The Right’s Absurd Fight Against Children’s Entertainment

The Right’s Absurd Fight Against Children's Entertainment

Picture this: a United States where school cafeteria workers lackadaisically dump “vegetable” paste onto the mystery meat du jour while 9-year-old janitors wipe up the debris in an effort to showcase their budding work ethic and sanitary savvy. A United States where smiling creatures of the puppet and Pixar ilk have long been collecting dust as a consequence of their blatant and shameful promotion of Marxist collectivism, environmental responsibility and intercultural tolerance. A United States where the only remaining puppets are the ones on Capitol Hill.

Sound a bit far fetched? That’s because it is. However, as hyperbole seems to have the growing conservative base in a veritable chokehold as of late, that is precisely where the right wing wants the United States to be headed.

According to more vocal members of today’s GOP, the children’s movie “Cars 2” wrongfully and absurdly pits the oil industry as its villain and “Happy Feet 2” is not a children’s film about pirouetting penguins but rather the United States potentially bailing out Greece amid its financial crisis.

Trading Hollywood for the Hill, in his efforts to repeal “stupid” child labor laws and encourage hard work presidential primary hopeful Newt Gingrich wants to dole out extra mops instead of extra credit. Meanwhile, the GOP-led Congress recently bowed its head once again to food industries in deeming pizza sauce a vegetable while the nation is in the throes of a childhood obesity epidemic.

However much the GOP has fanned the flame for Comedy Central’s ratings as of late, the ideas of and criticisms from current conservative caricatures are not so funny, especially given their potential and lasting impact on the only group of people who, thanks to lackluster performance on both sides of the political spectrum, can save us: our kids. And make no mistake, the absurdities propagated by a group of people with real power are much more dangerous than a two-dimensional colony of penguins singing about saving the icebergs.

Children’s Features: The Opiate of the Masses?

Marxist Mao Puppets

Despite being described by many critics as a flat-footed follow-up, “Happy Feet 2” presents its malleable-minded viewers with a story about two penguins who sashay up and down the Antarctic coast and shimmy out of the many problems that come their way. True, the film fumbles over its many messages, however when conservative critics screeched of it being akin to “Kiddie Karl Marx” and the mighty seals being “plutocratic one-percenters,” the overt paranoia reeked more than the weak metaphor.

The sequel to Pixar’s “Cars” did not fare too well with conservative media, either. Stricken with fatal sequel-itis, “Cars 2” left much to be desired entertainment-wise and its box office sales suffered accordingly. However as the percentage of Americans who believe in global warming has fallen to an embarrassing 47%, so too has the desire to see films wherein the oil industry is purported to be the villain.

Nevertheless, conservative bloggers couldn’t just let the sorry sequel tuck its tail between its legs before they accused the production of indoctrinating children with big-business hating concepts like environmentalism and alternative fuel production, even though neither issue has to be a partisan one. And also because, well, most children aren’t interested in looking for elements of “An Inconvenient Truth” while talking cars occupy a screen.


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