03 February 2008
My wife is going to have to forgive me for posting so soon after she has posted, but as we looked up the meaning of the word "Meme" last night, our attention was drawn to a rather bizarre incident that occurred a few years ago in Bangladesh. You see, in the late 90's a humorous website entitled Bert is Evil ran some doctored photographs of Bert, the muppet from Sesame Street, consorting with some of the world's more infamous villains and implicated him in all sorts of nasty business from the JFK assassination to the Jack-the-Ripper murders in London. They also spawned the creation of a photo of Bert posing with a then-little-known terrorist name Osama Bin Laden. In 2001, a large gathering of pro-taliban demonstrators was held in Bangladesh for which many different signs were made. Lo and behold, about 20,000 of those signs came up with a little surprise hidden on them. Apparently, whoever had made the signs had trolled the internet rather lazily in a search for Bin Laden pictures, and what should show up on 20,000 of those signs? Naught but he yellowed visage of Good 'ol Bert. The above pictures are from Reuters. The irony here is just staggering, not only because these guys are so obviously serious about what they're demonstrating for, but because the joke's really on them after all. In their push to demonize and shun western culture, they're rather obliviously carrying banners of a true icon of our civilization: a muppet.