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i can’t believe i agree with penn on something, but…

October 18, 2012

I’m not a big fan of Penn Jillette as a political commentator, but on one of his weekly podcasts of Penn Sunday School he said, “I don’t know how people can get so outraged about PBS, and Big Bird, and children’s television when we are killing children with drone strikes overseas. I mean, those children will never see Big Bird because we killed them.” And I think he makes a good point.

Out of the last two presidential debates, two of the most substantive things that have come out of them are new internet memes involving Big Bird and ‘binders full of women.’ While humorous, it seems that the focus and outrage over Romney’s desire to cut federal funding for PBS and his idiotic remark about hiring women as governor of Massachusetts out of “binders full of women” brought to him by women’s groups is overshadowing other serious and pressing matters, such as our ongoing military actions around the world and the use of unmanned drones to assassinate targets in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen that routinely kill civilians, including children.

It’s not that I think the issues underlying these memes are unimportant (they are); it’s just that I find it hard to fathom why people seem to be putting so much energy into defending Big Bird from funding cuts and not people’s lives. Children are dying overseas. Our soldiers are still dying overseas. And considering both side’s hawkish stance on Iran, these things need to be a part of the discussion too, even if they don’t make the best memes.


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