Killer Robots From Berkeley

« July 2008 »

Memo to Greater Wingnuttia: YOU ARE DUMB.

It never fails. Just when I'm starting to feel the cynical dread as I watch yet another Democratic candidate duck and cover in the face of a barrage from the stupidly hostile - or is that hostile and stupid? - media, along comes the right-wing blogosphere to make me feel better about myself, and by extension, the entire left-wing, from Harry Reid's vague lip-service to the Constitution all the way to Starbuck-smashing anarchists. Because at least we're not scared of robots.

I suppose we're duly wary of some robots, like robot drones with bombs strapped to them, but we're not afraid of the cute robots. We don't wake up at night in a cold sweat, terrified that Robosapien will brainwash our children with a vision of Aryan perfection, or that Japan's unending array of special-purpose fetish robots will endear the young to the amazing things that can come from unregulated markets. This is because, well, we're sane. You know who's not sane? Greg Pollowitz at National Review Online:

"It was like a 90-minute lecture on the dangers of over consumption, big corporations, and the destruction of the environment." Man, that sounds awful. I can't imagine someone claiming that over-consumption and the destruction of the environment are dangerous. What gall these as-yet-unrevealed purveyors of entertainment have! But wait, we need corroboration. Take it away, Glenn Beck!

"You know if your kid has ever come home and said, 'Dad, how come we use so much styrofoam,' oh, this is the movie for you. I love that. 'Dad, how come we don't recycle as much as we should?' 'We do recycle.' 'Well, teacher says we don't recycle enough.' 'Oh, really? Is that what teacher is saying? What's the teacher's phone number?' I'm becoming one of those people, I really am." - What perfidious film could possibly drive Glenn Beck into fantasies about berating his child's teacher, and can we stop ourselves from wondering exactly how that fantasy ends? Quick, we need a distraction! Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism, you're our only hope!

"I agree that the Malthusian fear mongering was annoying." - I, too, would be annoyed if someone kept trying to convince me I should be afraid of Thomas Malthus, who, after 180-plus-years in the grave, wouldn't even make a good zombie in some kind of highly ineffective zombie philosopher uprising. I think it's time for the big reveal in any event, for which we turn to yet another of the National Review Online denizens, Shannon Coffin:

"As for me, Pixar's latest offering was Godforsaken dreck. Mankind has had to abandon the earth because there is too much garbage. WALL-E is the only remaining garbage compacting robot in a metropolis of garbage skyscrapers. And his only living companion is a cockroach, described by a Washington Post reviewer (who doubtlessly thinks very highly of the Nobel Committee) as cute, but pretty much just a cockroach... From the first moment of the film, my kids were bombarded with leftist propaganda about the evils of mankind."

Now, the National Review Online has a creepy stalker thing with Star Trek, so it's understandable that they think at least one character in every science fiction piece is a stand-in for Communists. Now, I haven't seen Wall-E yet. For all I know, it could be the Marxist diatribe that only crazy wingnuts, and nobody else on the planet, thinks it is. But is it really Marxist to say that garbage is bad?

I can't imagine why Jonah Goldberg and his NRO pals would be, perhaps, offended by scenes of corpulent, pasty humans in thrall to a decadent corporate lifestyle. But at least they didn't take it as far as "Dirty Harry", who you may recall from his Hollywood-hating screeds over at Libertas. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Have we lost Pixar? Have we lost the wonderful studio who brought us The Incredibles and Ratatouille to Bush Derangement Syndrome? Here you have a winning streak going back ten-years, enormous amounts of public goodwill, equal amounts of credibility as serious storytellers, and they stop things cold, yanking you out of the story with the liberal nonsense."

OK, "The Incredibles" I understand. Wingnuts read a whole Randian "the superior should be allowed to run roughshod over the inferior" subtext into the movie that wasn't there. But "Ratatouille"? How can Dirty Harry rail about the hidden liberal message of Wall-E while praising a film in which a hedonistic French rodent wins his ultimate victory over... a critic? It's as if Harry were dome kind of idiot, blinded by ideology, and still using the phrase "Bush Derangement Syndrome" to describe criticism of a man with a 23% approval rating.

Democratic candidates take note. If you are hesitant to take on the right-wing noise machine, consider wrapping a box in tinfoil and putting it on your head. That should make them completely lose their shit.