Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Not Easy Being... Red?

Recently a very boneheaded article was brought to my attention (by the hubster, for my enjoyment), alerting me to the fact that Fox Business was on the attack against my beloved Muppets, calling them communists! This shall not stand, and not just because I've adored the Muppets since childhood, but because the whole premises for both Fox Business' AND HuffPost's arguments are wrong.

Here's the gist of it: Fox Business sees Kermit and gang as the new Red Menace, corrupting our children with it's pro-environmental anti-oil, anti-corporate message. The "successful businessman" is depicted as "evil" (Chris Cooper as "Tex Richman"), and Liberal Hollywood is brainwashing our kids! You can watch the clip for yourself at the bottom of the HuffPost page I linked to above, if you can stand it. HuffPost tries to put up a good defense, claiming that even though there are no explanations of the benefits of oil drilling in the movie, there is no talk of the industry at all, and that, in fact, no environmental issues are mentioned. This is true, but to me both sides of this silly argument actually miss the point and only see what they want to see.

To me, what's going on in "The Muppets", which is a really fun movie, by the way, is not an argument about Big Bad Business or Evil Oil or anything like that. At it's heart, this is a property rights issue. Tex enters into a contract with Kermit to remake the Muppet Theater into a Muppet Museum, which we soon find out is a big fat lie. He actually intends to tear it down and drill for oil. Realizing they've been swindled, the Muppets work like crazy to earn enough money to keep the theater because it means so much to them. Tex works up to the last second to thwart their efforts, even cutting of the power supply to the theater to disrupt the fundraiser they've put on to earn the money they need. One of the Fox pinheads goes on to question why being rich is seen as such a bad thing, implying that the Tex Richman character got where he did by "working hard and being successful" and living out the "American Dream." He's not a villain because he represents Big Oil or because he's wealthy, he's a villain because he's a lying, cheating, duplicitous creep! He uses every unethical, immoral tactic to get what he wants, namely, someone else's property. How can anyone with a working brain and a moral compass not get that?

Finally, even the title of the HuffPost article is erroneous. The Fox Business pinheads did spew out a lot of eye-roll inducing tripe, but they didn't call the Muppets "communists", as far as I could tell. I'd like to remind HuffPost that communism is an economic system which rejects all private property, favoring public ownership of the means of production. Because the Muppet Theater, whether owned by the Muppets or by Tex Richman, was always private property, never the property of the State, the "communist" label makes absolutely no sense and has no relevance. Calling the Muppets "communists", or even claiming that someone else did (when they didn't) is also the kind of uninformed ad hominem attack that 1) displays one's lack of understanding, 2) displays one's intent to be provocative for its own sake, and 3) lends your argument as much incredibility as you intend to bestow upon your opponent.  The next thing you know, someone will get themselves all worked up accusing them of promoting a " liberal homosexual agenda", citing "Rainbow Connection." Give me a break!

Now that I've got that out of my system, enjoy these classic Kermit songs, and then go see the movie for yourself!

"Being Green"

"Rainbow Connection"

1 comment:

Please be kind. Trolls belong under bridges.