Elmo Teaching Peaceful Coexistence to the Leaders of Tomorrow
If there’s anyone who understands the travails of being different, it’s Kermit the Frog, who shared with the world the difficulties of being green. Now Kermit’s Muppet colleagues are teaching children in high-conflict areas that we can all look beyond our differences and peacefully co-exist in a region plagued by hate.
It’s appropriately being called Muppet Diplomacy and it was partially-introduced to parts of the Middle East by Saddam Hussein of all people. After invading Kuwait in 1990, Iraqi troops brought back videos of the regional version of Sesame Street, which apparently became quite popular in Iraq. Almost two decades later, a local version of the show in the Palestinian territories, entitled “Shaara’a Simsim,” teaches diplomacy to area children. And it’s not the only region seeing Muppet Diplomacy take off.
Now seen in over 120 different countries, the classic children’s show is being hailed as an impressive diplomatic tool. In 2006, while President George W. Bush received a cool response from Indonesians during a diplomatic visit to their country, the Muppet character Elmo, who was actually brandishing an American flag, received a hero’s welcome. Elmo has even managed to serve a greater cultural purpose stateside. Most recently, the lovable character taught American children the importance of good hygiene in the government’s campaign against Swine Flu. It’s a concept that has already been hailed worldwide, even being featured in a lecture last year at Carnegie Mellon University.
It’s a great change of pace considering the troubling use of classic children’s characters in years past. Just a few years ago, Hamas television used a Mickey Mouse knock-off to incite hatred against Israel. In the episodes, the fake Mickey, referred to as Farfour, preaches Islamic supremacy and hatred towards Israel and is bullied and beaten by a mock Israeli representative. But with the ideological shift of Muppet Diplomacy, who could have ever guessed that Cookie Monster might have a hand in world peace?
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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