Friday, May 15, 2009

Old Man Yells At Cloud

Geez, just a few days ago I was complaining that Big Hollywood never gives me anything worthy of its own post anymore and they go and make a liar out of me. What grabbed my attention today is an article by Orson Bean who also rated my attention back in January when he complained that no one made inspirational movies anymore except of course for the ones he mentioned.

The octogenarian 1970s game show star's most recent offering to his son-in-law's website is an amazing journey that starts with the story of when he went to see the movie Earth and manages to end equating Democrats to child molesters.

In the first three paragraphs, we find out the following things about Orson Bean:
  • He was skeptical about seeing Earth because it got good reviews and he always disagrees with those fancy-pants critics. This means his favorite movies of the last 30 days must have been the critically lambasted Obsessed, Wolverine and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
  • He thinks the footage of polar bears was shot in Antarctica, which is wasn't since polar bears live on the other side of the planet.
  • Armed with this level of perception, he thinks that since the movie used edited footage to present the partly fictional story of a polar bear who dies because the ice flows he used to live on melted that means that actual stories of polar bears dying in the warming Arctic waters is a big propaganda stunt.

Bean revels in his own cleverness when he calls the filmmakers out for the way the movie presented fictional identities and personalities to the animals. Anyone who's ever seen a nature documentary made for kids knows that this is quite common or, as Roger Ebert put it:
In the tradition of such favorites of my childhood as Disney’s “The Living Desert” and “The Vanishing Prairie,” the narration provides these animals with identities. It opens with a mother polar bear and her two cubs. The desperate polar bear is identified as their father, although I will bet a shiny new dime that the authors of the narration have absolutely no evidence of the bear’s paternal history. I’m not complaining; in a film like this, that goes with the territory.
Then, of course, we get the usual dose of Big Hollywood concern trolling when he lectures Disney on how to make money.
After a lucrative opening weekend, moviegoers realized that this picture was not something they wanted to take junior to see, and business fell off sharply. The movie could have made a fortune if an uplifting story had been created.
Could have made a fortune? The movie made $26 million domestically and almost $112 million worldwide. I'm trying to remember the last time a documentary made more than that but no, those Disney guys are idiots and Orson Bean, a man whose lifetime box office take probably doesn't equal the amount made by Earth, is the guy to whom they should be listening.

I had to read the final three paragraphs more than once because I just didn't understand them. They way they use environmentally themed movies to make a wild and outrageous accusation is just amazing.
“Wall-E,” a brilliant animated picture, is another example of the Disney crowd using its powerful creativity to send a message to the younger set: we are destroying the earth. “We” meaning, of course, America with its incredibly successful production of “stuff”. And like all good propaganda, it has more than a kernel of truth to it. The waste in this country is overwhelming. I don’t object to reasonable preachment in favor of conservation and against waste. What pisses me off is the fact that the cultural left is frightening the children. And they’re doing it on purpose. Polls of little kids have been taken which show that they are scared as hell that the earth will be an uninhabitable place to live in when they grow up.

There’s a video called “The Story of Stuff” being shown in classrooms around the country. It has been put together by a former Greenpeace employee and, to quote The New York Times, it “paints a picture of how American habits result in forests being felled, mountaintops being destroyed, water being polluted and people and animals being poisoned”. The filmmaker also complains that the federal government “spends too much on the military.”

Children are being frightened. It’s not enough that the cultural left is sexualizing them at an early age, it’s also making a generation of worrywarts out of them: trans-fats and second hand smoke and climate change and toxic this and toxic that. And who is strong enough to save us from all this? Only the government, of course; only Big Brother. Worriers tend to vote Democrat and the left is systematically manufacturing a generation of them. Child molesters belong in jail.
I kept swearing I had missed something major. Bean goes from talking about Earth, Wall-E and some classroom film, mixes them all together and somehow manages to conclude that the sum of those parts is child rape. To reach this conclusion, he casually dismisses unhealthy food, the unstable climate and whatever the hell "toxic this and toxic that" is (probably fluoride in the water and that crazy rap music). From there, he magically transforms an offhand assertion about "the cultural left" sexualizing kids and turns it into a massive Democratic Party conspiracy to get kids thinking that those nice, friendly corporations need a powerful government to get them to spend the money required to safely dispose of their pollutants and that this is all equal to raping them.

You know, Bean is an 80 year old man. I should feel guilty about calling him an asshole. Wait, I don't think I actually did that. Orson Bean, you're an asshole! There. I should have felt guilty about that but if he's going to spend his golden years saying stupid things like Democrat Are Using Disney Films to Rape Your Kids then he deserves what he gets.

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