Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Film About Penguins Apparently the First Sign of the Apocalypse

Politics seems to be an odd thing in America. I mean, if you're labelled a conservative over here it pretty much just means that you're a little old lady who owns lots of monarchy themed tea sets and complains a bit about the gay wedding on The Archers. Or you hunt foxes for sport. However, over in America, if you're labelled a conservative it means that you own lots and lots of large firearms, wax nostalgically about slavery, make endless websites with "9/11: Never Forget" written all over them and go around yelling obnoxiously at people who believe in global warming.

Rarely has this strange pattern of behaviour been more apparent than in the recent critical reception of the animated film Happy Feet in which penguins voiced by Elijah Wood and Robin Williams learn lessons about conformity by tap dancing and singing and stuff. Curiously, no one in the media has slammed the film for utilizing dire comedian and actor Robin Williams, who everyone knows only has two schticks, talking really loud and fast and talking in an offensive effeminate approximation of a gay man's voice, neither of which are funny. Instead, the film has received a critical drubbing by a large number of American right wing media commentators for containing "brainwashing left-wing propoganda".

The film isn't out yet here so I can't pretend I've seen it. But allegedly it contains a subplot in which the penguins face extinction due to environmental changes. Director George Miller has defended this content by pointing out that the real life Emperor Penguin population has indeed decreased by 50%-70% over the last fifty years because of climate changes and overfishing.

Of course, such rational justifications have completely failed to placate the right arm of America's media who have shrilly protested the film's "left-wing environmental agenda" like someone took away their right to bear arms. Conservative radio personality, Michael Medved led the charge by wackily declaring that the film was the "darkest, most disturbing feature length animated film ever offered by a major studio." Fox news commentator Neil Cavuto described the film as "big time objectional" and made the pithy observation that "it was just like an animated Inconvenient Truth. I half expected Al Gore to pop up!" Even rubbish website Aint it Cool News got into the action with one reviewer labelling it "dangerous", "offensive" and "insidious".

Of course this could all just be sour grapes because Happy Feet is slaughtering The Nativity Story, a film that has a clear and much more easily substantiated right wing agenda, at the American box office. Personally I think parents should ignore both movies and pop their kids in front of the tube with a nice DVD of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because it's awesome and doesn't have any religious nonsense or Robin Williams in it.

I'm still not sure why environmentalism is even considered a "left wing agenda" anyway instead of a general common sense human agenda. But then again I'm not a total fucking idiot. Probably.


Hoardmeister said...

Which version, the strange one with Gene Wilder or the stranger one with Johnny Depp?

Captain Great said...

The Gene Wilder one of course, H.M!

When I was at University, I used to go to parties and tell people I didn't know that I was the little kid from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory all grown up and make-up wacky anecdotes about Gene Wilder and stuff. Ah...good times.