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The Decline of Western Childhood: Gisele as the Brave New “Captain Planet”

Posted on December 24 2010 10:00 am
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In the classic 1957 Sci-Fi film The Monolith Monsters, a meteor hits the earth and explodes, scattering strange, rock-like fragments far and wide around its impact crater.  Those fragments then become activated by contact with water and grow into gigantic towering megaliths which then topple over, only to begin growing again as long as water is present.  So long as there is rain or an underground water supply, they continue to grow, fall, shatter, and grow again, destroying everything in their path (and fusing human tissue into a stone-like substance).

Few better symbols for the manner in which old leftist ideas rise, fall, and then rise again from the rubble of their own intellectual and moral failure, could be found to describe the phenomenon of modern environmentalism. Indeed, even as Mikhail Gorbachev created Green Cross International from the ruins of the Berlin Wall, thus forming a new green Monolith Monster from the rubble of the fallen red one, so to has the Left reoriented itself around the world, trading its sickle and hammer for misty rainforests and snow capped peaks. The environmental Left, already prominent in American culture for a generation, began its own new rise to teetering heights, spawning countless pop cultural propaganda efforts, including literary ones, aimed not only at adults, but at children perhaps most especially.

December 7 saw the premier on AOL Kids of Gisele and The Green Team, starring the cartoon image of Brazilian supermodel and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen.  The show resurrects the most nauseating aspects of Ted Turner’s notorious Captain Planet and the Planateers and aims its deeply ideological content at the innocent, uncritical, unsophisticated, but imaginative and easily influenced minds of children.

Does Gisele and her Green Team fight for “truth, justice, and the American way” as Superman once did?  Hardly.  The Green Team’s mission is, as one might surmise, to “save the planet.”  But save it from what?  From evil super villains?  From marauding space aliens?  From scheming Islamofascists?

No, the Green Team is out to save the planet from…us.  You know who I mean.  The earth needs to be protected from free market economic relations, property rights, profit making businesses, entrepreneurs, our high living standards, modern industry, and, in general, western civilization.

The titles of the few episodes that have premiered thus far tell us much regarding its orientation.  Episode 1, The Case of the Lawless Logger, episode 2, The Case of the Illicit Arsenic, and episode 3, The Case of the Creeping Development, provide us a glimpse into the mentalities that stand behind the shows concept and intentions.

A look at episode one is quite instructive, as we begin the standard intro with Gisele stepping from a white stretch limo (perquisites of the Ruling Class, it must be assumed) onto a red carpet as floodlights fill the night sky and our feminist eco-warrior strides confidently toward what appears to be a star studded fashion show.  Later in a small downtown boutique, as some of her socially conscious, upper class friends discuss the work day, an urgent call comes in on a wall monitor informing the girls that an evil, greedy, (insert traditional leftist excoriations here) corporate suit named Nick Slick is at it again, “carelessly clearcutting the forest, destroying habitat, leaving the mountain vulnerable to erosion and landslides.”

The Green Team arrives in a forest in British Columbia only to find a sea of stumps and barren soil.  “This is terrible,” one says, as they observe hard working people creating wealth, supplying others with the raw materials out of which homes, furniture, tools, and countless other useful things are made, and feeding their families.  “Worse even then I imagined.”

Woo Li uses here “foresight power” to see the future, in which rainstorms, pouring onto the denuded mountainside, create catastrophic floods, bringing destruction to innocent people sleeping in their homes (as if massive floods, mudslides, and other similar natural phenomena have never, and would never happen, were it not for man’s industrial activities in harvesting wood).

The team then begins a kind of eco-superhero “monkeywrenching” battle (something many radical environmentalists will be well acquainted with) with the burly, thick necked loggers, destroying their equipment and hurling loggers face-first into the ground.

The writers, apparently quite unaware that logging companies typically plant up to 20 trees for each tree cut, depict the Green Team taking it upon themselves to plant seedlings around the forlorn stumps (which are in reality quite adept in their own right in producing new trees) after capitalist exploiter Nick Slick departs the scene in a black helicopter.

Gisele herself describes the purpose of the series as one of a kind of eco-feminist consciousness raising for young girls:

“There is a vital connection between empowering our youth and protecting our planet. With Gisele & the Green Team, we hope to not only teach young girls about important environmental issues, but support them in building self-confidence and discovering their inner potential”

Truth, justice, and the American way? Anything but.

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