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Tom Purcell, a freelance writer, is also a humor columnist for
the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and is nationally syndicated
exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Email him at
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This column is just as bad as the empty chair interview with Clint Eastwood.
By the same logic, what percentage of the total budget is the State/Federal contribution to; a. education; b. healthcare; c. public safety, and does it matter if it's cut, or can local revenue make up the loss?
I thought the interview with the chair was a little dramatic, but a good message. What do you expect from a lifetime actor? The answer to soricobob is, yes, it matters if it is cut. Nobody wants to see Big Bird go, but it has been 40 years of funding. Isn't it time Big Bird grow up and become financially independent? The company is only raking in 130 million dollars a year! That is the American dream, isn't it? Not waiting for Daddy to fork over some more money because you don't want to pay for it yourself.
And here I thought Clint's chair stunt was an indication of his rapidly declining mental health.
If talking to an empty chair is sad and pathetic, talking to an imaginary cartoon character (and making the character a smoking drunk to boot!) would be laughable...if the author was writing a self-hit piece.
Mr. Purcell, might I suggest setting the pipe aside before writing these absurd diatribes? (I'm surprised you didn't have your Big Bird smoking a doobie!)
I wonder what Sesame Workshop™ is going to think of a published article where one of their most popular trademarked children's characters is described as a tobacco smoker and a drinker of alcohol.
Let's find out, shall we? ;)
Claiming that cutting funds for Big Bird will help to balance our budget is analogous to Bill Gates attempting to balance his household budget by cutting down on the amount of Q Tips he uses. It's a complete Red Herring. Anyone with a shred of sense knows that Big Bird is not our problem. Funding for public programs is nominal compared to the wasteful military spending (Military is a govt program after all), senseless wars, corporate tax loopholes and the fact that Hedge Fund billionaires are hardly paying a dime back into society. Address those issues and we could fund 100,000 Big Birds (And a Giant Duck) and still be left with a major surplus....not to mention the fact that PBS actually provides something positive to our children. The author is focusing on a drop of water when there is a tsunami 2 miles down the road that he pretends not to see.
When I was a little kid, I loved watching Sesame Street. Now, if they were to stop making it, I really coudn't care less, especially since they've butchered it with Elmo, my least favorite character. Even Oscar the Grouch is more entertaining tham Elmo.
That's just my opinion, of course. But this "interview" with a muppet is quite pathetic. And drinking and smoking are really unhealthy, even for a made-up TV character like Big Bird. Since he's somewhat cartoonish, I suppose it won't kill him, but it's still not good for you.
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