"Big Bird" is an anthropomorphized puppet, fashioned to seem as a large bird, appearing on the popular American children's "educational television" program, Sesame Street. Both the puppet and the program have been very popular in the United States for many years.
Indeed, an entire generation -- or possibly two generations -- of children have quite literally been raised with reference to this program. There are formative research studies on the effect Big Bird has had on children, and of course, sociological studies on the effect these children have subsequently had on America at large.
You see, in this country, mothers plop down their kids in front of a television set for hours and hours on end. That way, the mothers do not have to talk to the children, or read to them, or interact with them on any meaningfully human level. We talk a great deal about made-up childhood maladies such as "attention deficit disorder," and feed the kids drugs, but actually, it is the parents who have the attention deficit.
In any event, the child sees Big Bird on television, and develops the desire to possess Big Bird. So, the mother accordingly purchases a Big Bird toy and gives it to the child. Mother and child then return to opposite corners, like prizefighters in the ring, until the child can work up a new desire to be gratified.
So it goes, and so are expectations built, in the land of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
There are big birds elsewhere in this wonderful world of ours, but they inculcate a different sort of expectation -- one near and dear to every Tibetan Buddhist's heart.
Traveling forth from childhood, passing across many lakes and rivers, trekking through valleys and ascending high mountains, we come to the place where people help wildlife and wildlife help people. A veritable paradise on earth.
Here, friendly park rangers actually prepare dinner for the splendid creatures of the air. Here is where there is absolutely, positively no such thing as attention deficit -- one's mind is wonderfully concentrated at this point, I can assure you -- the magical place where all expectations come to rest.
So, then... spending much time in front of the television these days? Dinner and a movie? Surfing the net, reading nonsense blogs from that crazy guy in the desert?