I know that Captain Pugwash didn't really have crew members called "Master Bates" or "Roger the Cabin Boy". I know that the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street was not renamed the Veggie Monster as some sort of evil plan to indoctrinate kids into eating more healthily.
(Of course, I'm using "evil" sarcastically here. Although a plan to introduce healthy eating to kids could have a morally suspect element to it, if the plan is to make kids healthy enough to form an army of muscle-bound troops to help you take over the world. But I don't think that's on anyone's mind when they whine about the government having the audacity to try to stop their kids from getting heart diseases.)
The Sesame Street one I learned on snopes, the Pugwash one I knew from being familiar with the Pugwash *books* from my kidhood, confirmed by snopes. I have heard both of these claims stated as fact. I could have replied "That's not true..." but they were unlikely to believe me, and if I did convince them I'd just have been a kill-joy. So I kept my mouth shut and let them enjoy their slanderous anti-nutritious fun. Maybe I was right to do so, or maybe that just leads down the path to ignoring other, more important truths and tacitly accepting other, more damaging lies.
Oh, and if you want PG-13 names in Captain Pugwash... well, one of them is called Willy. How snickersome. But his last (or first) name is not Gilligan.
Metapost: FRIDAY! FRIDAY! COTW! FRIDAY!
13 hours ago