Movies

Critics: Annie's Blatant FDR Revisionism Doesn't Go Nearly Far Enough!

|

My daughter loved it, anyway. |||

The latest cinematic adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical hit Annie wastes no time at all kicking sand into the eyeballs of the title character's creator, the newspaper comic-strip legend Harold Gray.

The film begins with a head-faking close-up of an orange-haired, freckled-faced moppet named Annie punctuating an upbeat classroom report on William Henry Harrison with a little soft-shoe ta-da, as her New York City public schoolmates roll their eyes. Then a more contemporary-looking girl named Annie B. heads up to the front of the class and the center of the film. But this is not the insult in question.

No, what would enrage Harold Gray is what comes next—arguably the most succinctly awful encomium to the New Deal in Hollywood history. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president, Annie informs us in her interactive, percussive presentation, almost everybody was poor. "Pretty much just like now, but without the Internet." (Pretty much! Except without the bread lines, the 15% unemployment for a decade, the absence of stuff like air conditioning, etc.)

To illustrate her point, the plucky tyke then divides the class between rich and poor, with only the front row representing the haughty moneyed types who thought they were smarter and better than the foot-stomping masses of poors behind them. Thankfully, as Annie demonstrates by high-fiving her comrades from the 99%, FDR triumphed over the grumpy fatcats, gave jobs and money to the people, and everything got better. Why, when the poor were finally allowed to have their fair share, even the rich got richer!

It's not just that this bowdlerized version of the 1930s would trigger apoplexy among narrative-challenging economic historians such as Amity Shlaes (to the extent that they care about the classroom spoutings of fictional pre-teens, of course). But as comics nerds and old free-market hands could tell you, Harold Gray was the exact opposite of an FDR cheerleader.

Little Orphan Annie, which ran under Gray's hand from 1924 to his death in 1968, "was…one of the few popular voices raised in opposition to the New Deal," Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty recalled in 2009. And Gray's opinion of FDR was brutal: "I…have despised Roosevelt and his socialist, or creeping communist, policies since 1932, and said so in my stuff, so far as I was allowed to do so," he once wrote.

People totally act like this is normal. |||

Writer/director Will Gluck is not the author of Gray's reinvented New Deal politics, of course. That honor lies chiefly with the Broadway-Annie book-writer Thomas Meehan, who, in the approving words of theater critic Lucy Komisar, managed to turn "a right-wing, anti-union story by a conservative free-enterpriser who hated Roosevelt into a pro-New Deal musical where FDR has a cameo role." (Quite a bit more than a cameo, actually: As fans of the musical and 1982 John Huston movie can attest, the president basically kickstarts the New Deal thanks to Annie's successful lobbying efforts on a reluctant Daddy Warbucks, and the three join together in celebratory song.)

To wrap your head around the enormity of the ideological switcheroo between Depression-era Little Orphan Annie and the musical four decades later, imagine someone in 2014 making a Broadway hit about Doonesbury with show-stopping numbers in which Richard Nixon would wrap his arms around Zonker and sing the praises of the Silent Majority. It's that blatant.

What's interesting in the 2014 experience, aside from the usual pleasures of watching anti-1% lectures financed by Jay-Z and Will Smith, is that a slew of critics are zooming right over the perversion of Harold Gray's artistic intent, and instead complaining that Gluck's update on class warfare did not go nearly far enough.

"Considering this musical has its roots in Depression-era American, Gluck's contemporary take on the material is eerily lacking in observations about the rich/poor divide in this country," lamented Christian Science Monitor critic Peter Rainer. The New York Times' A.O. Scott, after praising how the original musical "made room for Roosevelt and ended on a note of harmony between government and private enterprise," complained that "This 'Annie,' moving the story out of the '30s and into a smoothed-over version of the economically anxious, politically polarized present, gives Roosevelt a brief shout-out and then flees from any implication of historical or social relevance." Even Variety expressed regret over the C-word, with Ronnie Scheib averring that "Only David Zayas' turn as Miss Hannigan's eternally ignored but defiantly working-class suitor brings a believable if simplistic sense of class division to the film."

(It should be added that the lovable Zayas character also drafts Annie into committing the crime of changing the expiration dates on milk cartons, a lapse in ethics that my six-year-old found shocking. [Bonus fun fact: Did you know that milk-carton sell-by dates were reportedly the brainchild of another Depression-era character, Al Capone?])

Nope, not creepy at all! |||

Gluck thought he was demonstrating political virtue with the FDR opening; as he explained to Time's Lily Rothman, "The one thing I wanted to keep is the socioeconomic divide of the Depression, which sadly has even gotten bigger now and sadly is not going away." But by eschewing any of New York's ample supply of real-world squalor, and ignoring the inequal application of justice (fueled by messed-up government incentives), Annie's latest interpreter was left with little more than some standard-issue corporation-bashing—the real danger to our privacy, one character informs us, comes not from government but from cellphone companies—and that unconvincing soliloquy at the start.

"Annie does not inspire the President to believe that there really are plenty of shovel-ready stimulus projects out there," Rothman laments, tongue I hope at least partly in cheek. "[T]he audience doesn't come away singing a song about Obamacare."

But maybe we should all ease up on the ideological litmus tests here. No person of healthy mind truly wishes to see a song-and-dance routine about a national health care system, unless maybe they're British. Encasing cultural works in ideological or artistic amber is a recipe for irrelevance if not extinction; you don't hear many libertarians complaining that Captain America has evolved into an acerbic critic of the U.S.-led surveillance state, nor do all but the most joyless of music fans decry what Jeff Buckley did to Leonard Cohen or Elvis to Big Boy Crudup.

And if Spike Lee couldn't bring himself to portray the grim edges of ghetto life in a race-riot film about 1980s New York, we might be asking a bit much for a 2014 version of a beloved children's musical from the director of Friends With Benefits. As A.O. Scott grudgingly acknowledges, "I suppose a family entertainment needs to play it safe and avoid inflaming any public sensitivities."

Of course, if Hollywood's armchair Occupiers really wanted to inflame sensitivities, they'd be agitating for a version of Annie that openly reflected the iconoclastic politics of her creator. But we are probably all better off that producers of commercial entertainments, whether they be cartoons or movies, give first priority to the qualities Brian Doherty once hailed in Harold Gray's original strip: "lively and vibrant storytelling skills, …vivid characters, and…celebration of the timeless virtues of optimism, love, and pluck."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

197 responses to “Critics: Annie's Blatant FDR Revisionism Doesn't Go Nearly Far Enough!

  1. Maybe it’s an attempt to discredit Roosevelt’s New Deal policies by forever linking them to the 2014 adaptation of Annie?

  2. The only interesting thing about Annie was the politics of the story and strip. If you strip that away, it is just a boring poor kid makes good story.

  3. Thanks for the review. I liked the original Annie with carol brunette, but now I know I can skip this one.

    1. The more you know.

      Glad I read this too. Thought my kids might like it after seeing previews, now off to the salt mines for the little layabouts.

      Great takedown of FDR as well by Gray

      1. Oh you are just beging for a “the more you know” sub-thread.

        1. Hey, I did just learn something new by reading this, but tell me more!

    2. I preferred Carol blonde.

  4. The best part is when the Asian kids get interned.

    1. Okay, now that is funny.

      I guess the part about the black man getting syphilis was cut because it would have gotten the film an R rating.

    2. Eh, I preferred the scene where Daddy Warbucks proposed that he should have the ability to add a new member to his corporate board for every one over 70.

  5. And how the hell does an orphan foster kid have a Shiba Inu, which run about a thousand dollars a puppy these days?

    Why isn’t the SPCA and PETA all over them for making Sandy into an expensive pure bred rather than a mutt rescue dog?

    1. Product placement. I blame the Shiba Inu Industrial Comlex (SIIC).

      1. The evil little bastards are so cute they are going to wind up ruling the world.

      2. Seems like the SIIC has beaten out the PIC (Pug Industrial Complex) that was dominant in the 90’s.

        1. It is because the Shiba Inus are cuter Kristen. Come on, you know its true.

          1. You’re a monster. MONSTER!

  6. And Sandy is not just no longer a mutt, but a hipster. Its the douge dog.

    1. Much laughter. So politics.

  7. Target under fire for promoting its Annie clothing range with white models – when the new lead actress is black

    Target launched a new kids clothing collection in August to coincide with the release of Annie, a film starring African American actress Quvenzhan? Wallis
    A Change.org petition has taken issue with Target’s use of predominantly white models to promote the clothing in-store
    More than 3,000 people have signed the petition, which calls for the ads to be removed and an apology to be issued to Quvenzhan?, 11
    In a statement made to Daily Mail Online, Target said its idea to use Quvenzhan? herself in the campaign ‘did not come to fruition’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem…..range.html

    1. Its the RACIST!! Every little white girl should want to grow up to be a little black girl. Didn’t you know that?

      1. Her mother should also be obligated to name her Lakeesha, or something with an ‘eesha’ on the end.

        1. Now you’re being racist against the little black girls whose names end in ‘-zhane’.

          1. How come nobody pointed out remaking the movie as black annie?

            surely if using white models for a black annie is wrong, even more so using a black child for the leading role of a story of a white kid.

            More racial double-standards at the expense of whites.

    2. Fucking Target, that bastion of white male privilege.

    3. Time out. So people were talking about how horrible it would be for anyone to argue that Annie should be white (which is true) but once Annie is played by a black person she’s never allowed to be white again?

      So a white character can be played by a black actor and that’s progress but if a black character that was originally a white character is later played by a white person it’s evidence of racism.

      My head hurts.

      1. Yes. It is all about white people who hate themselves. A good chunk of the Social Justice Warrior Agenda is nothing but an expression of a deep self loathing on the part of the SJWs.

        1. In fairness, I loathe them too. Hard not too.

          1. Yeah. If I were Amanda Marcotte or some douche bag writing at Gawker, I would hate myself too. So there is that.

            1. No, only people who are capable of self-awareness are capable of self-hatred.

        2. “A good chunk of the Social Justice Warrior Agenda is nothing but an expression of a deep self loathing on the part of the SJWs.”

          I guess they got one thing right. They are pretty loathsome people.

      2. C’mon, keep up already

      3. As long as the Moor is not played by a white guy any time soon (what was that Shakespeare play anyway…)

        1. Othello. And the title character’s been played by a white guy in the past (Orson Welles in particular), but I can imagine the controversy if they re-made it today with a white lead.

          1. Well, apparently, there has been a total race swap version, with Patrick Stewart as Othello and the rest of the cast all-black.

          2. but I can imagine the controversy if they re-made it today with a white lead playing in blackface.

      4. My head hurts.

        Think of it as a diode. 😉

      5. There you go thinking again. You’re supposed to emote.

      6. And scientists who claim tanning salons are bad for you are racist too. They’re just trying to preserve white cultural dominance.

    4. an apology to be issued to Quvenzhan?

      Emphasis added. W.T.F?

      “We’re sorry you have fangirls who purport to be so easily offended.”

      1. Holy fuck, is this also the girl the onion got in trouble for calling a ‘cunt?’

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..-cunt.html

        ^ YEP!

        Man, this girl’s fans are petulant, whiny idiots.

    5. I could never take an actor seriously with the first name Quvenzhan

  8. Um, wasn’t Little Orphan Annie the radio show (sponsored by Ovaltine!) that Ralphie listened to in A Christmas Story?

    1. Yes and it was a crummy comercial!

      1. But as any good anti-FDR capitalist would want it, the whole thing existed to sell products to kids.

        1. Yeah, that was what I was trying to point out. It’s the 1930s equivalent of 1980s Saturday morning cartoons. Annie tried to sell you milk flavoring, and Transformers tried to sell you toys.

          1. And it worked!

  9. ” imagine someone in 2014 making a Broadway hit about Doonesbury with show-stopping numbers in which Richard Nixon would wrap his arms around Zonker and sing the praises of the Silent Majority.”

    I am so writing that.

    1. Don’t. Leave it to Sugarfree. He’ll…do it better.

  10. It’s got Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. I’m just not interested.

    1. How is it that Bernie Mac is dead and Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock continue to make movies? There is no justice in this world.

      1. I did like Chris Rock’s Good Hair but yeah, I miss the Mac.

        1. Me too. I liked him in everything he ever did. I liked him a lot in the Oceans 11 movies. Ensamble movies like that show you witch movie stars can actually act ans which are just charismatic faces that look good on camera. And those movies showed that Mac, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner (with Gould and Reiner we already knew) and Casey Afflack can actually act and George Clooney and Matt Damon can’t.

          1. MATT DAMON!
            Poor Bernie Mac. Wasn’t he like 50 when he died?

            1. Yes. And he didn’t od or anything. He died of natural causes. Poor bastard.

            2. That movie Bad Santa was cursed. John Ritter died before it was released, and Bernie Mac died 5 years later. I’m actually shocked that Bill Bob is still with us.

              1. Billy Bob was blessed by Halle Berry’s immaculate booty and is now invulnerable to most diseases.

                1. I think you mean Angelina Bob Thornton, n?e Jolie or Voight.

                  1. You’ve never seen Monster’s Ball? Jolie’s got nothing on Berry, nothing.

                2. Billy Bob was blessed by Halle Berry’s immaculate booty and is now invulnerable to most diseases.

                  I thought the rule was “never stick it in crazy”?

                  Or is it “always stick it in crazy”?

                  Cause that chick is hardcore cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

                  (and I had no idea Billy Bob fucked Halle Berry)

                  1. Cause that chick is hardcore cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

                    It had to balance out somewhere.

          2. I liked him so much that I am unable to watch him in anything. Someday, maybe, but still not for awhile.

      2. Jamie Foxx gets a pass for making Ray. Chris Rock at least gets a few points for coming up with the phrase” You don’t pay taxes, they take taxes.” Although that was almost 20 fucking years ago.

        1. I had actually forgotten he made Ray. And yeah, he gets a pass for that.

        2. I like Chris Rock. He gets points for refusing to play college campuses because they are a bunch of humorless twats as well.

          1. He said they’re “too conservative”. I thought that was fucking awesome. How do griefers deal with a black man telling them something upsetting? It must have been like a mad circus in the campus proggies’ brains:

            “He said we are conservative, which is hurtful and triggering! But he’s black African-American urban contemporary-looking, so I can’t criticize him because that would make me a racist!”

            *faints*

    2. As much as I dislike Foxx, Django Unchained was entertaining. Then again, any movie where DiCaprio dies is good. Oh, crap. Uh, spoilers alert!

      Once I learned that Diaz doesn’t use deodorant, I smell BO whenever I see her picture.

      1. Some people don’t need deodorant. It’s really true. I rarely do and I smell great.

        1. I’ll take your word for that.

        2. The Squeeze doesn’t wear deodorant and he works a physical labor-type job, and I’ve never once gotten a whiff of B.O. from him. The bastard. I have to load up on the stuff or I’ll smell like a garbage scow in a matter of hours, even sitting at a desk.

          1. My brother somehow actually smells better when he sweats.

            I occasionally need a bit of deodorant, but usually only when I don’t get a chance to bathe properly.

            1. My brother somehow actually smells better when he sweats.

              Go on…

      2. Christoph Waltz made that movie decent.

  11. “a more contemporary-looking”

    “Black” is so 2008

    1. Can we say more urban-looking…

      1. No. “Urban” is a dog whistle.

        1. Oh, well, I am not with the times or with your fashion sense GILMORE

          1. Fashion sense?

            in my minds eye, those people were lined against the wall to be executed by my mental-‘fashion police’.

            just saying, ‘urban’ stopped meaning ‘black’ ages ago.

            Also, i think its totally unfair to millions of blacks in america who proudly live in the storks

            1. Just riffing on your Independents attire reviews – your pic actually looks like that seen on the street section of the NYT to me (but I’m pretty out of date anyway)

              And just being obviously racist by bringing urban into this — seen Black-ish?

              What is this storks you refer to??

              1. The Storks / The Sticks / The Boonies/Boondocks / East Jabip / Ass-End of Nowhere / “North Bumblefuck” / Armpit of Civilization / Hicksville etc. are all more or less synonyms for “Rural Area Where There’s Nothing To Do”

            2. Also, i think its totally unfair to millions of blacks in america who proudly live in the storks

              I think they live in the flamingos.

  12. , “The one thing I wanted to keep is the socioeconomic divide of the Depression, which sadly has even gotten bigger now and sadly is not going away.”

    If that’s true, and is a bad thing per se, then the policies you support have either been ineffectual or counterproductive and should be shit canned immediately.

    1. No. See, it’s just evidence that all the great ideas of the New Deal (which would otherwise have us living in a Utopia) have been scaled back by Capitalist pig-dogs.

    2. It’s all Reagan’s fault!

    3. And what makes you think they’re interested in solving it? They get to show they care. And the more it’s around, the more they get to care. Solving it’s your problem.

    4. In the horrors of the modern Western world, the poorest live better than any pre-20th century nobleman, historically commonplace mass epidemics no longer occur, income mobility is more fluid, low income groups have access to numerous cheap electrical and mass communication device and the poor are plagued with the obesity problems. Yep, we truly live in horrible times.

    5. No no. See, it’s not that they are ineffectual or counterproductive. It’s that they weren’t big enough. Like the stimulus.

  13. Are there any films that have come out in the last 10 years that don’t have the communist manifesto hidden somewhere in the plot? I mean besides Hunger Games or Atlas Shrugged.

    1. Stardust?

    2. Captain America? Or did I just miss it?

    3. 300?

    4. If Jurassic World can somehow squeeze a communist message into the story, I will be impressed.

    5. Every film from the past 10 years is rife with socialist propaganda. Every film from the past 10 years is also a spineless apologia for global capitalism. Depends on who’s watching it.

    6. Dumb and Dumber Too?

      1. Yeah, that’s a good one.

      2. Definitely (and as an aside, I’m currently wearing this t-shirt: http://www.amazon.com/Firefly-…..B00CQ5SIXI)

        1. I just ordered a bunch from ThinkGeek… and that’s the one I forgot.

        2. Definitely buying this.

      3. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1VR3Av9qfZc

        Libertarianism, in a nutshell.

    7. The Dark Knight. I am not a comic book movie fan, but that movie is an exposition in the evils of Utopian ideology and “social justice”. The movies villains speak entirely in the language of social justice and fairness and use those high concepts as a justification for their evil.

      1. It’s also a criticism that morality can be imposed from top to bottom. The Joker intends to demonstrate an inherent immorality in humanity, but the people of Gotham rise above.

        Good movie. Too bad Heath Ledger couldn’t handle his pharmaceuticals.

        1. It was his best role ever. Then again the only other movie I saw him in was 10 Things I Hate About You, and I was too distracted by young Julia Stiles to notice whether he could act or not.

          1. Her head is too small.

            Speaking of Julia Stiles being distracting.

            1. Yeah, I never got Julia Stiles. I spent her entire career wondering why people found her attractive.

              1. Yeah, I never got Julia Stiles. I spent her entire career wondering why people found her attractive.

                Same here. She has no figure at all, a mannish voice, and an underbite that rivals a bulldog’s.

          2. He was not so bad in A Knight’s Tale and The Brothers Grimm (of course he died in the middle of the Brothers Grimm and they had to work around that).

        2. It was obvious 5 minutes into The Dark Knight Rises that they had simply skipped a planned third entry, and I can never forgive Ledger for forcing that.

          1. Yeah, The Dark Knight Rises was the best Nolan could do after scrapping what he had planned for the inevitable return of The Joker.

            That speech The Joker gives Batman at the end of The Dark Knight about them being “destined to do this forever” just seems awkward now.

            1. That speech The Joker gives Batman at the end of The Dark Knight about them being “destined to do this forever” just seems awkward now.

              Yeah, Batman just wasn’t that into him.

            2. So does Gordon’s soliloquy to his son. The entire last 15 minutes brilliantly teases the follow-up, and then Ledger goes and OD’s it away. Still one of my favorite movie closings ever, but the unfulfilled potential is staggering.

              I liked Rises, but it was disappointing in a way and definitely would have worked much better if it had been properly set up.

            3. So, had Ledger lived, what would the third one have been centered around? A version of The Killing Joke? I’m just trying to think of a good Batman-Joker comic published that could be adapted to film.

              1. The “Dark Knight Returns” story line carries it to it’s inevitable end.

                Spoiler: Batman comes out of retirement, so Joker comes out of his catatonic state, murders hundreds to lay at Batman’s feet, and after Batman refuses to kill him, but cripples him, the Joker finishes the job by twisting his own head hard enough to break his neck and set Batman up.

    8. Divergent

      1. Are those movies good? I’m getting concerned with the similarity among movies based on YA novels.

        1. I think they only made the first yet. It is on HBO if you have it. Reading the book plots on Wikipedia makes me think the series as a whole will leave me underwhelmed, but I found the first movie installment kind of entertaining. It is by no means a great movie, but has enough cleverness to keep you interested.

          The whole thing is based on a communist society which can’t help but fall apart violently.

      2. Really? I haven’t watched it; I got the impression it was just another angsty teen movie where the main character learns what a special snowflake she is and goes off to fight the power.

        1. That’s what it was.

          She and the other “divergents” just got all uppity because one of the other factions seized power using brainwashed thug faction goons. They weren’t railing against the concept of factions, or trying to tear down the fucking childish “sharing” economy the 4 factions had in their little walled off city, just trying to prevent the brains from using the goons to take over from the caring. It included the obligatory “grrl power” bullshit about a 110 pound teenage girl kicking the shit out of a 6+ foot tall body-builder dude with a neck like a triangle. A dude who has all the same training she has, but has years more experience as a goon.

          It was pretty damned lame. And Shailene Woodley is maybe a 6.

          If I spoiled it for you, TFB.

    9. Iron Man 2. It pretty much was just a twist on Atlas Shrugged.

    10. Interstellar seems to take a piss all over modern collectivism and environmentalism. Dark Knight Rises had a lot of anti-Occupy stuff in it. Christopher Nolan seems to have a lot of cynicism towards this stuff.

      “We’re pioneers, adventurers, explorers! Not…*shiver* caretakers.

  14. Harold Gray is dead. His artistic intent no longer matters, if it ever did in the first place. (It didn’t)

    1. Most leftists subscribe to the aesthetic philosophy that the artist’s intent never matters. If the artists tells you his piece actually was made with some theme in mind that disagrees with the leftist critic, the latter will, without shame, say to the artist, ‘no, you’re wrong about your own work.” And proceed to reinterpret that the artist was actually subconsciously agreeing with them.

      It’s partly because all the Derrida the Marxist/feminist critics have been reading for 30 years has fucked up their brains.

      1. In all fairness, Derrida can fuck you up pretty good.

        1. True enough. I hear he’s the leading cause of brain aneurysms in humanities faculty members.

  15. FDR triumphed over the grumpy fatcats, gave jobs and money to the people, and everything got better

    So why couldn’t black FDR accomplish this? He had a new deal named ‘hope and change’. Wait, I already know the answer to this question: Koch brothers.

    1. You know who else had a new deal?

      1. White FDR?
        Original FDR?
        Old FDR?
        FDR Classic?

        1. I prefer FDR lite. Because he dessicated after his death he is now lighter. See what I’m saying!?

    2. Or they could compromise and just have a black actor play FDR but do whiteface.

  16. “FDR triumphed over the grumpy fatcats, gave jobs and money to the people, and everything got better. Why, when the poor were finally allowed to have their fair share, even the rich got richer!”

    There’s something telling about how progressives love to have their economic ‘theories’ explained by children

    I believe they think it shows how *obvious* their ideas are. Not that they desperately need to infantilize everyone.

    1. I think it’s funny that left-wing ideas are always most popular among poorly educated people living in crippling poverty and teenagers who have yet to actually learn anything about the world.

      It’s somewhat hilarious that the least competent and educated people are the most left-wing economically, but progressives never realize that this says some pretty terrible stuff about their policies.

      1. You should also include the hyper educated, extremely rich, and famous. You know, people who don’t live in the same reality as the rest of us.

        1. “You should also include the hyper educated, extremely rich, and famous.”

          Don’t make the mistake of thinking these people actually believe anything they say. Unlike the poor and ignorant they are all just signaling so that they will be left alone or they intend to be in charge.

          1. I think you give then too much credit. A lot of it is signaling and lust for power, but a lot of them are true believers too. Think about the worlds these people live in. Their lives are largely free of consequences compared to you or me. What little consequences they do have is turned completely on its head so that they’re merely responding to perverse incentives.

            1. I think the popularity of leftism among the ostensibly educated is partly because of the ennui of being middle class these days. Where do you find meaning in life anymore? How do you perceive yourself to be a force for good without actually having to do a St. Francis and devote your life to actual charity while living in poverty, or actually help anyone? The answer to that explains the SJW mentality.

              Also, with the exception of STEM fields, ‘education’ these days largely amounts to leftist indoctrination. Many students will go through four years of ‘education’ without being made to read a single non-leftist perspective, and if they do have to, it will be a cherry picked three page exerpt which the professor will spend 40 minutes of class “refuting.” And I speak from experience.

        2. Yeah. Socialism is an idea the appears to the outer reaches of the bell curve.

          1. Is that a typo, or subliminal racism?

      2. “‘left-wing ideas are always most popular among poorly educated people living in crippling poverty”

        Not at all.

        progressive ideas aren’t popular with ‘The Poor*’ at all. OR with ‘working class’ people.

        they are most popular with upper-middle class suburbanites and young-adult urbanites. People who end up working in media.

        The ‘poor’ people who end up swallowing some neo-che-guevara B.S. probably got it from some local ‘activist’ or schoolteacher who was actually raised in the ‘burbs.

        I know about a dozen of the type. One in particular spends all her time trying to inculcate revolutionary ideas among the disadvantaged, but shockingly they seem to cling to the ideal of personal material-prosperity as a legitimate goal, and care absolutely nothing about how other people might unfortunately ‘stay poor’ in a capitalist society.

        1. Talk with a poor American about decreasing their benefits and then get back to me about how they oppose socialism.

          Or you can go to Venezuela and see how the poor folk feel about gargantuan government programs.

          Where poor people differ from progs is on social issues. Poor people are not keen on the SJW nonsense, but are very pro-government spending.

          1. Eh, that is not a trait unique to poor Americans. Americans over 65 feel much the same way, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

          2. “Poor people are not keen on the SJW nonsense, but are very pro-government spending.”

            True. So are unions. But i wouldn’t call their feeding at the trough a consequence of any particular ‘left-wingish’ preferences so much as pragmatic self-interest

            I’ve had some interesting political debates with NYC union guys. They know what side their bread is buttered on, to be sure – but they also understand far better than any upper-west-side Good-Government Liberal Progressive Harpers’-readers that the system they feed from is a complete mess, a ginormous waste, corrupt to the core, and needs to be reformed before everyone is broke and we’re living in the 1970s again.

            That said, they still only work 3-4 hours a day and strategize for an early retirement with disability.

          3. It is often claimed – and I think with some credibility – that the poor are actually much harsher critics of their own class (if not themselves as individuals) than the media or the academics. Poor people will actually often express frustration wit welfare fraud, entitlements, etc.

            Interesting experience: I once had a college history class in which the left-wing professor tried to imply to us that the poor had a sense of community and ethics above the rich and middle class; when she asked a young, formerly poor black woman about this, she completely disagreed with the professor; she said that people in her ‘old neighborhood’ actually treated her family like shit, behaved horribly, etc, and that when she moved to the suburbs, she was amazed at how nice and generous the people their were.

            Poor people have to live around other poor people and are therefore less able to indulge the idealized fantasies of the poor that well-to-do leftists often cling to.

            Obviously, few poor people will ever seek to reduce their own benefits; but that’s purely a matter of immediate self-interest rather than ideological stupidity. So I guess many of them are hypocrites, just like everyone else.

            Just because someone never turns down a free lunch doesn’t mean they aren’t acutely aware of what’s wrong with free lunch programs.

            1. “; when she asked a young, formerly poor black woman about this, she completely disagreed with the professor; she said that people in her ‘old neighborhood’ actually treated her family like shit,”

              I was friends with a young puerto rican girl who got pregnant at 16 and whose baby’s daddy ended up going to jail and then dying of drug overdose. She put herself through college while supporting herself and the child. She said people in her neighborhood (where she still lived at the time) generally treated her like shit for a) speaking english more often than spanish, b) not marrying another young man from the hood and c) getting a job in midtown and not spending all of her time at home with her family.

              They said, “you’re trying to act white” She eventually moved to Chinatown because she was sick of their insular little culture. She ended up marrying a chinese guy who said the shit was basically the same for him.

        2. they are most popular with upper-middle class suburbanites and young-adult urbanites. People who end up working in media.

          Or academia. An old high school buddy of mine and his wife were both raised in middle-class Democrat-voting households, but the longer they stayed in college, the more they ensconced themselves in an intellectual bubble that’s degraded their thought processes to a bunch of OFA boilerplate and the typical pap you see in colleges these days.

          I got into a pretty huge argument with him during the 2012 elections about Afghanistan and Iraq, pointing out his clear special pleading regarding Obama’s military policies that he never would have supported if Bush had carried them out, and he had no effective response to it other than blather about “Rethuglican obstrucshunizms!” and similar nonsense. I’d love to see his reaction to the current Iraq/Levant adventure, but we haven’t spoken since that day.

          He’s extremely intelligent and clever, but because he doesn’t really associate with anyone who isn’t aligned with him politically, his arguments in that realm are simply recycled talking points with no substance. When he’s confronted with an argument that doesn’t immediately fall along the Blue/Red divide, he doesn’t have the agility anymore to address it because of the sclerotic effect being in a college setting for the last 20 years has had on his perspectives.

          1. This I think is what happens to a mind if it is not challenged. These people are never confronted with conflicting points of view, or when they are, they’re trained by Jon Stewart to dismiss them out of hand. The lack actual intellectual challenge leads their faculties to atrophy until all they can do is jerk each other off all day long.

            That and of course the fact that they reserve the right to be intellectual bigots. By declaring opposing viewpoints to be hate-movements or whatever, they are justified in insulating themselves from opposition.

            They’re not trying to win the debate; they’re trying to convince everyone that the debate has already been won and everyone else should shut up and go home.

            1. “They’re not trying to win the debate; they’re trying to convince everyone that the debate has already been won and everyone else should shut up and go home”

              I’ve pointed this out to some people who are passionate about “gun control” – that they’ve literally made zero effort to actually learn to talk to people who think differently, and simply recirculate bullshit talking points with *each other*, failing to ever try and appeal to people who feel differently and change minds.

              I point out frequently that they’re in *the minority*, and they find this impossible to believe =

              “How is this possible?? Everyone I know agrees with me!”

              1. I think that may be the main reason they love Jon Stewart so much: not because he’s funny, but because he helps them believe there is no other side to the debate, just a bunch of bumbling idiots to be dismissed out of hand.

                In my experience, people who have well-founded beliefs yearn for honest intellectual debate, never shy away from people they disagree with, because they’re confident their ideas are strong enough to endure the onslaught, and if they aren’t strong enough, then they should be discarded.

                On the other hand, someone who’s afraid of debate and demands ‘safe spaces’ instead probably has poorly founded beliefs.

            2. The debate has already been won and you should probably shut up and go home. I mean the New Deal… that’s what conservatives and libertarians are still reacting to. They are still sore that not only did progressive policies get enacted, they worked. It’s been a pathetic state of denial ever since, and now you guys live in a bubble of factlessness so you don’t have to cope with a political reality decided more than half a century ago. What ideas do you bring to the table? Make things easier for billionaires, as usual? You got nothing except bitching constantly about liberals.

      3. But that’s not who supports liberal ideas; you just made that up.

    2. The commoner plebes need it explained to them at a very simple level. Why do you think everyone has not yet signed on for the commie utopia? Obviously, no one has explained it at a level that we can understand it.

      1. You just outed yourself dude. Now we know you are actually Barack Obama.

    3. There’s something telling about how progressives love to have their economic ‘theories’ explained by children

      At their core, most of their theories are based on emotional desires, so this make some sense. It’s not fair, you’ve got more than me, everybody should get a trophy,…

      The alternative is listening to the communist philosophers and economists who will dress up the bag of shit with big words and flowery language that does nothing but to obscure their disproven and empty theories, while simultaneously boring and aggravating those who are actually trying to figure out what they just said.

      Give me the kids.

    4. I believe they think it shows how *obvious* their ideas are. Not that they desperately need to infantilize everyone.

      And here I thought it was because no one but a little kid would be dumb enough to believe that crap.

      1. Clearly that’s not true, given our current President.

  17. Yesterday, yesterday
    I hate you
    Yesterday
    You’re always a day away.

  18. I’ve decided to make a movie which is based on Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, but in the end Margaret Thatcher shows up, leads everyone in a song and dance number, and everyone stops being poor once they read The Road to Serfdom and grow to understand the value of capitalism.

    1. It would probably be an improvement over Sinclair’s crass muck-racking.

      1. I loved The Jungle. It was like Commie Ayn Rand.

    2. Take my money!

  19. I would only see this if Bobby Canavale appeared as his Boardwalk Empire character.

    1. “Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun!”

      “What the fuck are you saying, kid? Are you saying I’m broke? What the fuck, red? You little bitch! Like I’m fucking broke? Who the fuck are YOU to say that I’m broke? Like you’re going to help ME cheer up? Who the fuck are you? What the FUCK?”

      (Pulls out gun, shoots orphan.)

    2. No. Little orphan Annie adopted by a prohibition era mobster. She grows up learning the rackets the way Henry Hill did.

      Now there is an imaginative retake on a story.

      1. “She grows up learning the rackets the way Henry Hill did.”

        By selling propane and propane accessories?

    3. Richard Harrow or GTFO

    4. Dammit, you read my mind.

      1. And it would probably be closer to the original comic strip.

  20. I fucking love Hollywood’s armchair socialism.

    “Those goddamn 1%! I bet they’re the reason that the valet charges so goddamn much to park my Tesla!” If you ever want to see conspicuous consumerism, hang around the Hollywood/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area for a few days. I’ve lived near New York, and it would make 5th avenue blush.

    1. They wanted to charge me $8 for an orange juice in BH when I was there back in the early 90s.

      Magic oranges I guess they were.

  21. in the approving words of theater critic Lucy Komisar[…]

    What a eerily fitting last name.

  22. One correction: this would be like Zonker and Doonesbury eager embracing Nixon and celebrating the Silent Majority and Vietnamization, not the reverse.

    1. “Gee whiz, Mr. Nixon. When you put it like that, busting the heads of those long haired hippie communists sure does sound groovy!”

  23. I believe they think it shows how *obvious* their ideas are.

    They are, DUH, like obvious. So obvious, I can’t even….

  24. It’s got a 33 on Metacritic, so the reviews are firmly in the toilet for this film. Why draw any attention to it? You might convince a few progressives to start giving it good reviews.

    http://www.metacritic.com/movie/annie-2014

  25. “No person of healthy mind truly wishes to see a song-and-dance routine about a national health care system,”

    Whoa whoa whoa there Walsh.

    *Technically* my libretto for “Plan-B: The Musical” follows the path between the firing of the surgeon general in 1994 for proposing to teach kids to masturbate, the resignation of FDA officials in 2005 for the political repression of ’emergency contraception’ approval, through to our contemporary* hoo-haa about Women’s Rights To Free Birth Control.

    I mean, its not *just* about the ‘national healthcare system’. More of a case study in the long and confused intersection of sex, health, and politics. Its a HILARIOUS ROMP!! Also, the song in act II composed entirely from consumer-complaints about the IUD is really catchy.

    *note: that didn’t mean ‘black’

    1. Offer Sandra Fluke a chance for her Broadway debut.

      1. We’re going to need to get a whole lot of little old ladies to invest. But I like the way you’re thinking.

        1. Try contacting Eve Ensler as a possible backer. If you can distract her long enough to keep her from making another musical for just a year you will be doing humanity a great service.

    2. You are like my own private Michael Malice!

  26. Maybe North Korea hacked the script before filming started.

  27. So this is pretty much guaranteed to win the Oscar.

  28. “Revisionism” isn’t adequate to describe revealing the facts about how FDR orchestrated the Great Depression (with pre-assists from Herbert Hoover). For that, see Chapter 6 of The Fruits of Graft – Great Depressions Then and Now. For getting to know FDR as a person, try Chapter 8, called “Understanding Franklin.” The New Deal was largely window dressing to divert attention from what FDR was doing behind the scenes to destroy the middle class, partly by starving millions to death. Why wouldn’t FDR be friendly with Stalin? The same ruling elite who put FDR in the White House had put Bolsheviks into Russia in 1917 to kill tens of millions. Not in step with orthodox fiction, but get acquainted with actual U. S. history.

    1. “Paranoia strikes deep”.

    2. what FDR was doing behind the scenes to destroy the middle class, partly by starving millions to death.

      The only source of this trope is some Soviet apologist Russian “historian.”

      It’s about as believable as ancient astronaut or hollow Earth bullshit.

  29. In other words the communists were allowed to do the same crap to Annie that they did to Starship Troopers.

  30. What horrors would these lunkheads visit upon a new “Richie Rich” movie?

    1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for 74 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
      ———– http://www.paygazette.com

  31. If redhead Annie is replaced with a black girl, can we only expect a rewrite of history?

  32. In the last three years, Sony has released a lot of films that feature black protagonists.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/cri…..d-20141216

    If Donald Sterling is racist even though his girlfriend wasn’t white, then Sony Execs are arguably racist and sexist (gender pay gap, emails were leaked) even though they released a lot of movies with blacks and women.

    Black Annie (I never read the comic) is a gimmick. If the director successfully can’t reinvent character in different context while retaining the charm of the original character, then the racial switch is a gimmick. Or an opportunity for Sony to say “See, we care about diversity”.

    I grew up watching Bill Cosby and the A Team in Korea, and watched the “Fresh Prince” and “Family Matters” religiously in America. Now, I can’t think of a single show with any worthwhile black characters. Hollywood is now more content to just throw a bunch of supporting black actors to pad the diversity count.

    Hollywood is obviously ran by a bunch of white guys who read a lot of Allen Ginsberg and has no affinity to culture outside of America outside of some cause celebre issues. Their remake of Asian classics are a travesty. I didn’t bother watching the “Old Boy” remake. They don’t understand why a classic character or narrative is so enduringly popular. You don’t have to “deconstruct” Annie, Santa Claus, or the Christmas tree.

  33. I wonder how they explained forcing farmers not to grow food to drive up the prices as Americans waited in lines for soup and bread helped the 99%?

    1. FDR’s explanation was that it would help farmers by raising the prices at which they could sell their crops. It did not, of course, because FDR was severely shrinking money in circulation by raising tax rates and using the money to buy gold in foreign markets. And FDR’s devaluation of the dollar was designed to add no dollars to the U. S. economy, but to make American food 41% cheaper in foreign markets so it could be dumped there. Result: Americans didn’t just “get hungry,” they starved to death.

  34. I didn’t believe …that…my friends brother woz like realie bringing in money part time from there new laptop. . there uncles cousin haz done this less than twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on their house and got a great new Lancia Straton .
    see this site :::::—– http://www.jobsfish.com

  35. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for 74 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
    ——— http://www.paygazette.com

  36. my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $68 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $16325 just working on the internet for a few hours. check out this site…

    http://fave.co/14gVp3h

  37. I Got Hooked On Having An Online Business Almost A Decade Ago When I Created An Online Course And Made My First.
    —–http://tinyurl.com/cashclick1

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.