Today’s big controversy is the cartoon produced by the California Federation of Teachers and narrated by actor Ed Asner. It’s called Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, and it contains all the wit and charm you would expect from a video produced by a team of CFT apparatchiki. One scene receiving the most attention depicts the rich urinating on the poor during an explanation of trickle-down economics. Get it? Trickle down? Oscar Wilde would be green with envy. But when you get a mention in The Hollywood Reporter, I guess you’ve accomplished your mission.
I’m afraid I can’t join the Chorus of the Outraged. The last foray into animation by a teachers’ union occurred in 2006, and back then I illustrated the dangers of getting too worked up by a cartoon that skewers your sacred cows.
The cartoon bills itself as a fairy tale. And fairy tales are stories we tell to children before they’re old enough to understand all the nuances of the world – like perhaps that not all of the rich are on Wall Street, but some of them actually live in big houses in Hollywood and benefit from corporate tax loopholes backed by labor unions.
So rather than scream and rage at CFT and its cartoon, let’s emulate Capt. Lloyd M. Bucher of the USS Pueblo. We paean CFT and its cartoon.