Yay...Happy Feet! I wanna see it, Mommie! Iwant a Mumbles plush doll!
Penguins. Wasn't it lions a couple of years ago? Then meerkats? What will it be next year--loveable squid? Check out the trailer and official website.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, so you are about to hear me channel Oscar the Grouch on crack. Here it comes...
WTF?! I repeat, WTF?! I started tripping when I realized they'd appropriated Stevie's "I Wish" and Grand Master Flash & the Furious Five's iconic, seminal, "The Message."
Have these white folks ever listened to the words to either? I guess I'm sounding like some sort of dreadlocked, Birkenstock-wearing, red-green-an' black leather medalion pimping activist, but come on--a fat little penquin chick rapping to The Message? Well, here are the lyrics that you likely won't hear in Antarctica:
Broken glass everywhere/People pissin' on the stairs, you know they just don't care I can't take the smell, can't take the noise/ Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice/ Rats in the front room, roaches in the back/ Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat/ I tried to get away but I couldn't get far 'cuz a man with a tow truck repossessed my car
Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge/ I'm trying not to lose my head Uh huh ha ha ha It's like a jungle sometimes/ It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under
Now, the crowning irony, the Dennis Miller/Bill Maher goof, the pop culture f-up for me is the theme song to the movie--"Somebody to Love," by Queen. This is touted as a "family" film, and no doubt many Red State fag/dyke-bashers and anti gay marriage mavens will load the kiddies in to the SUV and head for the movieplex, and sing along. OK, the original version of this song was penned and sung by the legendary Freddie Mercury of Queen. The band's name should tip you off, and anyone over 30 knows that Freddie died of AIDS and is one of the patron saints of queers world-wide. When he was crooning "can anybody find meeeeee...somebody to love," who do you think he was pining for? hahaha. I can't wait to see all of these suburban mommies explain THAT to lil' Bobby and lil' Suzy. I'm sure Elijah Wood and Hugh Jackman are bi-fans...oops...I mean, big fans of Freddie Mercury.
What is it about our pandering, least common denominator society? Makes you want to drop neutron bomb and start all over again. Lord, NBC's laying off veteran reporters and journalists, yet developing more schlock like "Deal or No Deal" and stuff to compete with "Dancing with The Stars." Insipid soap operas like "Grey's Anatomy" are lauded as fine drama, yet all one needs to do is watch one episode of this season's "The Wire" on HBO to understand exactly what TV drama should be all about.
Publishing, you ask? Surely that's the bulwark, the last citadel of taste? Well, at a cocktail party in Baltimore recently, I was signing books etc, and when a lady from a local bookclub asked me if there was a book I could recommend for her group. They were finishing up their Halloween selections, e.g. Brandon Massey, LA Banks and the like, and wanted something for the Holidays. I said how about Pulitzer winner Edward P. Jones' latest, All Aunt Hagar's Children ? She pursed her lips as if I'd wedged a lemon between them. She said she and many of the members "are Christians." Wow, what the hell does that have to do with anything? I moderated a panel for Ed Jones and he didn't seem like a Satanist to me. Clearly this woman--a dentist, not some chickenhead--had no clue. And then she proceeds to ask me about books from Triple Crown publisher Teri Woods, she of "thug/street lit" fame, or any erotica, and I mean stuff nastier than even Zane could conjure. And she was a Christian, recall.
My unifying point is perhaps the filmmakers, publishers, TV producers, music companies aren't dumming us down or filling us full of pop culture dross as with "Happy Feet." Perhaps we're already retarded, and indeed they are spooning the Pablum into our fat mouths, as that's all we want, and that's all we can handle.
So enjoy "Happy Feet." Enjoy Savion Glover whoring himself out to Warner Bros. for his digital dancing, when he could've held out to also play the voice of Mumbles. Enjoy Robin Williams as the king adelias penguin with a sickening "Jose Jimenez-Tony Montana" accent. Enjoy four otherwise smart and funny Hispanic comedians (Carlos Azuirqui from Reno 911 among them) Uncle Tom themselves in utterly stereotypical vato loco behavior. Well, at least it isn't Snoop, Queen Latifah, etc. playing "urban" emperor penquins. I'm sure that was in the first draft of the script.