In Defense of The Muppets
As I am sure you have heard, Fox Business’ Eric Bolling and his cohorts have attacked the Muppets – calling them communists and claiming they are brainwashing our children. (See the story and his segment here.)
Bolling is attempting to lead a crusade to protect our children from the latest Muppet movie. As evidence, Bolling points out that the villain is a wealthy man and therefore the Muppets hate money and are training our children to be anti-capitalists.
Some are accusing Bolling of just trying to create controversy to drive ratings – a valid theory, considering that such a tactic is a Fox staple.
But I believe that Bolling and his cohorts sincerely believe that the Muppets are a threat to their worldview.
Now I’m not agreeing with Bolling’s conjecture that movie The Muppets is against capitalism; in fact, I’d like to give Bolling the benefit of the doubt and believe that he isn’t dumb enough to think so either.
For those of you that have not seen the movie, yes, the villain is a rich oil baron. But he isn’t the only one in the movie who is well off.
Kermit is wealthy, as testified to by the fact that he lives in a mansion in Beverly Hills.
Miss Piggy is wealthy, or at least quite prosperous, as editor of Paris Vogue.
Gonzo is a tycoon in his own right, as owner of his own plumbing supplies chain.
Animal can’t be doing too poorly, unless there is a government subsidy to get one into a celebrity anger management program.
So the core main heroes – except for Fozzie – if not 1%ers are at least well off; and no judgment or comment on them for being so.
Money itself is never the target of any ire – in fact, the whole mission of the Muppets in this film is to raise money. Money can be useful!
So the film clearly is not anti-capitalism, anti-money or anti-rich.
Thus the big question: If the movie isn’t anti-capitalist, why do Bolling and Fox see the movie as a threat?
To answer that, let’s look at one of the actual evil messages of the movie.
Tex Richman and Kermit both have money – so what is it that makes one of them a villain and the other not so much?
It is their attitude toward money. Richman is controlled by greed – he doesn’t need enough money; he needs more money – and there is nothing more important that getting more money.
Kermit comes to realize that money – while a useful and potentially good thing – isn’t the most important thing in life; possessions aren’t the most important thing; even ownership of a building isn’t the most important thing.
And that is the message that Bolling and Fox feel we must protect our children from hearing.
Bolling is right to think that The Muppets is subversive. The strongest voices in our culture scream at us non-stop that greed is good, that more stuff equals more happiness. Neither kids nor adults can escape the constant message that we deserve more – toys, cars, games, electronics – and that more equals fulfillment.
And the Bollings of the world can’t handle any suggestion that this might not be true.
Remember when Warren Buffet suggested that the ultrarich – meaning himself – should be taxed more? Michelle Bachman mocked him for that. He was being generous, he was suggesting that he himself should give more, and Bachmann’s response was derision.
Not, “That’s very generous, Mr. Buffet, and it is wonderful having people willing to give more back to the country that benefited them so well. Unfortunately, that isn’t a long term solution, as not all millionaires will be so willing. And we shouldn’t force the unwilling because…”
See the difference? The latter acknowledges that a generous spirit is a good thing; the former that a generous spirit is worthy of derision. And it is indeed worthy of derision if there is a fear that the idea might spread – a fear that one’s very worldview is at risk.
Jesus warned us that the love of money could taint our worldviews. (Not money, mind you, but the love of it – how money is viewed.)
He told those that had ears to hear that one can not serve money and serve God.
Eric Bolling and Fox agree, which is why they are desperate to shut down anyone saying that there is a better option to serving money.
Just my thoughts,