November 05, 2009

Google Slammed With Silly Sesame Street Subterfuge Swipe

Greetings. For generations, children have grown up with Sesame Street. It's more than a TV program, it's an institution, an American export that reaches youngsters in over 120 countries.

The Sesame Street characters are among the most familiar "personas" on the planet. One of the most famous of the Sesame Street gang is of course Big Bird, performed for the show's entire history by Caroll Spinney -- that's from 1969 to today. (He's similarly been the alter ego of Oscar the Grouch for the show's entire run.)

It's difficult to imagine circumstances where anyone could reasonably associate "evil" intents with an appearance of Big Bird.

But when it comes to Google, there are folks looking for any excuse for an attack, and even Big Bird isn't immune.

Case in point, Wednesday's Christian Science Monitor that included an article exploring whether the appearance of Big Bird's legs as part of the day's Google (logo) Doodle -- celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street -- was somehow a sinister slice of subterfuge, a "charm campaign" to lure unsuspecting Web users into Google's grasp.

Notable in the piece was Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court's assertion that the playful Doodle was actually "The Trojan Muppet" -- one can almost hear the rustling of spears and armor from underneath those yellow feathers.

This would almost be funny, if it weren't symptomatic of a larger problem. I alluded to much the same issue a couple of years ago in Google Gives Millions -- and Gets Bad Press!

Essentially, there are some persons who view everything that Google does through the prism of conspiracy theories and presumed ulterior motives -- vision through a glass darkly, as it were.

For such individuals, no amount of good deeds is sufficient, no explanations are acceptable, and no matter how many times it's denied that there's a secret alien autopsy room hidden deep within the Googleplex, the "true believers" will hold fast to their inherent faith in presumed secret agendas and conjectured search engine sophistries.

This isn't to say that one should remain silent when there's a legitimate gripe related to the way any large, powerful corporation behaves. But it's one thing to express meaningful concerns about specific issues, and quite another to see daemons under every disk drive.

Google's Doodles have a long history of saluting all manner of personalities and events of note. To impute anything other than innocent, fun intent in the appearance of Big Bird (or for today, The Cookie Monster!) in a Google Doodle pushes the ol' paranoia meter needle significantly toward the red zone.

This blog posting has been brought to you by the letters "G" and "R" -- as in let's all at least try to:

Get Real!


Posted by Lauren at November 5, 2009 12:25 AM | Permalink
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