Mitt Romney wants to Kill Big Bird!!!!!!
The idea is that the Federal government needs to cut/reduce funding to groups like PBS. This immediately translates to shows like “Live at Lincoln Center” or, more importantly, “Sesame Street.” Cut funding means ending Sesame Street, i.e. killing Big Bird.
Romney just shot himself in both feet and fell into a pool containing wild sharks. Within the last 2 hours, I have seen at least a dozen memes generated and spread continuously on Tumblr and Facebook regarding this television show culminating with a picture that showed a man walking out of an alley in the rain, the bird costume slumped in the trash and a newspaper on the ground reading “Romney Wins!!!” …in the words of a certain news anchor, that escalated quickly.
No words. No discussion. No crunching the facts or the numbers. Only a sound bite that was turned into a twitter blast, that morphed into a meme, that became an instant political comic.
PBS, by its very nature, is both a business and an entity of the viewing public. Its existence is generated and maintained, principally, by the viewers like us. We say we want to see intelligent kids’ programming and we get Mr. Rogers. We say we want it to continue, so we donate $100 and receive a dvd in the mail of a folk group we’ve never heard of, just to support Mr. Rogers. PBS is not in the business of the federal government, it is there for the viewers like us, and because of that, the government is not required to maintain steady or increased funding to them. It’s not fair, and yet it is. I do not want the government to have controlling interest in PBS. I want it to have programming based on viewers like us.
I am guilty, like I am sure many of you are, for never having donated a dime to them. I can’t really afford to donate to anything I really appreciate, as I scrape by to make rent, buy food and gas, and cover student loans, but I still accept that responsibility, however unfulfilled, to help keep a group dedicated to the “public” as I am a member of the public.
If you want to scream and shout at Romney, go ahead. If you want to make a meme to be subversive in the least subversive way, fine. If you really want to make a difference, donate $1 to PBS.
My problem here is that the viewers like us, for all of this huff, are ignoring the very principle of PBS: education. We are not considering whether or not the federal government has an invested interest in funding PBS, if it has to, whether it should be, how we must increase overall taxes in order for substantial funding from the government to be a reality, and many other ideas. We are choosing to shut down, not think, not discuss and instead be ruled by a mob mentality that caters to the lowest common denominator. We are allowing ourselves to be manipulated by our own actions.
From what I can tell, there was no room for debate before the debate began.