Thursday, February 02, 2006

EASY MONEY. As we have previously observed, conservative culture cops have gotten comfy reviewing films they haven't even seen, so why shouldn't National Review's John J. Miller pick up an easy extra buck at OpinionJournal reviewing the unreleased Curious George movie?

He actually does okay for a while, poking around the famed monkey's biographical data, but Miller knows he has to get to the right-wing money shot sometime, so about halfway down he tells us that "the first book (Curious George) violates our modern codes of political correctness," implying that the film, being a product of Hollyweird, has corrrr-rected that. And those trained to heed the PC dog-whistle lean forward, expecting news of some absurd liberal whitewash.

But Miller reports that, based on his close reading of the movie's trailer, while the original Man in the Yellow Hat was "a gun-toting poacher" who kidnapped George from his African home, he is now "an unarmed naturalist." Also, movie George does not smoke and drink, as did first-book George.

At this point even conservative parents are probably scratching their heads, thinking, Gee, we hates us some goddamn librul PC, but do we really want little Ayn and Whittaker to admire poachers and a cute little monkey who smokes and drinks? It is a children's movie, after all.

"Perhaps these revisions are an acceptable bowdlerization," admits Miller. Realizing with horror that he has hundreds of words to go, he casts about for ways to hurl George at liberal heads. The best he can do is, "Today's Hollywood probably would be more comfortable making the Man in the Yellow Hat an out-and-proud homosexual than an exploiter of the animal kingdom," before concluding that Hollywood shouldn't fool around too much with the classics. How I wish I could show this garbage to the ghosts of Hazlitt and Dryden, and then, after they had stopped whirling and asking God why they had been flung into Hell, arm them with billy clubs (or, failing that, pen and ink), so they could express to Miller their feelings about the perversions he has performed on the art of criticism.

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