I couldn't watch the debate, and a good thing too, because everyone agrees Romney won. But a strange thing has happened on the way to the winner's circle. Never mind that Romney lied and shape-shifted. At one point, apparently, he said he was going to eliminate all funding for Public Broadcasting, a long-time right-wing desideratum. This has triggered a national outcry from lovers of Big Bird, which is to say, everyone not home schooled by religious nuts. The next morning, Big Bird was invited to appear on all the morning cable news shows and the Internet is alive with paeans of praise to the big yellow goofball.
Sesame Street was launched in November, 1969, not long before the second birthday of my older son, Patrick. I have countless fond memories of watching Sesame Street with him [and without him] on our old rabbit-eared black and white set [the same set on which, six years earlier, I watched Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald -- although, to be honest, there was such a crush in the courthouse that you couldn't actually see the shooting.]
I even once saw Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, and the other inhabitants of Sesame Street in person. The daughter of my parents' next door neighbor got a job with PBS, and she wangled an invite for me to see a filming of the show. The guy wearing the Big Bird suit, by the way, couldn't see a thing. He had a little TV set inside the suit with which he oriented himself so that he could move the big cumbersome suit this way and that. I think his eyes came about up to Big Bird's belly button.
Sesame Street, of course, was the first show to feature a gay couple -- Ernie and Bert -- although no one said anything about it. I think the first gay couple to be given a favorable presentation in the movies were Artoo Detoo and CP3O in Star Wars.