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Muppets Word of the Day: “Woke”

Muppets Word of the Day: “Woke”

Just when you think the political mishmash of wokeness, identity politics, cancel culture and political correctness cannot get more foolish – and even more dangerous – we get yet another example of how extreme these oppressive authoritarian concepts can get.

In case you missed the story, the folks at Disney have added a warning to the viewing of the once highly-touted kids’ educational program “The Muppets,” which has appeared for generations on our government-run public broadcasting system.  Mickey Mouse acquired Kermit the Frog in 2004.

Movies and television shows tend to reflect the zeitgeist of the times.  In the early 1900s, the new movie industry was producing films with decidedly racist imagery of Negro Americans. This culminated in the Ku Klux Klan glorification movie, “Birth of a Nation.”  The 1930s version of “Show Boat” billed a singer as a “Coon Shouter” – a white person who sings in the “Negro tradition.”  Incidentally, the song in the movie was “Can’t Help Lovin’ that Man of Mine” by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.

It is not always about race. 

Early movies depicted the wilder times of the Roaring 20’s – semi-nudity, drug use and all forms of naughty sexual behavior.  Maureen O’Sullivan swam noticeably naked with Tarzan in the 1932 episode – in case you were wondering.  And that was a children’s movie.   All that was suppressed by moral movie codes that limited the length of a kiss, no two people in the same bed, no divorces, and bad guys always lose in the end.  The Gay Divorcee, starring Fred Astaire, managed to get released just before the imposition of the code in 1934. And the word “gay” was a generation from taking on its contemporary meaning.

We often look back on historic times with amazement and shock – maybe even disgust.  But the current wave of wokeness has something in common with the movie codes of those days of yore.    They are a form of censorship.  They both are an impediment to free speech.  Basically, they deny reality. 

Today’s political correctness and identity politics is far worse than some ineffective movie code. 

It has deeply divided American society into competing – and even warring – tribes.  The wokeness of today breeds an oversensitivity that translates into oppressive political and cultural conduct.  It subjugates societal action to the level of the most easily offended – with the offensives too often the result of exaggerated interpretation or hyper-sensitivity.

Disney apparently has reviewed the past episodes of “The Muppets” with a unfocused eye of wokeness and political correctness.  Anything that remotely could offend – or be agonizingly interpreted as offensive – in The Muppets, Disney must now address with warning or banishment.

It never occurred to me– or affected my positive view – that the Disney’s Siamese cats were a slur on Asian people.  Perhaps in a fit of wokeness, we should rename the breed of cats – along with German Shepherds, French Poodles and Russian Wolfhounds.

It never occurred to me in the past.   But now that I am woke up, I take great offense to the cranky characterization of Statler and Waldorf – those two complaining old white men in the balcony.  And just think.  I once thought they were funny.

According to Disney, the past programs include “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.  These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”

At this point, Disney does not find the content so offensive that they will edit or trashcan any episodes.  “Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together,” they say.  At least that is not as base as erasing history – something the cancel culture pursues with a vengeance.

Is Miss Piggy a problem because the character is a female pig?  Is the Count’s accent an insult to eastern Europeans?  And is the garbage can-dwelling Oscar the Grouch a slander against homeless folks?

If we continue down this slippery slope of hyper-aggrievance, we may find that the only culturally acceptable entertainment from Disney will be the perpetual playing of that utterly annoying “It’s a Small World” theme song.  That is unless there is protest from the dwarf community.

For generations, Disney has been the happy escape from the realities and burdens of the world through the doors of the “magic kingdom.” 

Disney theme parks have been credibly advertised as the happiest places on earth.  But no longer.  It is just another venue to engage in intramural hostility. And to remind us that one person’s mere existence can be an offense to another.

The Disney warning on The Muppets is not just foolish.  The hypersensitivity being inbred into our citizenry is needlessly undermining the civil comity of the entire country.  We are becoming a nation of open wounds.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

14 Comments

  1. royaltones

    Can you imagine Disney going back and “purging” all of it’s “unwoke” movies? They would have to cancel Disney+!

    Reply
  2. Alan Fenstermacher

    What’s wrong with Disney? Simple answer…Bob iger and his left wing idiocy. Good thing I got to see it before he ruined it while getting paid 90 million a year.

    Reply
  3. Linde Barrera

    Excellent article and truthful, as always. I was a public school teacher in NYC for 19 years (graduated with MBA in Education and became certified in all the state exams at 45 years of age.)
    I had a great variety of students from many backgrounds and several foreign cultures. The younger students – pre-k through 2nd grade – loved The Muppets because they would talk about them at times. I loved The Muppets too and so did my own children. It is my belief that the Disney family and its head honchos feel guilt over their earned wealth, so their reaction to The Muppets is predictable.

    Reply
  4. John

    Walt Disney would be ashamed of this woke BS that as taking over his creation.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    This so absurd as to be ludicrous!! Such ‘ sensitivity’ is soo stupid!!
    Disney lost my interest when it was taken over by homosexuality and the innocence of Disney was lost.. How sad he would be to see his dreams turned to ashes with evil..😔

    Reply
  6. von Potter

    Walt must be turning over in his grave……….Seems his heirs and the people that run Disney just don’t have anything better to do than to eliminate all those puppets and animated animals because they are offensive to dirty minded people.

    Reply
  7. JC

    Can only assume Disney execs are stupid. Anybody who gets upset about titles or comments 90 years ago has a screw loose! I presume some of these idiots are upset about comments made by the cave men and women too…let’s go out and stomp the ground and throw sticks!

    Reply
  8. Lawrence Greenberg

    For those who have chosen to remain blissfully unaware and have “hidden their heads in the sand,” let me enlighten you. It is well more than 30 years now since the Disney Corporation took a hard turn to the Left. All of their productions, but especially the animated productions (never miss a chance to indoctrinate the children – the Democrats learned that from Stalin and Hitler), incorporate usually subtle, but sometimes not so subtle, Leftist indoctrination. For example, homosexuality has long been mainstreamed and is often included in animated features, and now the LGBTQ agenda is being mainstreamed as well. Keep in mind when you view Disney productions that the indoctrination is not always obvious, but rest assured it is there. And now, like the rest of the Left, Disney has declared outright war on the societal norms of Western Civilization.

    Reply
  9. VICKI R MOEN

    Wow! Watch shows like Mr. Ed, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie… Women were treated like idiots and second class citizens. Could anyone go a day without an alcoholic drink? Every home had a bar. And if you want to talk about racism look at “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” They are tauted as wonderful shows but Archie Bunker was a foul mouthed anti-black racist and Jefferson was an anti-white racist. I refused to watch either show. The commercials were enough to make me want to throw up. And don’t start on Disney. Oh my gosh! All of the animals in “The Lion King” are African not just the heyenas. And as for the sjur against Disney about step-mothers. Those stories came from Europe, he didn’t invent the characterization. We need censorship against Hollywood who likes to make entertainment as trashy and foul as they can. When a director is gleeful about making their first “R” rated movie I tell kids at school what is so wonderful about makng trash. Our world is in the state itis because of the promotion of everything smutty and evil.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    The political correct people have over stepped their bounds. Enough is enough. If you don’t stop this BS you political correct people are going to cause much unrest among us human beings. Without a doubt this will cause much unrest in our society. This is one reason why the Capital building was attacked. The congress, in my opinion has caused what happened on capital hill. I blame some members of congress that caused what happened on capital hill.
    Why you ask!!! For trying president Trump for impeachment. Not once but twice under false presences. Congress played their political games instead of looking after the best interests of the American people for which they were elected. As far as I am concerned most of these congress should be removed from office . What a waste of our tax payers money.

    Reply
  11. neil

    Thank you

    Reply
  12. Pedge12

    Enough is enough! This country has a history; times change and the way we live changes. Children no longer learn about the history of this country because the far left want to do away with our history, no matter what had gone on over time. So, the leftists/socialists/marxists/communists who want to run this country down since there are others who do NOT agree with their way of “conducting business”. They want everything erased from this country and all that has made it a country. So, I say to them, if you do not like this country, NO ONE is keeping you here. Go find an empty island, move there and start your own government. As far as Disney, get a backbone and stand up to these sickening people. You cannot erase the past and it should not be erased. The “Muppets” teaches the kiddos, so continue what you are doing. However, it has to be done tastefully and do not do the “it’s in your face” way of conducting business the way the leftists, etc. want you to do it. Thank you for being there for our kiddos.

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Oscar is cute despite his grouchy ness. Why are people dissecting his presence? It’s for kids an

    Reply

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