After recently watching Bambi, I worry that I may never again have an intelligent thought about man and nature. First we killed Bambi’s mother, then we shot Bambi himself, and then we burned down the forest. Every time man entered the forest somber music soared and ravens blackened the sky.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
As an antidote, my staff provided me a videotape of a recent South Park episode about a children’s glee club’s crusade to “save the rainforest!” It began with the sappy pabulum that so dominates environmental education today: kids parroting the views that “we’re bulldozing X acres per day” and “the rain forest is delicate and vital to our lives.” The teacher was a typical brain-dead liberal – a walking travelogue for the Rainforest Alliance.
But then they get to Costa Rica, find themselves in the “rainforest” (i.e. jungle) and are beset by poisonous snakes (their guide is killed off swiftly) and insurgents (the teacher immediately talks of her sympathy with these fighters against the “fascist” central powers). They are captured by “the peace-loving indigenous peoples of the rainforest” (i.e. cannibals) and are about to die when… they’re rescued by a team of American roughnecks on bulldozers who’re there to clear out the rainforest. The teacher is elated and says cut it all down.
The segment ends with a typical message of the style tacked onto the end of “educational” films: “Over two thousand people die annually in the rainforest,” “over 700 substances that cause cancer are found in the rainforest,” and finally “help us destroy the rainforest before it’s too late!”
Maybe pop culture isn’t so bad.