What price the Muppets?
December 16, 2011 7:35pm CST
The recent Fox News interview on the subject of the Muppets new film has me yet again scratching my head and muttering, "These Americans are crazy". I was so bewildered, and then amused (in a somewhat apprehensive way) that I even came out of retirement to write this discussion. It seems that casting a rich oil developer trying to dig under the Muppet Theatre as a bad person is yet another case of "liberal" propaganda designed to corrupt all American children, somewhat along the lines of the following (from the Guardian): "The Muppet Movie (1979). The Muppets head for liberal Hollywood, portrayed here as some kind of collectivist paradise, while a businessman, a Colonel Sanders-type fast food magnate, is once again the antagonist. The notion of slaughtering a pig (in this case, Miss Piggy) is treated as if it were equivalent to murder. Thank you, veggie-nazis. The Great Muppet Caper (1981). The Muppets travel to London, home of socialised medicine. Features some squatting. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). I didn't see this one, but it's clearly about the Muppets joining some sort of terrorist network, which may sound funny to certain leftwing intellectual freedom-haters, but I think it's just sick. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). Based on a story by Charles Dickens, whose other work was known to demonise workhouses, prisons and the wealthy. On the plus-side, the film itself promotes private charity over state intervention, but the overall message is that poor people got that way through no fault of their own, and need rich people to bail them out. Muppet Treasure Island (1996). Treats the entrepreneurial wherewithal of freelance treasure hunters as "piracy". Why, for once, can't the bad guy turn out to be an overzealous environmental regulator? Muppets From Space (1999). This film posits an essentially godless universe where certain Muppets turn out to be space aliens and is, in its own way, as anti-Christian as any Harry Potter film." Harry Potter is anti-Christian? Funny, we just got the whole boxed set and watched it consecutively, and I don't remember Christianity ever being mentioned. Or is that his point? I know that politics has become much more polarised over the past twenty years or so, but this is ludicrous. But not so ludicrous as the right wingers I've seen on this site who accuse Fox News of being "liberal". I started laughing when I first saw that here three years ago, and haven't stopped since. Go Muppets! Lash
17 Dec 11
hello grandpalash, glad to see you have come out of retirement to discuss this important issue of whether or not the muppets are liberal propaganda. it seems to me like people trying to defend an indefensible position, the right of the rich to impoverish everyone else. after all there have been many evil rich villains in fiction, because the evil rich often are villains, and a fiction writer needs a plausible villain, though in a way i think these fox comments reveal a weakness, once you start seeing enemies everywhere, then you have lost it. the problem is how right wing populism that attacks people on benefits as scroungers,and scapegoats poor people, manages to enrage some of the less intellectually able working class, the right seem to love divide and rule strategies, which is what hitler did. we are living in interesting times, in some ways it seems to me the right wing of the uk and us want to return to the time when the peasant would doff their cap to the rich aristocrat, rather than see them in their true colours, as the people who stole their land, to enrich themselves and of course dismissing the muppets as liberal propaganda by people who can't see how right it is that the rich should be rich is part of the game. but then that's what we are fightening, the right of the rich to be very rich at everyone elses expense. though we are in an interesting situation now, where it is becoming obvious that an economy fails if ordinary people don't have money, which is in such complete conflict with the idea that the rich should rip us all off, that it is funny to watch them argue their case, though tragic to find people who believe them. the solution obviously lies in a mixed economy, where money circulates efficiently at all levels, and it is so obviously the right direction that the argument can't be lost, its just getting politicians out of the pockets of the rich.
• United States
17 Dec 11
I actually think fox news says some things just to get a rise out of people to increase their ratings. Or ... I'm just not sure what they're doing. Hopefully that was another example of "tongue in cheek" editorializing. I might be naive, but I find it very hard to think they would be serious. But then ...
• United States
17 Dec 11
The media is notorious for its reinforcement of gender roles and political ideas. Look at Disney. There are hidden agendas in most everything we watch. That Harry Potter thing caused a bit of a stir...it was because of the "witchcraft" portrayed in it that made it "non Christian" apparently but I didn't see there was a big deal with it. Now Narnia was a huge deal because of it's apparent underlying Christian theme. The government, politicians, and religious groups continue to control the media. We see what they want us to see and it is very disheartening when you know what's going on with it.