Movies: Great Minds Think Alike
James Dobson hosted syndicated conservative radio host Michael Medved and they discussed the new penguin cartoon movie, "Happy Feet":
DOBSON: There is a movie that's out now, called Happy Feet. It's about penguins. It's obviously designed to pull children in and yet, you don't like it. I've read some of the things you've said about it. I haven't seen it and don't plan to see it but from what I've heard, I don't like it either. Explain why.
MEDVED: Because it's depressing and it's dark.
(Now, up to this point in the interview, I’m 100% on board with Dobson and Medved. Like Dobson, I don’t have plans to see this movie—screw seeing a cartoon about dancing penguins, just screw it. And like Medved says, I’m sure it’s depressing and dark for the simple reason that it’s set in a land of eternal ice and snow, and I’m not paying to see that because I live in Minnesota. So screw you and your proposal that we go see the penguin movie, kids. But then Medved and Dobson go on:)
MEDVED: And then there's this whole subtext, as there so often is, about homosexuality. Not that the penguins are gay -- they're not gay -- but the one penguin hero doesn't fit in and the religious authorities -- the so-called religious right in the penguin world -- are very judgmental. They say, "You are not a penguin. You're not a real penguin." And then he makes this heartfelt plea, he says, "Dad, you have to accept me as I am. I can't change." And --
DOBSON: Are they getting at the idea that homosexuality is genetic? Is that what the subtle implication is?
Now here is where Dobson and Medved have crossed the line that divides “legitimate film criticism” from “mental illness.” The “religious right of the penguin world?”
You’ve got to remember—these men are two of the most influential conservatives in America. Millions of people look to them for news and counsel on US politics every day, they’re giving millions of voters guidance on support for the war in Iraq, the threat posed by Iran, et cetera--and THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT THE PORTRAYAL OF "THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT OF THE PENGUIN WORLD?"
These guys have lost it! What do you think of political pundits who see that as a legimate issue and a possible threat? What would you think of the intelligence of millions of people who go to men such as these, in search of guidance and political wisdom? I tremble for my country…But wait, there’s more--run that last part back again:
MEDVED: And then there's this whole subtext, as there so often is, about homosexuality. Not that the penguins are gay -- they're not gay --
“They’re not gay?” How does Medved know whether these penguins are gay or not, just by looking at them? How can he state conclusively that these thousands of cartoon penguins are not gay--just from watching them for two hours onscreen? Do the thousands of penguins spend the two hours walking around the ice floe telling each other “I’m not gay,” “Well, I’m not gay either.”? I doubt it—and even if they did—what a giveaway that would be. (Just like that new James Bond movie; see article below.)
The fact is that there’s no way to tell whether these thousands of cartoon penguins are gay or not, unless Medved has really great "cartoon penguin gay-dar” or something. Just because a penguin isn’t “gay-acting” doesn’t mean he’s not gay. You need only check the penguin section of the personal ads to see that this is true. Look:
“MALE PENGUIN SEEKING MALE PENGUIN for “Tuxedo Junction.” Me: gay but straight-acting, adventurous, spontaneous but earthy. Likes: fishing, waddling, standing around ice floe, snow. Dislikes: sharks, tiger seals. I am looking for: some one cute, straight acting bi or gay under 32, to take trips to the other side of the ice floe and back, have fun, cuddling."
So Medved’s claim that he can tell a penguin’s sexual preference just by looking at one is ridiculous. The movie portrays thousands of penguins standing around an ice floe, as is their custom--all virtually identical in appearance. Couldn't there be two queers in there somewhere? PERHAPS EVEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN THE “PENGUIN RELIGIOUS RIGHT”?
For all Medved knows it could be “Brokeback Iceberg” they're running up there, once the cameras stop turning. But thank God, in an news environment dominated by the death toll in Iraq, someone is keeping an eye on this cartoon penguin gays versus the cartoon penguin religious right situation. We can’t allow that story to get lost in all the media fuss about war and fighting terrorism. And remember—minds like those of Dobson and Medved are kind of minds that put George W. Bush in the White House in the first place.