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Bert 'n' Osama
October 9, 2001 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Bert 'n' Osama As near as I can figure it, the guy who made the Osama poster everyone is waving happened to download from the "Bert is Evil!" site...look behind Osama's left ear. Sorry, but I had to post this.
posted by Kafkaesque (130 comments total)

 
and here it is again.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2001


wtf?!?!?!?!?!?!
posted by quonsar at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2001


That's goddamned amazing.
posted by solistrato at 6:48 PM on October 9, 2001


Strange, I always figured Ernie to be the one to become a terrorist.

BTW, the link is Bert is Evil.
posted by boaz at 6:49 PM on October 9, 2001


I think they maybe downloaded the pic from here.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:49 PM on October 9, 2001


ok ... i take back some of the things that i've said in the past about 'culture jammers' ... most of them may be smug, self-righteous bourgeois pomo lifestyle radicals, but at least they aren't all humourless ...

i'd like AdBusters a helluva lot more if they did things as clever as this. someone in the news bureaus must be doctoring photographs ...
posted by hipstertrash at 6:50 PM on October 9, 2001


Holy shit! Is it mentioned in the article? Can anyone here read...er...moon-man language?
posted by Karl at 6:50 PM on October 9, 2001


Maybe bert is a double agent? Please, let me hope.

This is gonna have me smiling for days. Great post Kafkaesque.
posted by joemaller at 6:52 PM on October 9, 2001


Thank you. I laughed for a full five minutes, I think, and am still finding it hard to stop.
posted by raysmj at 6:54 PM on October 9, 2001


I cannot take credit. It was found by a coworker of my wife's. I think it's real....all the news sites show the same pic.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:56 PM on October 9, 2001


I want one of those posters so badly!
posted by nicwolff at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2001


Can anyone here read...er...moon-man language?

You mean Dutch? :-) Not me, and neither can babelfish, apparently. I don't see the word "Bert" (or for that matter "muppet" or anything) in the article; but you'd think someone would have noticed. That Yahoo link doesn't mention it either -- but he is harder to spot in it at least.
posted by sherman at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2001


Moon-man language? Isn't this just your everday German?
posted by hellinskira at 7:06 PM on October 9, 2001


The Germans have taken over the Netherlands! Again! ;)
posted by Yogurt at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2001


the best post in ages...hands down.
posted by anathema at 7:09 PM on October 9, 2001


i've just done a quick search of the major news sources, and so far it doesn't seem as though anyone has noticed. Once again, the scoop might just go to MeFi
posted by hipstertrash at 7:09 PM on October 9, 2001


I'm trying to track down more photos of the posters, but there is CERTAINLY no mention of Bert on the news sites.
posted by Neale at 7:11 PM on October 9, 2001


it's a hoot, but it really illustrates the tremendous gulf between our culture and theirs, doesn't it?

on an information front, this isn't going to be an easy one to win. the frames of reference are so very different.
posted by rebeccablood at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2001


information front?
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2001


Muppet Propaganda.
posted by Optamystic at 7:18 PM on October 9, 2001


I just ran a LexisNexis search and got a hit from the Washington Post final edition for 10/9
Cant link it but it is from the STYLE section page C01

"BYLINE: Teresa Wiltz, Washington Post Staff Writer

BODY:
... jaws, reassuring us with grand promises: "Our responsibility to history is already clear -- to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil." Were it only so simple. Because glaring at us from across the other side of the divide is Osama bin Laden, declaring that "we must use punishment to keep your evil away from Muslims, Muslim women and children."
Them vs. Us. Good vs. Evil. There's nothing like witnessing a national horror to ...

... word that those who fancied themselves sophisticates used ironically; it was too old-fashioned a concept to be taken seriously. Plug "evil" into the Google search engine, and the first item to pop up is the Web site "Bert Is Evil." Bert as in "Sesame Street's" Ernie and Bert. Bert in doctored-up photos "documenting" his inherent "evilness," from cavorting with Hitler to corrupting Ernie to whispering in the ear of O.J. Simpson. "
sorry about the formatting.
posted by anathema at 7:18 PM on October 9, 2001


Okay, Dutch then. Can't sleep....Bert will eat me.
posted by hellinskira at 7:18 PM on October 9, 2001


this is f-ing hilarious... i considered making one of my own a while back, when i thought of all the tragic events listed on the bert is evil, but held back.. how can anyone not notice the huge glaring bert?!
posted by lotsofno at 7:21 PM on October 9, 2001


I think what this shows is that the terrorist networks might not be as difficult to infilitrate as we think. The CIA needs to begin a massive Muppet recruitment drive.
posted by Yogurt at 7:22 PM on October 9, 2001


information front?

as we try to communicate with them, win them over with our propaganda, reasonably explain our perspective on things.

we have an entirely foreign frame of reference to theirs, and them to us. it's going to be easy for both sides to make unconscious assumptions that simply don't exist for the other.
posted by rebeccablood at 7:22 PM on October 9, 2001


More sources of the Bert & Osama photo... It's been around for a while. The first site on the list removed it "out of respect for those who died on 9/11/2001." It's *definitely* that image in the posters, though. Truly hilarious.

So who's their photoshop lackey? Someone has *got* to get to the bottom of this!
posted by whatnotever at 7:27 PM on October 9, 2001


::: waits for the email from the news agency thanking Metafiles for noticing this error and chastising us for being mean about it :::
posted by rushmc at 7:27 PM on October 9, 2001


i'm not trying to burst the "metafiles saw it first" bubble but a few people sent me a link to this site early today so it's apparently this find has already been posted to other sites.
posted by suprfli at 7:42 PM on October 9, 2001


Someone in Afghanistan is already dead or will be killed for this, probably.. too bad.. I hope they have a sense of humor.
posted by Hildago at 7:46 PM on October 9, 2001


This woman's theory (scroll down the blog to October 6th) is that the photo was doctored by ANP, the Dutch equivalent of the Associated Press.
posted by shinybeast at 8:06 PM on October 9, 2001


Dutch to English translation here..

It's not the clearest translation in the world (okay, it's mostly gibberish.."the lodge within prickly within sting with everyone who the late king [Mohammad] [Zaher] [Shah] prop, thus [meldde] the wireless service with the [Taliban] Thursday. ")
but I think the general idea is that Bert has threatened that war will continue until he can be sure there will be no more violence against his pigeon friends.

Or something like that.
posted by smt at 8:09 PM on October 9, 2001


The caption on the Dutch site indicates that the photo was taken in Bangladesh, which is a bit more wired than Afghanistan. Someone probably did an image search and threw together whatever they found, muppet and all.

This makes the sighting only slightly less great.

(See also Usama Bert Laden. What an odd meme.)
posted by davidfg at 8:10 PM on October 9, 2001


For the doctored-photo theory to make any sense, the Reuter's photo from a different angle would have to be doctored, too. That seems unlikely, since the photos presumably came from different sources. Different press agencies.

I think it's more likely that the maker of the montage poster grabbed the Bert-n-Osama pic from the internet.
posted by marknau at 8:10 PM on October 9, 2001


Cache of the (original?) B is E page.
posted by xowie at 8:16 PM on October 9, 2001


The scary part is the Bert actually looks pissed off in the photo. Like he and Osama sit around and bitch about westerners.
posted by skallas at 8:17 PM on October 9, 2001


Bert/bin are #12 on this search.

GOOGLE IS A TOOL OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM.
posted by davidfg at 8:19 PM on October 9, 2001


truly, truly, precious.
posted by th3ph17 at 8:21 PM on October 9, 2001


Oh rebeccablood.

Didn't get ya there. Yes, I think you're right. Our reaction is "How could they not see a friggin muppet?" but they wouldn't know what it is.

Very good point.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:23 PM on October 9, 2001


"... how can anyone not notice the huge glaring bert?!" - that's the funniest thing I've read in days, thanks lotsofno. And thanks to kafkaesque for posting (regardless of who saw what first)
posted by kokogiak at 8:34 PM on October 9, 2001


Here's a third Osama 'n' Bert sighting in legitimate media. Even if Sesame Street hasn't reached Bangladesh, I don't think there's any chance the protesters would fail to see a puppet. This has got to be a photo editor or hacker prank.
posted by rcade at 8:51 PM on October 9, 2001


Well rcade, if you think about the protesters, they might see it as the kind face of Bin Laden, being photographed with a children's puppet. I don't know, but maybe.

And I definitely believe it's in the poster. It's pretty obviously downloaded from here.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2001


hmmmm ... even if they had no idea who/what a muppet was, wouldn't that just be more reason to crop it out? bert seems to be the only non osama image on the whole poster ... they may not have our cultural reference points, but i find it hard to believe that these people would be so clueless as to find a photo on the internet and throw it into their propaganda without a second thought. there had to be some planning and logistics that went into these signs

these people are fundimentalists, critical and particular enough to become vehement and even violent about slightly differing interpretations of scripture, or how many millimeters of flesh is exposed on a woman's body, etc. To think that a man could catch a glimpse of his sister-in-law's ankle across a busy marketplace and not see a glaring foreign image on posters that probably cost a small fortune to make ... its ludicrous.
posted by hipstertrash at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2001


hmm yeah hipster.

curiouser and curiouser.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:59 PM on October 9, 2001


Well they say Osama uses secret codes...perhaps Bert is fraught with significance
posted by quercus at 9:01 PM on October 9, 2001


From Bush for Dummies:

posted by tamim at 9:03 PM on October 9, 2001


hmm interesting giant bandwidth sucking image that's been plastered all over the net, tamim
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:11 PM on October 9, 2001


Apparently, Sesame Street has been shown in Bangladesh. From here via Google:

But perhaps the most fascinating example of Faisal parents' foresight was the fact that while raising their son in Bangladesh, they made sure his first language was English... "My first language was English, not Bengali," Faisal said as a matter-of-fact. "I grew up on English-language TV shows like Sesame Street..."

What if the poster's creator left Bert in just for fun?
posted by davidfg at 9:19 PM on October 9, 2001


What if the poster's creator left Bert in just for fun?

or as an example of how the west ridicules them?
posted by quonsar at 9:27 PM on October 9, 2001


What if the poster's creator left Bert in just for fun?

Exactly. I don't see why Bangladeshi graphic designers can't have a sense of humor. The 'foreign frame of reference' argument goes a lot deeper than the 'they don't know its a muppet' assumption.
posted by skallas at 9:28 PM on October 9, 2001


Isn't it also interesting that a character from the one show in America that taught peace and multiculturalism to children is found on poster in a presumably anti-american protest? In a way, speaking of "the good things about America", that we can rally round, Sesame Street is one of them. Hating America also means hating all those here who don't make the decisions for which our country is hated most.

Which makes a case, that if the poster's creator did have a sense of humor--why don't all of us who do have one, all get together and well tell our respective leaders to fuck off?

If you disagree, you haven't a sense of humor.
posted by crasspastor at 9:41 PM on October 9, 2001


Take a look here. The ANP seems to get many images from larger networks. The European Pressphoto Agency's intro slideshow contains images like Britney w/ the big snake and Jordan's comeback press conference, the same photos that we saw in the States from Reuters and the AP. I couldn't find anything on the Reuters site about other agency sources. News agencies talk quite a bit about their clients, but stay fairly silent regarding sources, so its proving tough to find a link between the two agencies. I still find it tough to believe, however, that both agencies were scrambling to make sure that they had an exclusive source in Bangladesh.

Occam's razor - The interconnected and increasingly electronic western media gets 'jammed' once again, or fundimentalist Islamic protesters, for whatever reason, let a stern faced, oblong headed, vaguely human image share space with a cultural and religious folk hero. Keep in mind that Bert has become a cult phenomenon among the kind of people who get off on image manipulation. Which explination is simpler and requires less explanation or fewer logical gymnastics? Would serious rally organizers here print up posters that put the latest cute character from japanese animation next to Martin Luther King or John F Kennedy? Or Princess Diana? For better or for worse, bin Laden is, in some segments of the Islamic world, a figure of comparable stature.

anyway, enough with the seriousness. because this is damn funny ...
posted by hipstertrash at 9:45 PM on October 9, 2001


Well rcade, if you think about the protesters, they might see it as the kind face of Bin Laden, being photographed with a children's puppet.

The Taliban storm into homes and arrest people for listening to music. What are the odds they would turn a blind eye to the evils of puppetry?

What if the poster's creator left Bert in just for fun?

I can't imagine a worse place to exhibit a sense of whimsy than the printing office of a jihad. However, it's certainly a possibility, along with the notion that someone at Reuters is having a lot of fun with PhotoShop.
posted by rcade at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2001


It should be noted that the pictures are from Bangladesh, which is not Afganistan. Also, two of the photos that were linked above are from the same rally and probably the same photographer. They show many of the same people in them.

I think this is a case of someone wanting to have a little fun. It's like an easter egg that we in America can enjoy.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:56 PM on October 9, 2001


This is totally excellent.

After this, I'd have to agree with the Islamic fundamentalist on one point: American culture really is infiltrating their culture.
posted by ktheory at 10:00 PM on October 9, 2001


Here's another link, this time from an AP/Reuters photo archive on Excite.
posted by rcade at 10:17 PM on October 9, 2001


other possibilities---
1) slip-shod art director on a rush job,
2) let's steal all our art from the web,
3) artist who hates bin Laden but needed the money & compromised by dissing him in stealth mode

kafkaesque, please thank your source for us all---and we all thank you for posting this!
posted by realjanetkagan at 10:18 PM on October 9, 2001


Yeah kafkaesque if you were one of the first to break this, I hope you get all the credit!
posted by crasspastor at 10:23 PM on October 9, 2001


I blogged the image from the Dutch news site last week, on Thursday or Friday (forgive me for not double checking) after a friend brought it to my attention. I really don't think I want to know the hows or whys anymore. I'm just very, very afraid.
posted by Dreama at 10:34 PM on October 9, 2001


What the fuck... my eyes.... they are melting, MELTING. THE MADNESS, THE MADNESS I TELL YOU!
posted by Aikido at 10:37 PM on October 9, 2001


Just as an aside: it's THIS kind of link that originally drew me to Metafilter- quirky, often funny, something I wouldn't likely have ever stumbled across unless I read a hundred sites and blogs every day.
posted by hincandenza at 11:25 PM on October 9, 2001


he's a puppet dictator
posted by mrben at 11:53 PM on October 9, 2001


this made me giggle. thanks for spotting itand sharing...i showed all my friends at work. :)
posted by endorwitch at 12:06 AM on October 10, 2001


Some guy in Bangladesh probably used photoshop to make a collage of Osama bin Ladin photographs. He probably did what we would do: go on Google picture search for "Osama Bin Ladin"... the 12th picture happens to be Osama with Bert. Either he didn't notice or didn't care, but he put the bert picture in his collage, and quickly printed it out to give to his friends (the protestors). Skip a few days: some photographers working for Reuters or Associated Press, focused on taking pictures of demonstraters in general, took a nice shot of the Bert poster. This poster, being a mass-produced media, naturally popped up in a few pictures.
posted by alex3005 at 12:13 AM on October 10, 2001


I saw it on Filepile earlier today, but thought that someone had doctored the image.
posted by timothompson at 12:20 AM on October 10, 2001


Not to inject an unpleasant note from the real world, but... Many of the most ardent anti-American Islamists are well-educated (often Western-educated) English-speakers, even in the Arab world, not to mention in Bangladesh, where English (and Sesame Street) are more widespread. I think it is quite plausible (however disheartening it may be) that the same poster designer who in all sincerity lent his craft to the pro-Binladin rally grew up with and has retained an affection for Bert and other goofy Americana. If you will, this poster is a pictorial encapsulation of the forces tragically pulling many educated Muslims (concerned for the future of their peoples, often disenchanted by their countries' corrupt, often secular, and sometimes pro-American dictatorial regimes) in the two opposite directions of Americanization and anti-Americanism.
posted by Zurishaddai at 12:34 AM on October 10, 2001


Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any weirder...

I'm not sure how to deal with this. Seriously.

Life has gone from boring to bizarre in the space of a month. We get plopped right in the middle of a Tom Clancy book from hell, then 3 weeks of nothing, now bombs and anthrax and fucking Bert showing up at pro-Osama rallies in Bangladesh.

Perhaps a nice long lie-down will help.
posted by Coda at 1:46 AM on October 10, 2001


Imagine how the creator of the original Bert 'n' Osama image must feel. Must be like winning the web irony powerball. What could be better?
posted by sylloge at 3:15 AM on October 10, 2001


This does make an odd sort of poetic sense. The Sesame Street versions were named after Bert (the bartender) and Ernie (the cab driver) from "It's a Wonderful Life". Ward Bond (the guy who played "Bert") was (by most all accounts) a low-brow, ignorant, arrogant, ultra-rightwing Archie-Bunker-patriot, who gleefully supported the opportunistic red-baiting of McCarthy and the concomitant Hollywood blacklisting (guess he had too much competition and wanted to thin the herd at audtions). Seems appropriate.
posted by RavinDave at 3:59 AM on October 10, 2001


Minor correction: Burt was the cop. Ernie was the taxi driver. "Martini" was the bartender. (What else could he have been, with a moniker like that).

I dig the point, though.
posted by Optamystic at 4:14 AM on October 10, 2001


Maybe it means the next act of terrorism will be bio-terrorism via Sesame Street toys? Kind of like the Tylenol taintings??? How will this effect CTW sales?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:16 AM on October 10, 2001


This just in: The creature known as "Big Bird" is, at present, unaccounted for and should be considered winged and dangerous. Still wanted for questioning regarding the infamous "Mr. Hooper Incident". Is believed to travel with mysterious, overweight, gravelly-voiced character known either as "Snuffalupagous", or "Harvey Fierstein".

In contrast to Big Bird, this mysterious sidekick is considered harmless, and quite amusing at times.

That is all.
posted by Optamystic at 4:28 AM on October 10, 2001


Today's Holy War was brought to you by the letter 'A' and the number '7'.
posted by internook at 5:38 AM on October 10, 2001


Here's some more info, and the high-res versions of the photos.
posted by frednorman at 5:51 AM on October 10, 2001


Today's Holy War was brought to you by the letter 'A' and the number '7'.

ROTFL
posted by rushmc at 5:53 AM on October 10, 2001


Holy shit! Is it mentioned in the article? Can anyone here read...er...moon-man language?
posted by Karl at 6:50 PM PST on October 9


OK, as some have already mentioned, the moon-man language in question is Dutch. In the article there is absolutely no reference to the fact that Bert is in the picture. The caption under the photo says "After the weekly friday prayers in Bangladesh, people convene for a joint protest and expression of support for Bin Laden".

Under the article there are three reactions of readers, all pointing to the fact that Bert is in the picture.

Tubantia is a regional newspaper, as far as I know a pretty respectable one. If the photo is fake, I would assume they put up there it in good faith, and just didn't notice Bert.

I will try and contact the newspaper and ask them if they know more about the whole story.

Berend
posted by Berend at 6:28 AM on October 10, 2001


I'm dyin' here ...

From that same same link:
is that a bottle of johhny walker whiskey in bin laden's hands in the picture just above berts?

willem [Hengeveld]


Thanx, frednorman -- !!!!
posted by RavinDave at 6:42 AM on October 10, 2001


First, Kafkaesque, thank you.

Second, go to site frednorman posted (this one), then check out a hi-res scan of the poster in question here (warning: large file)

Notice how some of the other Bin Laden photos used are odd choices for propoganda. In the picture above Bert, it looks like Osama's holding a bottle of liquor....sweet sweet liquor. And, directly across from that picture, on the other side of Bin Laden's huge head, notice the background of the image: Hell?....Osama's in Hell?

I'm going to have to agree with realjanetkagen's option number 3. I just hope the artist doesn't wake up dead when somebody notices.
posted by thewittyname at 6:48 AM on October 10, 2001


From Frednorman's link...is that a bottle of johhny walker whiskey in bin laden's hands in the picture just above berts?

willem


Hmmmm....more going on with these photos?
posted by Benway at 6:53 AM on October 10, 2001


Here's what i don't get; it appears to me as if the main large image in the foreground is the same one as with Bert. Presumably the photoshop lackey (using someone else's words here) had access to an original high resolution version of the pre-Bert picture.

Clearly he didn't crop out the small low-rez version of Bin Laden and Bert and blow him up to poster size. As someone who's made these size posters before there's no way you could take a small 72 dpi picture from the web and enlarge it to that size. (Well you could but there would not be decent detail)

So imo this adds fuel to the fire that this was intentional, not a mistake. This crumpled poster basically proves that Bert is on the original. Those versions on the web w/out Bert most likely have him edited out, not the other way round.
posted by jeremias at 6:59 AM on October 10, 2001


(closing tags)
posted by cCranium at 7:05 AM on October 10, 2001


I wonder if this meme will ever see the light of day in the mainstream news. That's when it'll really go over the top. I hope Nikke Lindquist is shopping for some big bandwidth ^_^
posted by gen at 7:08 AM on October 10, 2001


deja vu, surreal activities, cannot compute, system error.
they have put jam in my culture and it's going tetsuo (body hammer and akira style) on me.
surely it is a bottle of johnnie walker red label, surely?
posted by asok at 7:14 AM on October 10, 2001


Notice how some of the other Bin Laden photos used are odd choices for propoganda. In the picture above Bert, it looks like Osama's holding a bottle of liquor....sweet sweet liquor. And, directly across from that picture, on the other side of Bin Laden's huge head, notice the background of the image: Hell?....Osama's in Hell?

And the one below that. Osama's singing Karaoke?
posted by boaz at 7:18 AM on October 10, 2001


Actually, the "Johnnie Walker bottle" looks to be the business end of OBL's trusty Kalashnikov, also seen in the upper righthand corner of the poster.
posted by xiffix at 7:38 AM on October 10, 2001


righthand lefthand
posted by xiffix at 7:40 AM on October 10, 2001


the story has gone online at Wired--complete with the whiskey bottle reference

i hope PBS doesn't pull Bert episodes or anything...
posted by th3ph17 at 7:59 AM on October 10, 2001


Here's the link that th3ph17 was talking about from wired.
posted by wsfinkel at 8:05 AM on October 10, 2001


Meme to Memepool
posted by y2karl at 8:07 AM on October 10, 2001


My dad works at the paper that the first poster links to (and it's very respectable, thank you very much). I called to ask if they were noticing any increased traffic on their machines, but it seems that (at least outside the internet dept.) nobody is aware of the global spotlight they're under.

As Berend already told you, the article is about Afghanistan in general, does not pertain to Bert's role and the photo is stock material.
posted by thijsk at 8:25 AM on October 10, 2001


Great post! Thanks Kafkaesque. Weird, this link is already dead: http://www.geocities.com/freethoughtmecca/disney.html
posted by Vek at 8:36 AM on October 10, 2001


Oops, nevermind on the link being dead... probably just overloaded.
posted by Vek at 8:38 AM on October 10, 2001


The original photo with the 'whiskey bottle' is from CNN circa last January. Without the cropping it's a little more obvious he's sitting down with a gun between his legs.

enterprising web researchers indeed
posted by xiffix at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2001


I'm pretty sure the "karaoke" Osama on the left is actually this photo from Calcutta On-Line. You'll have to scroll down to see it.
posted by realjanetkagan at 9:05 AM on October 10, 2001


Here is the FARK thread on Bert 'n Osama.
posted by tamim at 9:08 AM on October 10, 2001


Of possible interest (by the person who appears to be the Photoshop artisan at the root of this story):
The Bert n' Osama Photoshop Tutorial.
posted by Scotch at 9:47 AM on October 10, 2001


Best. Thread. Ever.
posted by msacheson at 10:24 AM on October 10, 2001


One more thing to note: The picture of Osama used in the Bert image is the exact same photo that is used for the large Osama face occupying the middle of the poster. So even if Bert weren't there, why put a duplicate-but-mini version of the main item on the side like that?
posted by whatnotever at 10:28 AM on October 10, 2001


And just for referential purposes: Free Republic threads on Bert and Osama: posted by tamim at 11:20 AM on October 10, 2001


Could maybe some brilliant graphics person cut out that poster to page-size so I could print it out (without the angry people)? It's so funny I'm peeing my pants, and I think a source of ready amusement hanging in my cubicle would be a good thing in days to come. I'm not so brilliant graphically.
posted by dness2 at 11:27 AM on October 10, 2001


dness2: Could maybe some brilliant graphics person cut out that poster to page-size so I could print it out (without the angry people)?

I'm not sure how big your page size is, and I'm no kind of brilliant graphics person, but you could try this if you don't mind a 600k image.
posted by walrus at 11:58 AM on October 10, 2001


Thank you much! I pasted it into Word and it looks fine. It has the whole office in stitches and is distracting everyone from the work I haven't done. Thank you Evil Burt!
posted by dness2 at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2001


here's one @ 28k ~300x400
Right Click Save As a .jpg
posted by Nauip at 12:22 PM on October 10, 2001


strange dark hair, strange colored skin, thick uni-brows...maybe it's possible that bert is...one of them? :)
posted by m2bcubed at 12:25 PM on October 10, 2001


dangit - don't know how I messed that up. This should work. Same right-click procedure as above.
posted by Nauip at 12:25 PM on October 10, 2001


Another LexisNexis search turned up this odd coincidence. Sorry I cant link to it:
St. Petersburg Times, September 30, 2001
BYLINE: ROGER MILLS
BODY:
 Bucs Pro Bowl center Jeff Christy is in his ninth NFL season, second with the Bucs.
...[unimportant sports talk]...
"RM: Are you Ernie or Bert?
  JC: I would say Ernie. It seems like more of the stupid stuff happens to Ernie. I always have stupid stuff happen to me. Unprovoked stuff. Like dislocating a finger, just stupid injuries. ...
RM: How has President Bush come across to you in light of the recent events?
  JC: I think he's handled it right. He took things slow at first, to make sure he gets everything right, everybody lined up, before he does something that the country might regret. That's why he's taking his time and giving them every chance to hand over Osama bin Laden.
  RM: Is war the answer, and if not, what is? "

not entirely on point but really strange nonetheless.
BEST THREAD OF THE YEAR!
posted by anathema at 12:39 PM on October 10, 2001


> And the one below that. Osama's singing Karaoke?


We had joy, we had fun!
We had seasons in the sun,
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time.


Works for me ... Looking forward to Osamapalooza, featuring the Rolling Stoners, the SandMonkees and the Tali-Band.
posted by RavinDave at 12:44 PM on October 10, 2001


maybe this whole thing works the other way too..
posted by coudal at 1:55 PM on October 10, 2001


Now the mainstream media has picked up the story.

My favorite quote?

When asked about Bert's current whereabouts, however, the spokeswoman replied: "No comment."

posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:53 PM on October 10, 2001


snopes verifies it.
posted by rebeccablood at 3:40 PM on October 10, 2001


Sad to see that while the original link is still active, the photo has been sharply cropped on the right side - Bert's gone.
posted by videodrome at 4:01 PM on October 10, 2001


Sad to see

cowards ...
posted by walrus at 4:36 PM on October 10, 2001


From mr_crash_davis's Fox Link:
"Sesame Workshop issued a statement saying it was very unhappy ... 'We are exploring all legal options to stop this abuse and any similar abuses in the future'."

Translation: "The widely beloved "Bert is Evil" website has the life expectancy of Bin Laden himself."
posted by RavinDave at 5:45 PM on October 10, 2001


Yeah, I was worried about "Bert is Evil" getting caught in the crossfire...
posted by metrocake at 7:46 PM on October 10, 2001


"Islam has always stood for mutual respect and understanding," a spokeswoman said. "We’re outraged that our characters would be used in this unfortunate and distasteful manner. This is not at all humorous.The people responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves. We are exploring all legal options to stop this abuse and any similar abuses in the future."
posted by rory at 2:11 AM on October 11, 2001


Sad to see that while the original link is still active, the photo has been sharply cropped on the right side - Bert's gone.
posted by videodrome at 4:01 PM PST on October 10


That's very sad indeed. Looks like I have to retract my statement of Tubantia being a "pretty respectable" newspaper. This is major weak.

Sorry Thijs.
posted by Berend at 2:48 AM on October 11, 2001


I am getting very confused...

http://www.tctubantia.nl/CDA/regioportal/1%2c2078%2c1654__772741_%2c00.html
(with Bert)

http://www.tctubantia.nl/CDA/regioportal/1,2078,1654__772741_,00.html
(without Bert)

Does Tubantia have a "No Sesame Street" option these days?
posted by Berend at 3:04 AM on October 11, 2001


Tubantia may have reformated that page to reduce server demand.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:02 AM on October 11, 2001


Kafkaesque, you have caused many good people to pee in their pants laughing. You are to be commended.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:14 AM on October 11, 2001


That lindqvist.com site is down. I wonder if he used up all his bandwidth...
posted by elvissinatra at 6:17 AM on October 11, 2001


Hey, I just realized, in the Karaoke picture Osama is singing "One of these things just doesn't belong here . . . "
posted by Outlawyr at 6:42 AM on October 11, 2001


wow look another version of the poster has been released!

(it got forwarded to me I hope ya don't mind I had to add it to the discussion)
posted by KnitWit at 8:11 AM on October 11, 2001


E! is covering Bert & Bin-Laden too...
posted by owillis at 9:55 AM on October 11, 2001


Well, if this thread isn't completely dead yet...

This should kill it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2001


cnn joins in: http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/10/11/muppets.binladen/
posted by judith at 1:29 PM on October 11, 2001


and they just mentioned it on NPR as well.
posted by thc at 2:15 PM on October 11, 2001


ABC News is carrying an AP story, with an explanation:

Mostafa Kamal, production manager of Azad Products, the Dhaka shop that made the posters, told the AP he had gotten the images off the Internet.

"We did not give the pictures a second look or realize what they signified until you pointed it out to us," he said.

The company had printed about 2,000 posters, and they were snapped up by the demonstrators, who were angry over the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan.

Kamal said he would leave out the controversial images from his next posters.


Wow, pretty good detective work. Those protesters have valuable limited editions <g>. Was Kamal afraid of PBS reprisals?
posted by skibird at 2:35 PM on October 11, 2001


So, here's my definitive theory: The graphics shop in Bangladesh employs a graphic artist who's aware of the Bert is evil meme and who is against Islamic fundamentalism. Said photoshop jockey resents having to make posters for these folks, so he gets 'em by putting in images of Bert, OBL with a bottle of whiskey and OBL in hell. For the sake of said photoshop jockey, let's hope said fundamentalists don't believe this theory, too.
posted by tippiedog at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2001


"We did not give the pictures a second look or realize what they signified until you pointed it out to us," he said.

A second look!?! There is a picture of a muppet next to Bin Laden! Did you even give it a first look?


posted by harrycaul at 9:37 PM on October 11, 2001


I hope we give that photoshop artist instant asylum and citizenship! He can make his living for the next year just on primetime interviews alone!
posted by timyang at 11:16 PM on October 11, 2001


He can make his living for the next year just on primetime interviews alone!

+ Limited signed and numbered editions of course.
posted by Berend at 1:06 AM on October 12, 2001


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