Someone left a copy of The Hun on the tram I caught home from the trivia quiz last night. With no better reading material on hand, I decided to dip into the comics pages, then succumbed to the temptation to check out whether accidental humorist Andrew Bolt had written anything new. I wasn't disappointed.
In his latest column, Andrew once more takes up the cudgels on behalf of impressionable young minds. This time the object of his ire is the Pixar Film Finding Nemo, in particular:
the too-easy, no-pain, nature-worshipping New Age-ism being pushed by this hit animation.
There's plenty more where that came from, including enough coverage of the film's major plot points to ensure that Bolt's readers won't be unpleasantly shocked, or even surprised, by the way the story unfolds when they take their own rug-rats along to see this insidious little piece of greenie/vegetarian agitprop.
Here's the challenge: check out Bolt's article and write a plot synopsis for a responsible version of Finding Nemo which avoids the errors Bolt identifies in his article:
For many viewers, these messages in Finding Nemo -- that humans are vile but nature noble, that killing is always wrong, that eating meat is mean, and that parents should ease up with the rules -- will seem very true, or at least harmless.
Harmless? How harmless is it for children to be taught a morality that is so impractical or shallow that it soon becomes a game of pretend?
You might, for example, decide that barramundi, tuna or dolphins would be more appropriate villains for the film than sharks. Where you go with the narrative is up to you, as long as you send the right messages about parental responsibility, filial obedience and the need to face up to life's hard choices. I can't offer a valuable prize, or even cumulative points in one of those on-line writing challenges so all there is in it for you is a bit of fun and the kudos of a link from Tug Boat Potemkin. And we all know what that's worth.
Afterthought: if I were still doing "Snob of the Week", this article of Bolt's would be a shoo-in.