For your entertainment this morning, I present a column by Jonah Goldberg that combines the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Hannibal Lecter (from Silence of the Lambs), and the Cookie Monster: C is for political correctness, and that’s silly. Here is the relevant snippet:
Lecter: “First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing, ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this creature you seek?
Starling: He entertains children . . .
Lecter: “No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What need does he serve by entertaining children?
Starling: Social acceptance? Personal frustration?
Lecter: No: He craves. That’s his nature. And what does he crave? Make an effort to answer.
Lecter: No! He is not a “food monster!” He is a cookie monster!
But not according to the well-meaning social engineers of PBS. After three decades, they’ve announced he’s not a Cookie Monster at all. In the interests of teaching kids not to be gluttons, CTW has transformed Cookie Monster into just another monster who happens to like cookies. His trademark song, “C is for Cookie” has been changed to “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food.” And this is a complete and total reversal of Cookie Monster’s ontology, his telos, his raison dâ€™etre, his essential Cookie-Monster-ness.
[emphasis mine – ed.]