Friday, 31 July 2009

Hilariously Unintentional Moral Dilemmas in Childrens Films

I’ve been told I over analyse films, but sometimes it has to be done otherwise people just accept blatantly ridiculous things. Just because these films are aimed at the unquestioning masses, to be pumped via television screens into the pure, unblemished minds of children, there is a belief that as long as the film contains some kind of moral to it, no matter how garbled and utterly ridiculous the message is, then it doesn't matter. It is a wonder that as adults we stumble along and manage to make do with our minds which have been warped into unthinking machines by the horribly ill thought out choices made by our childhood heroes.

Mary Poppins

We shall start with Mary Poppins, a beloved, exploration into the luridly coloured, cockney populated, clean streets of what Disney interpreted to be Edwardian London. There are many questions which I subconciously ask myself whilst watching this film, but more often than not the first one which springs to mind is: What the hell? First of all, what is Mary Poppins? She flew in on an umbrella, can make objects fly around the room, make chalk drawings come alive, and no one questions this? Oh, she’s just Mary Poppins, she can do that. No, well I’m sorry that’s not good enough, I want answers. Furthermore, the boat house across the road that blasts off a canon which makes the whole house shake every hour to the extent that everyone occupying the house has to run around like madmen to make sure the furniture doesn’t fall over. Why do the characters accept this as well? The first few times that happened I would be banging down the door of that boat house and say ‘excuse me, it seems your boat house is emitting loud noises which make my house shake violently, it’s very disruptive, would you mind awfully if you could stop firing a canon every hour in the middle of a residential area?’ Then if it kept going, I would have a for sale sign outside my house and I would frickin' move. These people are morons, I just can’t fathom why would you put up with this?

So what did this teach us as children?
When a peculiar stranger arrives at your house with mysterious, unexplained powers and promising to make all your dreams come true, you must invite her in without hesitation and entrust her to look after your children. She is probably not a con-artist/she-demon. Also, when dealing with neighbours, tolerance is a virtue; no matter how much they make your life a living hell with their boat horn.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Then of course there is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the brilliant childrens book by the late Roald Dahl. Yes, Dahl wasn't exactly known as a shining paragon of morality, his books more often than not dealt with fantastic worlds and nonsensical beasts. Yet, brilliant as the movie version is, I can't help but notice the glaring injustice towards poor Charlies mother and the outright laziness of Charlies grandad. What a lazy bastard. He lay in bed for the best part of ten years, watching Charlie’s mother toil all day long, and then at the prospect of being shown round a chocolate factory he just springs right out of bed. “What’s that Charlie? You’re going to a chocolate factory? Jesus Christ, you mean something good actually happened to this crappy family? Well, you know I can actually walk I just chose not to. But for all the chocolate I can eat. Well Jesus, I’ll even do a song and dance montage for you.” And no one questions this. Now, if I was Charlie’s mum I’d be thinking ‘What the hell? You lazy sod, you’ve been lying in bed for ten years. I’ve been working my arse off and singing terrible, miserable songs when all along you could walk??? Maybe I wanted to go to that chocolate factory. Maybe I wanted a day off from toiling away in that laundry. But no, you can walk now? Oh well that’s just fantastic? Can any of the rest of you walk as well?”

So, what did this teach us as children?
Now this is one I really took to heart, that it is ok to be shockingly lazy and watch everyone else do the work whilst you lie in bed, because one day you will be rewarded by getting the chance to visit a chocolate factory. Whereas, if you are stupid enough to toil away all day, then guess what? You'll still be sweating and toiling whilst everyone else gets to visit a goddamn chocolate factory.

Beauty and the Beast

Then there’s beauty and the beast. Ok, I understand the beast was a bastard, he left that old lady out in the cold and his very being was cursed yada yada. But surely this witch was even worse, she turned all his servants into furniture, now what did they have to do with it? Talk about going too far. Seriously, if I was working at that castle I’d be onto the accursed domestic servant union right away. I wouldn’t take that crap. But the servants are all just like ‘ahh well, looks like I’m going to be furniture for the next hundred years or so. FML.’ If my boss, did something which resulted in me having to possibly spend eternity as a tea cup, I would not be happy. I would not be serving him food, I would not be tending to his every need. If anything I would go out of my way to make life as uncomfortable as possible for him, ‘so, what are you going to do? Smash me? I don’t care, in fact I want you to smash me. I would love you to smash me, it’s better than spending the rest of eternity as a frickin tea cup. Do you know the last time I had sex? No, neither do I. Seeing as I no longer have any genitalia instead I just get molested by a horny candle stick. Thanks a lot.” Then there’s the opening scene with Belle wandering through town reading a book, and everyone singing about how peculiar she is, for reading a book. Right. So they feel the need to collectively compose a song about how strange she is, because she reads books. Well all I can say is that I grew up in Milton Keynes and I know exactly how that one feels.

What this taught us as children:

Don't read books in public or the whole town will burst into elaborate musical numbers about how 'peculiar' you are. Oh, and also don't work for a shit boss or you'll spend the rest of eternity as his furniture...hmm, maybe that is the only good message in all of this.

People who do DIY before 9am

To loosely quote the great Stuart Griffin 'It's not that I want them to die, I just don't want them to live anymore.' That is precisely how I feel about this collection of people, who I am unfortunately reminded at random intervals that I share a planet with. It's easy to forget, after all being a student I am often blissfully asleep until noon and then either immersed in books/TV/video games/porn during the day time. Once evening rolls around I am normally blind, staggering drunk, and coming across the other people I share oxygen with is done in a wonderful, drunken haze where I remember none of their irritating features the next morning. Yet there are occasions where this system is sadly broken and I come across these people with a heart-breaking plummet into the filthy, dick-ridden reality of life.

This is the first in the series of people who have committed the inexcusable crime of being irksome.

haha! I can operate six tools at once with my many arms. Try and sleep now motherfucker!

I don't know why I find this so peculiarly annoying, oh wait, silly me I've just gone and told an utter barefaced lie. I know exactly why I find this so mind-exfoliatingly irritating. It is, because like a lot of people with nothing better to do, I like to sleep in the morning. I have no children screaming at me to make them gruel (or whatever it is the kids are eating nowadays), I have no job to rush out to, no hobbies which require me to set out in the dark and no great desire to watch the serene pink and yellow glow of the sunrise unless it's on my Planet Earth box set. Not to mention, when your life is as utterly devoid of goals or excitement as mine is and you realise each morning with a teary-eyed sigh that you have just lived the best years of your life, well then dreaming is just about the only activity I enjoy. And, after years of fastidious research I can tell you with authority that the best dreams occur in the morning. So then, to be woken up from my peaceful slumber in a blissful chocolate coated fantasy land, to the sound of a pisswad using a pneumatic drill slowly chiselling away what is left of my gingerbread cottage, well I get slightly and understandably pissy.

nooooo....not the Gingerbread house!!!!!

Try as I might, I just cannot fathom any reason for it. What is so dream-destroyingly urgent that you must manhandle heavy, noisy and smelly tools and machinery outside my window? Is anyone going to die if you don't fix that shelving unit in your dining room before 9am? If you manage to finish mowing your lawn before breakfast time are you going to discover the cure for cancer? No. Of course not, there are many, many more hours of the day in which to piss me off and at those times I will be well and truly immersed in some other noise making activity of my own and so won't give half a toss about your whiny Black and Decker drill. Just give me the morning, please. Those leaves on your driveway aren't going to multiply out of control just because you decided to sit down and have an extra slice of toast instead of blow the shit out of them with a glorified hair dryer. So, please I beg of you, it can wait. By hammer and nails and chocolate coated, rivers of fudge sauce, it can wait.


Just a few words and phrases I’m very bored of:

Global warming


Swine Flu

Binge Drinking


Teen Pregnancy

The internet (and all associated slang)

Pentapeptides/pro-tensium/bullshit chemicals associated with the beauty industry



Cancer is caused by…

Ho-hum, another day another media induced public hysteria.

Everything annoys me, and the problem is I'm not the kind of person who knows what to do about it, and in the ever lasting cycle of things which are annoying...that annoys me too.

I hate being a target market, and existing in a world where my thoughts aren't important because everyone, every single person on this earth is told that their thoughts are important and then you have to strive to be heard amongst the roar of humanity just telling us what they think or want to sell you.

No one listens to each other, no one understands each other because each conversation is just another opportunity to ram your thoughts and ideas down someone else’s throat. And you can can pretend to, at least for a while but then you just get the urge to get up on a soap-box and go on to write about stuff that isn't really important but you don't know what else to do with your time since they took away factory work and books.

And then you get people who listen to you, but they just don't get you. And you realise you can scream your thoughts out until your lungs implode and you get given numerous ASBO's but the people who you want to hear you never will. So why bother.

There is only one world, and 6 billion people and rising inhabiting do the maths, this world is never going to satisfy everyone. And the laws of pretty much everything are completely against you having everything you want.

I hate films and the media taking away my personal ideologies and making them their own, they were my own private little world and now you get an audience of morons trying to interpret it with inappropriate quotes and endless devotion. What happened to those little sacred what-if's that you have to yourself as you try to understand the world? The next thing you know that little what-if is a box-office hit starring some rail-thin model and some egotistical shit who lives in a mansion in Beverley Hills.

I'll be driving around in my car, watching the fumes belching out of the car in front of me wondering why I'm not out there exercising. Why don't we cycle everywhere like they do in other countries, or ride horses across vast landscapes like the heroes of old? Well no. I'm stuck in a P reg Nissan Micra, wondering what it feels like to have the wind in my hair.

Sometimes I just want to smash things as well, or I don't know go somewhere, where living means living. Not this homogenised, sanitised bull shit we call life. No wonder everyone invents problems nowadays or spend hours on Myspace, it’s because everyone is so fucking bored. And not just a little bit bored; really, really bored. So bored that the thought of making it to ninety fills you with dread.

You know making it to 80-90 years old, really used to mean something. It meant you'd survived wars, plagues, famines and everything else life threw at you. Now it just means you've managed to survive whatever drugs and chemicals they pump you full of and that you didn't get too bored along the way. Because boredom is the most dangerous thing of all…

Boredom = chavs on the streets so bored that vandalism seems an acceptable use of time, people eating themselves to obesity, people ignoring other people as though they are nothing more than ghosts on the streets, people inventing problems and spending hours watching TV and playing video games. Hell, I'm guilty too.

But the thing is, they've got us into this state that’s really easy to control. Apathy. It's easily the worst thing that’s happened to man kind, we've stopped caring. What do we have to fight for when we have everything we want?
And the apathy means that even the causes which deserve our attention are pushed to the back of our minds whilst we stuff our faces with junk food and watch reality TV shows. Is it really surprising that the words 'cause' and 'issue' have become the most irritating couple of words in the English language? We have come to associate them with smug pricks who bother us at work, on the streets and increasingly in our own homes with their irritating slogans and self-satisfied demeanours.

"Come on, mate. It's for a good cause!"

"This is one of the biggest issues affecting the world today."

They are the self proclaimed, modern day Christ figures who have come to warn us devil-scum people of the error of our ways. And yet, the greatest irony of all is that no matter how many signatures, pennies or pocket-fluff they collect, they will never change a damn thing more than you have by just sitting on your arse.

And no matter what it is that you care about in this life, it’s not going to mean a single thing to anyone unless it's attached to money/power/sex and that is the human condition. So read this if you want, try and understand if you feel so inclined but at the end of the day it doesn't amount to anything.

They're just words....words in a world flooded by them.