Muppets On The Internet

Even Kermit is reading Elizabeth Stevens's article on The Awl—you should too! (Image by Looking Glass).

How much time have you spent thinking about the Muppets? Yeah, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about them either—that is, until I read this article on The Awl. It’s by Elizabeth Stevens—whom you may have encountered in our magazine as Gordon Ebenezer Gourd (of Issue 2’s “Wolf Memoirs”)—and it takes the Muppets and uses them to explore the ethos of corporate Disney, copyright law, capitalism and the secret of the universe (which, if you didn’t know is 42—and only that was a joke; the article really does discuss the former three). To call the piece wide-ranging might be an understatement, but it does not let its panoramic sweep detract from its specific subject: the Muppets. Stevens demonstrates a very real, specific love for the crew as individual characters and a collective whole. To give you  a sense of the article’s playfulness and its insight, I’ll give you a peak. But, we, at Explosion-Proof, do heartily suggest that you check the whole thing out yourself. I can promise you, after reading it, you’ll never think of Muppets as those annoying, weird, raspy-voiced, furry creatures again:

Let me preface my next statement by saying that I know it will seem ridiculous to the casual reader, inflammatory to a good many fans, and downright specious to the expert of rhetoric, but for me watching Steve Whitmire’s Kermit is akin to watching someone imitate a mythic and longed-for mother—my mother—wearing a my-mother costume in a my-mother dance routine. This person’s heart is in the right place, which only makes it worse. “You should be happy,” the person pleads with me, “Look, Biddy! Your mother is not gone! She is still here.” Now, no one would ever do that. No one in her right mind would think it would work. A child knows his mother’s voice like he knows whether it’s water or air he’s breathing. One chokes you and one gives you life. Strangely, I feel the same about Kermit. Whitmire is an amazing performer—especially as the lovable dog Sprocket on “Fraggle Rock”—but, when he’s on screen as Kermit, I can feel my body reject it on a cellular level.

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