Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sometimes a Smurf is Just a Good Smoke

Reviving a truly sad academic theory from the 1980's, normally kicked around by undergrads desperate for a subject to write about, it has returned. Strangely enough, having mocked it a few times here is usually sufficient to eliminate it from the zeitgeist:

"The workers own all the capital equally, and there is no upper class of owners/capitalists to oppress them," wrote Mr. Schmidt, author of the book "Secrets of Pop Culture," in an email. "Unlike real-life Marxist countries, the Smurfs managed this feat without resorting to totalitarianism or repressing personal freedom, so it is a utopia."
In other words: Smurfs = the happy proletariat, Gargamel = USA

Yep. You read that right. It does betray some of the modern delusion people have about real, living socialism, which assumes that it's a caring, therapeutic sort of society. It wasn't and it isn't.

It held and holds rather bluntly that if you don't work, you don't eat. The ankle-biting modern promoters of "that other way" seem in large part to be allergic to the first half of that dictum.

The pedantic lifelessness of the argument wasn't enough to stop a Parisian academic, seemingly as desperate for a subject to write about as those undergrads of old.
All of the above was more than enough fodder for Parisian academic Antoine Bueno, who in June published a treatise on the topic, the aptly named "Little Blue Book." In its 250 pages, the 33-year-old university lecturer argued that Smurf society represents a "totalitarian utopia drenched in Stalinism"; in subsequent interviews, he claimed the Smurfs also were racist, and that Gargamel was an anti-Semitic caricature.
Not to mention the reaction of the "therapeutic culture":
The same Smurf fans who approved of a 2005 UNICEF television ad that depicted the Smurf village being bombed by fighter jets - the better to raise money for ex-child soldiers in Africa - called Mr. Bueno's book a disgrace. Thierry Culliford, son of the deceased Smurfs creator, called the author's take "grotesque."
Are we getting carried away here? No, the line of thought that believes that an animated feature about an anatomically incorrect panda says something about geopolitical theory has:
In his YouTube video, Mr. Topham does Mr. Bueno one better, noting widespread Internet belief that "Smurf" is an acronym for "Socialist Men Under Red Father."
And yet it the majority of humans who are told that they suffer from "false consciousness" by neo-coms and "scholars" looking anywhere and everywhere for affirmation of their ideas.
Two years ago, a Canadian professor was ridiculed for writing that Thomas the Tank Engine propagated a sexist, ultraconservative ideology. As opposed to being, well, a smiling choo-choo train.
For heaven's sake, how much more proof do you need? Isn't it obvious that Thomas the Tank Engine is an unwitting shill of the conspiratorial patriarchy rubbing their handlebar moustaches as they gurgle in glee?