THIS WEEK: December 4 – 10, 2011
The Week At Large
Last week, I took umbrage with the filmmakers who are brining Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic Ender’s Game to the big screen. But now I’m starting to second guess myself, what with some of their rather inspired casting choices. Just this week it was announced that Sir Ben Kingsly is in talks to join the cast, which makes me pretty excited. But what I’m not excited about? The leaked photos from Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy shoot (Google it, if you must). Funny thing is, most of the online feedback is more impressed with the powers of Adobe Photoshop than with Lohan’s naked bits. But here, however, is something to really get excited about: three Canadians have landed a spot in the official Queen tribute band, which was created by Queen drummer Roger Taylor. And, just as everyone expected, Freddie Mercury sound-a-like Marc Martel will be the man at the mic.
The Close Up
I don’t know what it is about kids and puppets. For one reason or another, children just love these bizarre, often silly creations of wood, cloth, and plastic. But not me. Though my family used to watch The Muppet Show each and every weekend when I was a kid, I never did come to enjoy them all that much. I’m strange that way, I guess.
Still, most kids get a kick out of puppets, especially those created by Jim Henson, otherwise known as Muppets. Case in point, the critical acclaim and popularity surrounding the most recent Muppet movie, The Muppets, which was released late last month.
But not everybody got a kick out of Kermit and the gang’s most recent shenanigans, especially not the people over at Fox News. In the segment below, Follow the Money host Eric Bolling and friends suggest that “liberal Hollywood” is using The Muppets to brainwash children with an anti-capitalist message. Why? Well, because the film’s antagonist is an oil baron named Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper). Click to watch.
First thing’s first: except for Caroline Heldman, everyone here is barking mad. All their talk of liberal Hollywood, brainwashing, and comparisons to communist China is so over the top and entrenched in complete lunacy that it makes watching the segment an exercise in patience, perseverance, and self-loathing. Of course, Fox News is known for this sort of thing, but it is nevertheless astonishing that there are people who still support the line of thinking that suggests the “liberal media” is brainwashing our children.
Mind you, it’s easy to hate on Fox News. And, no, I don’t think they’re crazy because they’re Conservatives; they’re crazy because they’re all out of their minds.
But here’s the thing: amidst all their craziness, they do make a valid point. One—having a greedy, oil baron for an antagonist is not only a cliché, but it is also lazy storytelling; two—like it or not, us Westerners are very much dependent on oil, and we often overlook that dependence whenever we protest the practices and policies of the oil industry.
So, yes, Eric Bolling and company did make a point, even something of a valid point … for a very short while. And then they shat it to the floor with their spouting idiocy.
And that, my friends, is excellence in journalism.
If only we “liberals” were that good.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.