Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Disney at Peak Propaganda

It's generally taken for granted by most Christians and social conservatives that, when it comes to culture, Hollywood is a cesspool of liberalism and degeneracy which functions as the de facto propaganda wing of the secular state. Much of its messaging, especially as it appears in children shows and films, is subtle enough that many tend not to notice it and dismiss conservative concerns as paranoia. With Disney's Zootopia, the mask is off.

From the first frame to the last, the film advances from one liberal conceit to another without bothering to cloak its overt agenda.

Beginning with an account of the historical advance of society from primitive and savage times, when predators devoured prey and the animal kingdom was ruled by primal instincts, to modern animal times when predator and prey, having "evolved", live together in peace and harmony, the film traffics heavily in liberal mythology. From the opening scene, one is already immersed in an animal version of Whig history

To make matters worse, in the same scene a sheep with a rainbow on its head (clearly representing the LGBT community) appears and declares that, thanks to this advance from savage primal days to the days of reason, he no longer lives in fear of "coming out" from among the flock. The hetero reign of tyranny that is western civilization, in which aberrant sexualities have always been violently suppressed, is just an obvious truth. As obvious as the good of promoting the expression of said sexualities without any objection or reservation (which would be bigotry).

From there we encounter a common theme in Disney films, as our young, idealistic, protagonist female bunny, Judy Hopps, feels stifled by her hick-farmer parents, their rural life, and traditional values. From Ariel to Jasmine to Merida, petulant adolescent rebellion against parental authority and the wisdom of tradition has been a staple of the Disney animated film genre for a long time. It rears its ugly head again here, as the film openly mocks traditional ways of life -- represented by the carrot-farmer parents -- as closed-minded and "fearful." In contrast to this, the young protagonist's cosmopolitan adventurism is portrayed as a healthy rejection of her parent's way of life, and probably the only genuine way to live.

Following the motto of Zootopia (the large animal city, where predator and prey live and work together in blissful accord), a place where "Anyone Can Be Anything!", the young female bunny Judy heads off to the big city in order to become a police(wo)man, providing yet another example of the "strong female character" taking on a characteristically male career. 

Don't ask whether there are sensible reasons certain professions, like police officer, firefighter, and coal miner, are male dominated, while others are dominated by women. Assume with us, won't you, that it's the patriarchy oppressing strong women everywhere, forcing them into submission as pitiable domestic slaves. Also assume that there are no such things as characteristically male and female traits, virtues, skills, and weaknesses. Such thoughts must not be spoken here.

As we will see later, the film isn't presenting the city's exceptionally naive motto ("Anyone can be Anything!") as absolutely true, but the later circumspection merely modifies, rather than contradicts, the basic message which the motto represents. The self-esteem movement has created a generation of dysfunctional narcissists, yet cultural elites still refuse to abandon its fundamental conceit. Namely, that everyone is a special snowflake whose desires society should cater to and aim to fulfill.

Once in the big city, Judy observes an event in which a business owner (an elephant, which I'm sure just coincidentally corresponds to the animal which represents the GOP) denies service to a customer, citing his "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone" sign. Appalled by the sight of a business owner exercising his right of free association in business, our heroine -- while she doesn't pass a law that would force him to bake the cake (it's actually ice cream) -- threatens him with legal action on an unrelated matter, effectively pressuring him into serving the customer. Cultural cronyism at work. 

If that weren't preachy and condescending enough, in the very same scene a young fox thinks he is an elephant, a delusion for which he receives fawning adulation from surrounding adults. Trans-speciesism among children is something to be encouraged in Zootopia, let there be no doubt.

Crowning the suite of liberal propaganda points, certain predators in Zootopia (and only predators) have begun to "go savage", seemingly reverting to their bloodthirsty nature. Judy posits a biological explanation for why it is only predators going savage, and not prey. Her fox friend, a predator, is appalled by her speciesism, and the harmony of Zootopia subsequently devolves into inter-special resentment and distrust thanks to our heroine's Islamophob-- er, predatoraphobic bigotry. At this point I looked up the writing credits for the film, expecting to find Angela Merkel or Justin Trudeau. 

But fear not. Judy dutifully repents of her bigotry, genuflecting deeply before those she has offended -- even though her conclusion was eminently justified by all available evidence. But following the evidence is not always the preferred course of action, and can be misleading, as we later find out. It turns out that the fact it was only predators "going savage" was the result of a giant conspiracy! Prey can "go savage" too! Lesson learned: no matter how much reason and evidence point in a particular direction, there's always a more convoluted explanation which will account for less, but which nevertheless is in accord with liberal dogma. Think: "global warming is the primary cause of terrorism."

In a last-ditch and halfhearted attempt to moderate the film's liberal extremism, the closing monologue injects a dose of faux humility. Recognizing the Zootopian motto of "Anyone Can Be Anything!" to be overly idealistic, due to various weaknesses of animal nature (weaknesses like tradition and conservatism), the film trades 20th century leftist utopianism for a duly chastened 21st century liberalism. Utopia may not be possible as a destination (due to intractable reactionary forces forever opposing 'progress'), but as a goal, a steady advance towards utopia, along with a continual eradication of backwards-thinking conservatives and their ideology, is still always worth pursuing.

Christians and conservatives have never mistaken Hollywood for a friend, to our credit. The next step is recognizing it as the openly hostile enemy, the savage beast out to devour our children, that it plainly is.

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