
    Suzanne says:

    The conclusion I come to with this is similar to what we supposedly concluded from the Daniel-Tosh-Tells-A-Rape-Joke dust-up….it’s okay if the joke isn’t on the victim. To me, this joke is on the right wing, same as with the Obamas-as-black-power cartoon. So it doesn’t bother me.

  215. 215
    Ruckus says:

    @NickT:
    Agreed. Into the bakery with SN. I’d rather read about pie than stupid misplaced anger.

  216. 216
    eric says:

    I think the real problem some of you old fuddy-duddies are having is the undercurrent of fisting. get with the times.

    this link worked better for me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qz9Fjn_FRg

  217. 217
  218. 218
    jon says:

    Bert and Ernie are just friends.

    Elton John came out and admitted his bisexuality.

    Liberace won a libel suit against someone who claimed he was gay.

  219. 219
    gbear says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    Pure Gold.

    Thanks. I do what I can.

  220. 220
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    Just for you, you young whippersnapper:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIDOTk1hfrY

  221. 221
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @scav: Hilarious. I wonder if they can update the heroes of the story such that they are more anti-heroic. Would this mean that Jesus turns water into piss when he’s wandering around alone, in search of his true purpose, because he’s a vengeful mofo?

  222. 222
    eric says:

    @NickT: How bad is it for me that i thought it said “Wet Sports” ;)

  223. 223
    NickT says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Just so long as he doesn’t micturate on my juniper bushes.

  224. 224
    NickT says:

    @eric:

    Many of the best sports involve wetness of one sort of another.

  225. 225
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    Statler and Waldorf, of course.

  226. 226
    p says:

    i always liked bert & ernie. as individual characters. i never thought of them in terms of sexuality at all.
    but then, my development was arrested at a very early age.

  227. 227
    Groucho48 says:

    @pete:

    As opposed to strangely and powerfully intriguing, as many conservatives see gays.

  228. 228
    JR in WV says:

    Without reading a single comment, I would like to answer that very sewious question:

    Yes. Yes it does! ;-{)

  229. 229
    Ramalama says:

    but but the parts don’t fit.

  230. 230
    cckids says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    McCain and Graham are fictional puppets?

    Oh, if only, wouldn’t the world be a better place?

  231. 231
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Are Bert & Ernie gay? Is it any of your damn business? They called a photographer in, had him take a picture while they were watching the news. They’re happy the question of their being gay can go back to being none of your damn business.

  232. 232
  233. 233
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cckids: Because we’d finally be able to explain what’s up their ass?

  234. 234
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: You’re the one who said above that

    When you take something that isn’t yours, to use any way you want, that’s fucking privilege.

    You don’t actually believe that, because it would make all appropriation “privilege.” There are obviously subversive and radical acts of appropriation, including plenty of famous gay ones, like images of Judy Garland. You believe something else, which is that some acts of appropriation are evidence of privilege and other acts of appropriation aren’t. And to you this one crosses a line. So, you know, explain it.

  235. 235
    mouse tolliver says:

    What clueless straights are missing is that it’s not the sex that defines “gay,” it’s the attraction. A male virgin who is attracted to other men is still gay even if he’s never had sex. Just as a prison inmate who likes women but ends up pairing off with another man because there are no women around is still hetero. There’s a reason why elderly, wheelchair-bound same sex couple are the first in line at the court house whenever gay marriage gets legalized.

    Gay is only about sex if you’re lucky.

  236. 236
    gene108 says:

    I don’t like the New Yorker cover. There’s no reason to have Bert and Ernie sexualized in any way.

    People bitch about the sexualization of shit to little girls.

    This is along those lines. Sexualizing something targeted at little kids.

    I don’t see the reason for it.

  237. 237
    rb says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: When I look at the image nothing particularly sexual comes to mind. I see a sweet couple enjoying a historic moment. The gay implication is obviously a play on the rumors that have been present in our pop-culture re: E&B for many years, juxtaposed with the context of the political moment they are witnessing on the tv screen. It doesn’t change their “innocence” at all in my view. Any more so than implying that Fred & Wilma Flintstone are a heterosexual couple would. In fact, if anything I think the adoption of E&B by gay rights advocates actually sends a great message “see these two lovable characters they may (or may not) be gay, and it doesn’t make them any less sweet.” And also that gay couples don’t have to be stereotypical. I don’t think this cover is aimed at children, but I would have no problem with it if it was.

    YES. I was going to write exactly this, but you wrote it first and better.

    The only thing I would quibble with is the ‘gay implication’ bit. That is all coming from the viewer. There is nothing sexual happening on that cover. B&E are what they always are: affectionate. They are moved by what they are seeing, just as I and my wife and many other straights were. The degree that we think their being happy and affectionate ‘makes them gay’ is simply a reflection of our own issues. Whether you previously thought B&E were gay or did not, the cover does nothing to advance that rather strange question.

    It simply celebrates something, while simultaneously and gently holding a mirror up to the reader’s unacknowledged assumptions about what love and affection really are.

    It’s also important to note that it’s adults who sexualize puppets. To kids, these are two friends hugging because they’re happy. Only adults could fuck it up with our issues.

  238. 238
    rb says:

    @gene108: There’s no reason to have Bert and Ernie sexualized in any way.

    Honest question: what about that cover sexualizes B&E? They have hugged before, you know.

    It’s not like the cover shows them, say, pushing their beds together at long last.

  239. 239
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gene108: It would be sexualized if they were in bed or shirtless or something. At most this image is intimate, but I don’t see sex or skin of the sort that people decry in little girls’ consumer culture.

  240. 240
    Dolly Llama says:

    @srv: I’ll see your Stevie Wonder and raise you a Richard Pryor. Talk about “despoiling innocence,” how fucked up do you think he was at that filming, really?

    Of course, for my money, it’s hard to beat The Capital I song.

  241. 241
    cckids says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Win. Though not a mental image I needed.

  242. 242
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ruckus:

    Projectsplaining. It’s been a concept, it’s now a word.

    I should have spelled it ‘projection’splaining’, but shoulda, coulda woulda.

    As for the young kids hanging around older men (which was quite natural when I was a kid – though a girl) just this week I was with the grandboys + 1 friend at a miniature golf/rides/arcade place, and there was one young employee who made a point of interacting with the kids, explaining how the games worked and generally having fun with them.

    I talked with him later, telling him how I enjoyed seeing him having fun with the kids while the other employees seemed to be bored and dying to text on their phones (which they were probably doing anyway).

    It only occurred to me later that his behavior (nowadays) might be seen as aberrant – though it did not to me – and what a weird world we inhabit nowadays.

    Paranoia, it strikes deep.

  243. 243
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, there’s nothing on the TV screen that suggests the DOMA decision. Oh my God… Maybe Bert and Ernie are tenderly celebrating the overturn of the pre-clearance formula of the Voting Rights Act!

  244. 244
    gene108 says:

    @rb: @FlipYrWhig:

    Seems the implication is that they are gay, which is sexualizing their relationship.

    There are plenty of conservative dog whistles that imply something as being racist, without explicitly saying it is racist. So the conservative can say, “I was talking about school bus routes, not race”, while many realize race plays a role.

    To me the cover works in the same way. It implies Bert and Ernie are closeted gays, which I have heard people speculating about wrt Sesame Street – two grown men living together for 40 years, hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more – while not making the explicit statement that they are gay.

    Also, too when I’ve had male roommates – both of us being straight – neither of us ever thought about putting our arms around each other, with one of us resting our head on the other’s shoulder, while watching the news.

  245. 245
    NickT says:

    @gene108:

    I think you are confusing homosociality with homosexuality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosociality

  246. 246
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gene108: I think it suggests a same-sex relationship, but it doesn’t “sexualize” per se, because there’s no hint of sex-having. Those cartoon bears who advertise toilet paper are clearly mom, dad, and children, but they aren’t “sexualized.” Not every depiction of a happy couple makes you think about what it looks like when they’re doin’ it.

  247. 247
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Heh. I think we’re both safe. : )

  248. 248
    NickT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    As a bipartisan solution, I might mention the fact that I like New York in small doses.

  249. 249
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You don’t actually believe that, because it would make all appropriation “privilege.” There are obviously subversive and radical acts of appropriation, including plenty of famous gay ones, like images of Judy Garland. You believe something else, which is that some acts of appropriation are evidence of privilege and other acts of appropriation aren’t. And to you this one crosses a line. So, you know, explain it.

    Okay. First, you are wrong, but you knew that already. I do in fact believe that taking stuff that doesn’t belong to you, to use however you want, is the essence of privilege. I believe other stuff about privilege as well. Some of that other stuff might even entail some, you know, logical inconsistencies. Be that as it may, there is nothing inconsistent in pointing out that the “use however you want” part of my assertion is what makes the difference between a subversive taking and a privileged one.

  250. 250
    rb says:

    @gene108: Seems the implication is that they are gay

    But why is that the implication? Is it because they are hugging? They have hugged before. Is it because they are hugging upon hearing about the DOMA ruling? I hugged my wife (and my friends) when I heard. Is it because they’re on a couch together? I watch tv on the couch with my male and female friends, and if I were quicker to hug the latter than the former then that’s a hangup and/or a boundary issue me and my friends have, not evidence of me being “straighter” than someone who would more easily hug a male friend in that circumstance.

    I’m not trying to be difficult – I really do think that when we look at their posture and see a gay couple (and I admit that was my first impression), that is the artist very adeptly showing us something about our own hangups, not him/her saying “at last we can reveal B&E are gay!” The point is that they’re no more or less gay than they were before – that they hug doesn’t change that.

  251. 251
    GregB says:

    Does this mean Wayland Flowers was fucking Madame?

    I’m confused.

  252. 252
    eric says:

    @rb: would gay men where the same sweater for 40 years? I think not.

  253. 253
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: If Photoshopping George Bush to look like a monkey when I have no ownership of either George Bush’s image or monkeys; or borrowing the all-seeing eye image from the dollar bill (clearly not mine) to spoof the NSA; if those count as “privilege,” OK, but it seems to me all that does is empty out the idea of privilege until it’s no longer politically useful at all.

  254. 254
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @GregB: on the other hand, I can easily believe that the execrable Jeff Dunham has had massive amounts of puppet sex.

  255. 255
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Would you grant that your act would be different depending on whether you published the image on your personal blog or if you were the editor of the New Yorker and published it on the cover? You see, the “however you want” part of what I am saying depends greatly on the power you have.

    Stop being so dense.

  256. 256
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @rb: Maybe “implication” was the wrong word. I meant that, to me, this image was obviously playing on the gay rumors re: B&E. Otherwise there is nothing sexual about it. If it were a male and a female character nobody would be crying about sexualization. And you are right about only adults seeing it that way. The cartoon works if you are aware of: 1.) the B&E rumors and 2.) the timing of the image/SCOTUS ruling and nature of the ruling.

  257. 257
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I think you’re blurring the privileged audience of the New Yorker with the artist’s act of appropriation and calling both “privilege.” At any rate, “using it however you want” is not the litmus test for privilege, no matter how many times you come back to that, because disempowered radicals clearly take images and use them… however they want. So your definition of privilege is a mess here. That’s my point. Keep feeling however you want to feel about the cover. I’m not going to argue with you about that.

  258. 258
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @FlipYrWhig: dayumn; I did not need that in my head.

  259. 259
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    You see, the “however you want” part of what I am saying depends greatly on the power you have.

    The power the New Yorker has depends greatly on what you grant them. Stop being so dense.

  260. 260
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Dolly Llama: The power they have depends on the power I grant them. Check.

    Magical thinking cleanup on Aisle 258!

  261. 261

    […] On Bert and Ernie (the comments, mostly); and […]

  262. 262
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dolly Llama: Right. The New Yorker has a certain amount of power and cachet _regardless_ of what they put on the cover. The Bert/Ernie image may also have something to do with privilege — via what I’d rather call “appropriation” — but the way those two kinds of privilege interact and reinforce each other needs a longer explanation.

  263. 263
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: so are you trying to talk about the issues this raises, or are you just trying to stay pissed off and ornery? Because if it’s the latter, there’s not a lot of reason to keep this up.

  264. 264
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    Be that as it may, there is nothing inconsistent in pointing out that the “use however you want” part of my assertion is what makes the difference between a subversive taking and a privileged one.

    Okay, what the hell are you talking about? When drag performers were dressing as Judy Garland and other female stars, there weren’t any police busting into the club arresting them. They were allowed to use that image however they wanted.

    You really need to define “use however you want,” because I can’t think of any examples of a subversive taking not being an example of someone using an image however they want.

  265. 265
    NickT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I do wonder when the troll will realize that quotation, parody and adaptation are the sources of most of our culture – and indeed of all cultures.

  266. 266
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Excellent, you are getting it. Audience privilege matters in considering a New Yorker cover.

    And I could give fuck-all about what you think of the conception of privilege I am talking about here. I ain’t defining privilege for you, asshole. Your feefees don’t matter that much to me either.

  267. 267
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: That is an incredibly narrow and incorrect definition of privilege.

  268. 268
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: You have defined privilege for us several times during the course of this thread, actually. You’ve defined it wrong, and in a useless manner, but you’ve done so nonetheless. So please, don’t act like you haven’t and that the problem is that we’re all educationally deficient.

  269. 269
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: I actually don’t need to define anything, unless an honest and reciprocal effort is made to actually understand what I am saying.

  270. 270
    Ruckus says:

    @NickT:
    Why would SN do that? That would completely invalidate the world in his/her head.

  271. 271
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    I honestly do not understand what you are saying. If appropriation of an image is always an act of privilege, then you’ve basically gutted the entire idea of privilege.

  272. 272
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    People have been making that effort. The problem is that your point has been articulated extremely badly. You’ve basically been going ‘mumble mumble mumble mumble privilege’, and then claiming privilege means things that it doesn’t actually.

  273. 273
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: You’ve shown yourself to be hopelessly confused about the way privilege as in “white privilege” or “unexamined privilege” overlaps with privilege as a synonym for affluence. You try to talk about one and you wrap all the way around and end up talking about the other.

  274. 274
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I tried to make the same point a little while ago. Even used a lot of your same examples. It didn’t work.

  275. 275
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    Also, technically, the image of Bert and Ernie as gay was actually appropriated from the right wing, who were trying to claim it was proof of evil gay people indoctrinating our children by showing it as normal. Liberals then appropriated that claim from the right wing and rehabilitated it by essentially saying, “Maybe they are, and if so, so what?”

    So what you’re complaining about is that liberals did not allow the right wing to continue using Bert and Ernie as an example of the insidious gay agenda being sold to innocent children and instead re-appropriated it for their own, more liberal use.

  276. 276
    NickT says:

    @Ruckus:

    Any alternative would have to be better than that hot, flatulent and crowded little world.

  277. 277
    gorram says:

    Yes, straight guy, please tell me more about how I should be represented in the media.

    Lord knows I don’t have enough of that from organizations with “Family” in their name.

  278. 278
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I think what you actually mean is “I don’t like the way this cover panders to an elite audience.” But that has very little to do with this hill you’re oddly choosing to die on about the wrongness of appropriation, which you don’t even believe, because you started to offer a taxonomy of subversive appropriations and reactionary ones and then didn’t finish except to say “privilege” some more. “Appropriations are privilege when they’re privilege” is not really an argument.

  279. 279
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: Okay, once more me quoting myself:

    Taking something that does not belong to you, to use however you want, is the essence of privilege.

    Before I forward, the following caveats: This is a comment thread, not the pages of a political science journal. There are other ways to view and define privilege. Privilege is a big elephant, and you can bet I have only felt my way around parts of it.

    Now, if you read carefully, there are two parts to the “definition”. Only the first part is about appropriation. The second part is about use.

    Again, consider the use of a stolen image. If I am the editor of the New Yorker the number of ways I can use that image “however I want”, is far greater than if I am a blogger with a few dozen followers.

  280. 280
    NickT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    He huffed and he puffed and he blew his own house down.

  281. 281
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I am not oddly choosing to die for some oddball definition. This is a comment thread, dipshit. If you weren’t so dense, and I not so compassionate, the fun woulda ended long ago.

  282. 282
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    Again, consider the use of a stolen image. If I am the editor of the New Yorker the number of ways I can use that image “however I want”, is far greater than if I am a blogger with a few dozen followers.

    As I pointed out, you are ignoring who the image of Bert and Ernie as gay was actually stolen from. It was not stolen from “Sesame Street” — it was stolen from Jerry Falwell, who used Bert and Ernie and Tinky Winky from “Teletubbies” to claim that the “gay agenda” was trying to corrupt children.

    The thing you’re calling “however I want” seems to be what they call “circulation” in the magazine business, or the number of viewers, which is why you’re comparing the New Yorker to a small blog. I still don’t get why you’re using a meaningless phrase like “however I want” when you actually mean “how many people I can reach.”

  283. 283
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: The problem is that the New Yorker didn’t appropriate from the right wing. They did so from sesame street. Yes, I know that the assholes on the right started it.

  284. 284
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: thanks for instructing me on how appropriation is privilege except when it isn’t, with the proof being that some appropriation reaches a larger audience. Looking back, it was a signal contribution to critical theory.

  285. 285
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: So you truly believe that the powerful do not have more options when putting their takings to use than do the powerless?

  286. 286
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No worries, dumbass.

  287. 287
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    The problem is that the New Yorker didn’t appropriate from the right wing. They did so from sesame street. Yes, I know that the assholes on the right started it.

    Okay, let’s try a baseball metaphor. Do you know what a double play is? If so, do you understand how weird it is for you to claim that “Tinker to Evers to Chance” was in actuality “Tinker to Chance” and Evers didn’t participate in any meaningful way?

    Without the right wing’s interpretation of Bert and Ernie’s relationship, the New Yorker’s interpretation doesn’t exist. You cannot ignore the intervening events that led to this cover.

  288. 288
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: Except that it isn’t? What changes between a blogger and a New Yorker editor is how many people will pay attention, not what you can do with it. If anything, the random blogger is more free to do whatever he or she chooses because they do not have to adhere to professional and cultural restraints.

    Comment thread or political science paper, either way it is incumbent on you at a minimum to articulate your position in a manner that is coherent to those familiar with the issues. It is better to be able to articulate them such that anybody can understand regardless of familiarity, but that’s the minimum line, and you don’t come anywhere near to approaching it. I don’t know whether you’re simply articulating yourself very poorly or if your understanding of the issues is really this shallow, but either way you cannot be taken seriously.

  289. 289
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    So you truly believe that the powerful do not have more options when putting their takings to use than do the powerless?

    Again, you need to define “putting their takings to use.” The powerful do not have more options when it comes to use — they have more options when it comes to audience. They can spread their use to a larger audience. Again, you seem to be inventing an obscure meaning for common terms and expecting the rest of us to adopt your meaning. If you mean “audience,” then say “audience,” not “use.”

  290. 290
    Ruckus says:

    @NickT:
    Not sure about any world but there are many, many worlds that would be so much better.

  291. 291
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do you know what a double play is? If so, do you understand how weird it is for you to claim that “Tinker to Evers to Chance” was in actuality “Tinker to Chance” and Evers didn’t participate in any meaningful way?

    Ye Gods, do I ever. Baseball has taken over my life ever since my son decided he wanted to play. The only reason I am douching up this thread is to wind down and blow off steam from sitting next to right wing jerks in the damned heat for hours on end at a baseball tournament.

    You cannot ignore the intervening events that led to this cover

    Since when I was ignoring it? What the right wingers did was shitty. And what the New Yorker did made it worse. Now the left and right are “in agreeement”: Bert and Ernie are gay.

    Which wouldn’t bug me if we were talking about Albus Dumbledore. JK having agency and all, bless her, she went and told the world all about him and his awesome gayness. All. Good.

    But the creators of Bert and Ernie, went out of their way to let kids of all kinds know that, contra the conservative line, Bert and Ernie were outta bounds for sexualization BY STUPID ADULTS.

  292. 292
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you mean “audience,” then say “audience,” not “use.”

    No. I mean use. The powerful have more ability to use just about everything, across the board, than do the powerless. Even money has a greater utility to a wealthy person than to a poor one.

    Make a better effort to understand what someone is saying before demanding that they use the words you would like them to.

  293. 293
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    My god, why are you wasting your time? The woman is daft. And dense as the Hoover Dam.

    She knows everything about everything and almost nothing at all.

  294. 294
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Peter:

    Comment thread or political science paper, either way it is incumbent on you at a minimum to articulate your position in a manner that is coherent to those familiar with the issues.

    ORLY? Since we are pulling incumbancies out of our asses today, why don’t you establish your bona fides as an “familiar with the issues” kind of expert? Why doncha give me a theory of privilege that is both politically useful and guaranteed to be understood instantly by random folks on a comment thread?

  295. 295
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: And the truth comes out. This has nothing to do with privilege, you just don’t like that Ernie and Bert are thought of as gay.

    (Incidentally the idea that a homosexual relationship is inherently sexual, and so Bert and Ernie being a couple would be sexual ozone them, is a cultural assumption rooted in straight privilege)

  296. 296
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: If the New Yorker had done a similar cover about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell with G.I. Joes, would you have the same reaction? I doubt Hasbro wants its characters used that way.

  297. 297
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: Not even a challenge.

    ‘Privilege’ is the preferential treatment of a part of the population over others, resulting from (and in turn causing, ourobouros-style) systems of unspoken cultural assumptions about the other, unprivileged groups. Because these assumptions are ingrained into the fabric of society, privilege is not always obvious, especially to the beneficiaries. It is, however, real nonetheless. There are multiple dimensions to privilege; one can be privileged along, say, lines of race and gender, but be underprivileged in terms of sexuality.

  298. 298
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: In that case your argument is that you don’t like what the powerful/privileged New Yorker is doing with the image, but it’s not because the image isn’t theirs that it’s a problem for you. Because that would essentially rule out every appropriation, and I highly doubt you would actually rule out _every_ appropriation. That can’t be your rule. I’m trying to get at what your rule is, because the intensity of your reaction suggests that you have one.

  299. 299
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Peter: Yeah, I thought so. Not only are you stupid, but you are a bigot.

  300. 300
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I beg your pardon?

  301. 301
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @FlipYrWhig: @FlipYrWhig: Wow, the intensity of your need to not understand what someone else is saying goes beyond ordinary stupidity. A bigot probably, not on the scale of Peter, but close.

  302. 302
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    No. I mean use. The powerful have more ability to use just about everything, across the board, than do the powerless. Even money has a greater utility to a wealthy person than to a poor one.

    And how does this fit into your claim that the New Yorker is allowed to use this image but a guy with a blog of 8 readers is not allowed to use it? What happens to the guy with a small blog — do the police show up on his doorstep? Is he sent to prison to life? What exactly happens to him?

  303. 303
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I see you’ve reached the point where, unable muster an actual argument, you’ve resorted to insults and accusations.

  304. 304
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Peter: Certainly I pardon your casual bigotry. But you really should work on the assumptions you make about others.

  305. 305
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sierra Nevada: oh, I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying you don’t like it. Why? Privilege. What do you mean by privilege? A bunch of circular yet mutually contradictory things that you can’t clarify, and that have little to do with how the term gets used by activists. OK then, enjoy the ballgame.

  306. 306
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    Since when I was ignoring it? What the right wingers did was shitty. And what the New Yorker did made it worse. Now the left and right are “in agreeement”: Bert and Ernie are gay.

    Please continue to ignore the fact that the right wing had a specific political agenda in their claim (being gay is bad) that the left wing has reversed by appropriating the claim and saying, “So what if they are?”

    Unless you’re trying to argue that there’s something wrong and bad and shameful about being gay, so therefore it’s a terrible thing to claim it about two puppets, I’m really not getting why it’s such a horrible thing to joke about.

  307. 307
    gbear says:

    @Sierra Nevada: Losing loser is still losing.

  308. 308
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: Huh? Where did I claim that one or the other would be prohibited by the cops from using the image? Learn to read.

    The differential is that the editor could do anything that the other could do, but could also put it on the cover of a mag read by a large, and in the case of the New Yorker, privileged audience.

  309. 309
    Peter says:

    @Sierra Nevada: The assumption that someone screaming in all caps about how STUPID ADULTS are ruining Bert and Ernie is reacting emotionally to a change in perception to a beloved figure from their childhood is really not going very far afield. It isn’t bigotry either, but then nothing else you’ve said this thread makes much sense either.

  310. 310
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: the important thing is that it’s privilege when the appropriation circulates too widely. So if you want to appropriate someone else’s work and give it a twist, you can do that, and it can be subversive, but not if you do it too well, because then, privilege, no backsies, infinity.

  311. 311
    NickT says:

    @Peter:

    I fear that happened about 300 comments back in the thread. Just pie the troll and you’ll be amazed at how much less time you waste on a shrieking child that needs its diaper changed.

  312. 312
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @Mnemosyne: I repeat: learn to read. If the New Yorker had put Albus Dumbledore on the cover, that woulda been cool.

  313. 313
    Sierra Nevada says:

    @gbear: As to winning and losing, keeping score is easier when you understand the game.

  314. 314
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    The differential is that the editor could do anything that the other could do, but could also put it on the cover of a mag read by a large, and in the case of the New Yorker, privileged audience.

    So, again, it’s not the use that’s the problem, it’s the audience. Except now I guess you’ll argue back again that, no, it’s not the audience, it’s the use, and we’ll be back at square one. And you wonder why people are confused about what your argument is?

  315. 315
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sierra Nevada:

    It would be easier for us to understand the game if you didn’t keep changing the rules and terminology with every post you make.

  316. 316
    NickT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The game is that the troll wants attention. Nothing more.

  317. 317
    Ruckus says:

    @NickT:

    Most 5 yr olds usually do.

  318. 318
    Nerull says:

    @Sierra Nevada: I’m glad you are here to inform us what our opinions are permitted to be.

    Take your privilege and shove it.

  319. 319
    El Cid says:

    But worse, this is subtly a perfect distillation of how your average liberal views gay people, as Muppets: sexless, harmless, inoffensive, childish, silly, and ultimately mere fodder for the condescending entertainment of straight people.

    So would it be more moral & upstanding to have gay Muppets on Sesame Street who are sexually charged, threatening, offensive, adult, serious, and there to provide no entertainment to straight people?

  320. 320
    different-church-lady says:

    I am opposed to the sexualization of Muppets.

    There — I said it.

  321. 321
    dance around in your bones says:

    Jeez, did this thread ever devolve into stupid. It’s a magazine cover not a polemic . Have a chuckle, get on with your life.

    Did people get this crazy about the Saul Steinberg view of America from Manhattan? (on the cover of the New Yorker). I thought it was hysterical, and I didn’t find it in the least offensive, just funny.

    Get a sense of humor, dudes and dudettes.

  322. 322
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones: Perspective, how does one go about getting some?
    Can you buy it?
    Borrow it a cup at a time?
    If you borrow some how do you repay it?

    Un-serious questions for people who don’t understand irony.

  323. 323
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ruckus: Ruckus, I think you are born with it or you are SOL.

    A few lucky souls develop perspective/a sense of irony (I would cite Cole as an example) but many just sadly slog through life with no sense of humor. We must have pity on them, because it sucks to have no sense of humor.

    Personally, I love to laugh at shit. What’s the alternative? Crying bitter tears? Nah, let’s laugh, be happy, embrace the impermanence.

  324. 324
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    If you can’t laugh at stupid shit what the hell is the point? Life sucks a lot, bodies hurt regularly and much more so as we get older, people and animals we like die, families can be a hoot(and not in a good way) so what else is there? Dad and I used to like to see Soupy Sales get hit in the face with a pie. It was stupid and predictable and funny as shit. Do your pets have a sense of humor? It’s possible but I doubt it. Even sex can be funny or at least fun but we don’t have to get that personal to laugh. Laughter really is a good medicine.

  325. 325
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ruckus: I think sex is really funny. Unless I am doing it, when it gets real interesting and intense.

    Then later, it gets real funny again.This is why I have never been a porno viewer, because it’s real interesting for about 5-10 minutes max and then it’s just boring. I think you know what I mean.

    But by all means, let’s laugh! Life is kinda ridiculous when you think about it. We are here on this planet for about a fly’s fart in actual geological time. Might as well get a belly laugh out of it.

  326. 326
    Ruckus says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    Not laughing also makes life so much less interesting.

    So here is something that I think is hellerious.

  327. 327
    dance around in your bones says:

    That WAS funny. Everybody else? Watch it! (Ruckus, thanks)

  328. 328
    wetcasements says:

    So Freddie is Straightsplaining, basically.

  329. 329

    It’s funny that [BONERS] is still listed as a FPer here. He seems to be afraid of posting here, though.

  330. 330
    Jon H says:

    I suppose if pressed, you could say that the guys on the cover aren’t Bert and Ernie, but rather Rod and Nicky from Avenue Q who are much like Bert and Ernie. (Or perhaps, Rod and the gay muppet who looks just like Nicky but wears leather, since Nicky himself isn’t gay but Rod is.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYcQBSkbbEA

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