My apologies to Jim Henson - The Richfield Reaper: Columnist One

My apologies to Jim Henson

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Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 8:00 am

Generally I try to avoid topics that will create a political firestorm, but I feel I have the responsibility to be honest and frank.

Sometimes when you take a position on something, it makes people mad. I fully expect people to be angry and try to get me castigated, fired and crucified for expressing the following opinion, but express it I must.

Sometimes it’s better to face the conflagration head on and stick to religious principles, than to hide behind the smoke screen of political correctness.

OK, here goes.

I really don’t care for The Muppets.

Just typing that phrase caused two women in Omaha to faint.

“But, The Muppets are wholesome entertainment. They bring joy to millions of children while still appealing to adults. Look at how they break the fourth wall. Disney owns them, they have to be good.”

Fine, whatever, I don’t care.

I’ve always found something about The Muppets disturbing. Maybe it’s the way their dead eyes stare through the television and directly into your soul. Or, maybe it’s the fact that someone’s hand is always in a place on a Muppet that I never want to experience for myself, ever.

Mostly, I just never found them funny.

Maybe I’m a right-wing fundamentalist, but even as a small child I never thought that the relationship between Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy was entertaining, much less appropriate — or for that matter kosher.

While other children giggled at the comedic antics of a karate chopping sow and her long suffering, green boyfriend, I was like, “Man, that’s just messed up.”

Remember the song “The Rainbow Connection”? Around 1979 it was written for a movie, and was nominated for an Academy Award. It made people all over the world misty eyed as Kermit the Frog sang about the inherent sadness of the fact that rainbows are an illusion, and can’t we all just get along or some such touchy-feely nonsense.

Even though I was barely out of my toddler years, I remember not liking this song as it was “overly sappy” and sung by “a felt animal.”

Perhaps I caught a glimpse of the Muppet’s creator, Jim Henson, as a child and was traumatized. Henson was a genius. He was also a shaggy looking dude with a beard and long hair that made him look not entirely unlike Charles Manson. Henson also spent the majority of his time hanging out with talking socks. Socks that generated millions of dollars mind you, but socks all the same.

OK, perhaps I’m being harsh. This is the man who helped create “Sesame Street,” beloved by everyone. Yes, everyone loves “Sesame Street” — everyone but me.

Yet again, as a preschooler watching “Sesame Street,” I couldn’t help but think, “Hey! They’re trying to teach me stuff.” At which point, I would immediately switch the channel to “Gilligan’s Island” reruns, where I would be in no danger of learning anything — except perhaps how to make a coconut radio — a practical, useful skill.

As I’ve expressed my distaste for The Muppets through the years, it’s caused problems. Friendships were extinguished because I thought the “Muppet Babies” cartoon was stupid. Certain religious groups —those who worship Fraggles — want me killed.

Upon learning of my lack of appreciation for The Muppets, people act like I’m a horrible human being who should be silenced. Most of that is probably true, but not because of The Muppets.

My honesty with this issue has resulted in my being labeled things like “Muppet hater,” “Hitler” and “Mormon.”

Look, I’m not saying you can’t like The Muppets. I’m not going to be the guy who tells Fozzie Bear he can’t have a job just because he’s a fake bear. I would never condone violence against a Muppet, unless of course Rowlf the Dog were to contract rabies, in which case he would have to be put down.

Muppets deserve all the rights, privileges and protections under the law that are due to entities made largely of polyester.

I just don’t get it. The popularity of The Muppets is beyond what my personal experience allows me to understand, but that doesn’t mean I hate them. I just want them to be funny, because they’re not.

Besides, in Genesis 4:18 we are told, “And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.”

Think about it.

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