Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bert and Ernie - a lasting friendship

As a long-time admirer of Burt and Ernie, it never occurred to me that there could be something more, something deeper than a mere surface friendship. Over the years and along with my children who now have children of their own, I watched the muppet-puppets live out their lives on Sesame Street along with millions of childen who watched Burt take a bath along with his ever-present, rubber ducky. Seems that according to the view of some people, there was and still is, something more than mere friendship involved.

Perhaps it's because I never considered the pair more than mere puppets on a children's television show. True they have lived together for a long period of time but again keeping things in perspective, they are one of the learning tools used to educate a viewing audience. However, there are some who believe that their relationship longevity is an indication that the duo share more than mere friendship. To this end a petition has been distributed to have the two puppets - accent on the puppets - get married. So far more than 900 people have signed to support the idea. In response and for its part, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind Sesame Street, responded to the request saying Bert and Ernie are "identified as male characters," but "remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation."

Really, in the end, why the necessity to examine or seek a deeper meaning into what is essentially, characters in a children's TV show? Why can't they be just two puppet friends who are sharing living quarters? It happens in real life so it seems perfectly logical that art imitates life especially when the whole concept of Sesame Street is a group of friends living on a street. Let individual viewers interpret Burt and Ernie's friendship as they see it and parents/guardians answer questions regarding the puppet's living arrangements when called upon. If it ain't broke - don't fix it.

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