2018 is a dark place, a place in which Sesame Street has to release a statement regarding the sexual orientation of Bert and Ernie, who are puppets.

As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with people who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street puppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.

I plumbed the darkest reaches of the internet (I do it for you, readers) to find out why this was even being discussed. It turns out a Sesame Street writer went ahead and said that they are gay, the internet got into a tizzy, and Sesame Street was actually put in the position of having to comment on the sexual proclivities of puppets.

Can’t a couple of best friends enjoy some disco without you guys making it into a thing?

What worries me more than the fact that this exists is the fact I wasn’t even horribly surprised when I saw that it did. The world is such a dumb place now that the existence of such a statement seemed odd, but not completely insane. And even worse? We have not yet reached the nadir. Remain seated with your safety belt securely fastened, for puppet orientation is not the bottom.