Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 555, January 31, 2010

"The days of political correctness are numbered"

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

Revenge of the Cookie Monster
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

My only child turned twenty years of age early last month, so it has been some time since I kept daily track with her of the various comings and goings of the diverse and colorful inhabitants of Sesame Street.

Thus it was with considerable dismay that I recently learned that my favorite of these denizens had been abducted, tortured, brainwashed by the vile forces of political correctness, and returned to society a broken, pitiable shadow of his former self, rather like Winston Smith in 1984, after rats had been used to force him to scream "Do it to Julia!"

A product of merciless North Korean-style mind-conditioning, the great blue googly-eyed Cookie Monster now mouths mindless, robotic platitudes and slogans like "cookies are a sometimes snack". He even eats broccoli—the Green Death—in public, like a circus geek consuming broken lightbulbs and handsful of worms. Gone is the joyous hedonist we knew who was a living exemplar of Robert Heinlein's famous dicta, "Dum vivamus, vivamus!" and "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!"

He has become just another "progressive" icon, different-looking on the outside, yes, but filled up on the inside with the same bland, gray, unappetizing pablum as Smokey the Bear, Bono, and Janeane Garofalo.

I'm sorry I wasn't there for the Cookie Monster when he suffered this humiliating transmogrification. At the time, I believe my daughter and I were about halfway through Harry Potter's struggle against the arbitrary and tyrannical bureaucratic authority of the Ministry of Magic. But I am here now, and what I have to say—aside from offering him therapy in the form of deprogramming by the Keebler Cookie Institute—is that the days of political correctness are numbered.

For years—decades, actually—I have resisted it myself. When editors picked their way through my manuscripts, altering each and every occurrence of the word "girl" to "woman", even when the female in question was twelve years old, I changed it back. And if the editor insisted that I be denied an author's freedom to employ the words and convey the meanings of my choice ("woman" is not the same as "girl" and is a definite buzz-kill in some romantic contexts) I changed it to "broad". This is probably another of many reasons that I no longer work for northeastern liberal—pardon me, that's "progressive"—publishers.

In denying our children the simple but vital lesson conveyed by the open, innocent glee of the Cookie Monster in mid-gobble, these thin-blooded inorgasmic would-be political officers have gone too far. I remember all too well they way they tried to hijack Halloween by browbeating millions of young Davy Crocketts and junior Frankensteins into soliciting money for the evil, murderous United nations agency called UNESCO, instead of collecting Tootsie Rolls and Sweet Tarts. Other neopuritans then came along and tried to stamp out Halloween altogether, banning it from the nation's juvenile indoctrination camps.

Pardon me, that's "public schools".

We must agree right now that the Bill of Rights takes precedence over everything else and may not be suppressed by a pall of political correctness on campuses, in the media, in corporate life, or anywhere else. There is no right not to be offended by the free expression of others. Those of us who can afford it should sue those who try to deprive us of our freedom of speech. Mine is worth at least ten figures.

Free speech, of course, is very dangerous to America's aspiring KGB, especially since it doesn't seem to work when they try using it themselves, which is why Air America was such a miserable failure. Al Franken, its guiding light, may not be fatter, but he's a bigger idiot than Rush Limbaugh and occupies his place in the Senate exactly as legitimately as Barack Obama occupies the Oval Office. Franken expects people to laugh at his mouthings, but he doesn't have Limbaugh's sense of humor, in fact the man has no discernable sense of humor whatever. He does, however, have every right to expose his stupidity to public view.

A right I will defend to the death.

Most of us agree that the United Nations is the vanguard of a foreign invasion and must be driven from our shores. Liberalism—Progressivism—all forms of left wing collectivism, are equally alien to the Founders' America and must be extirpated, root and branch, laughter and derision being the most effective weapons. Look at the way they have reduced Hillary Clinton to an insignificant greasy spot on the pages of history, turned Albert Gore into an object of merriment, and are accomplishing the same for Barry and Micky Obama.

To do the job right, however, America must be thoroughly cleansed of right wing collectivism, as well. If conservatives really believed in individual liberty, as they endlessly claim—and if they used both halves of their brains—then they'd be libertarians. Instead, they sabotage themselves, and their cause, by constantly generating one spurious reason after another to deprive other people of their freedom.

Reasonable individuals are frightened by the extremes religious zeal seems to drive them to; the Bush Administration did nothing to reassure us. Their willingness to switch the focus of their bias from blacks and Hispanics to folks who practice Islam and speak Arabic and Farsi, the thousand-year jones they have for these people, their eagerness to blame a billion for the crimes of a few thousand, their adoration of torture and unwillingness to call it by its right name, have left them standing in the harsh light of history with their flies open.

Just as liberalism is the main force that drives conservatism and maintains its popularity in some quarters, conservatism is the reason liberalism continues to enjoy the traction that it does in our poor civilization.

Me, I'm sick and tired of playing ideological ping-pong between the two. Most of all, I'm tired of being the ball. I'm no Christian, for example, but that has never stopped me from recognizing the historic origin of Christmas (it isn't Christianity) and the need (and fun) of celebrating it along with the rest of the culture I grew up in. I will not be told by liberals that I can't say "Merry Christmas" when I feel the urge, nor will I allow conservatives to tell me that I must.

To hell with political correctness in all its stripes and forms and shapes. I don't care much for flags, but if I did, from now on, mine would be a wooly blue field centered on a pair of big, googly eyes.

Cookie Monster, you will be avenged!

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website


Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

Big Head Press