Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scooby Doo Exposes The Politically Correct

I’m a huge fan of Scooby Doo. No doubt, you are as well. I mean seriously, how can you not love a talking dog? But Scooby Doo has been changing of late, and not for the better. Scooby Doo has become politically correct. Interestingly, these changes tell us a lot about the true nature of political correctness.

Political Correctness Is About Victimization And Thought Crime

We all know what political correctness means. The term “politically correct” was coined to describe the left’s attempts to force people to accept identify-politics by making it a thought crime to express any view that upsets the victimization cult. This cult, consisting of various self-anointed identity groups (e.g. black groups, women’s groups, disability advocates, homosexual activists, etc.), would challenge anyone who expressed a politically incorrect thought and would demand that they be sent to sensitivity training to “correct” their thinking. If they persisted, cult members would shout the person down and seek to have them fired from their jobs. The idea, as with all thought crimes, was that if people could be kept from expressing ideas, they would stop having those ideas. Stupid.

Well, as the minions of political correctness made their whiny ways into the real world, most found themselves slapped down hard by reality. But some found comfort among the fruits and nuts of academia, or in the weak-willed halls of corporate “human resource” departments, or in Hollywood, where the need to be worshiped mixes with leftwing politics like a nauseous potion. And having found a place where they could revel in their victimhood, they set about inserting that victimhood into films. . . and cartoons.

But a “strange” thing happened when these victims began spewing their idiocy onto celluloid -- they showed themselves to be hypocrites. Rather than being mere victims trying to end the oppression of others, they proved to be expert victimizers and hatemongers. Imagine that! Who could have guessed that a group of people that wants to control the thoughts of others and will happily destroy anyone who does not submit, could somehow turn out to be nasty, vindictive sh..ts?

And nothing exposes their hypocrisy better than what they’ve done to Scooby Doo.

Classic Scooby Doo

Before we can show how Scooby Doo has changed, let us first establish a baseline by describing what classic Scooby Doo was.

Scooby Doo is the story of four friends and their dog, who solve apparently supernatural mysteries. These friends include Fred, the well dressed preppy, athlete type. Daphne the hottie. Velma the nerd. Shaggy the sort of hippie. And Scooby, their talking dog.

Now the first thing to realize is that this is not a normal pairing of high school kids. They represent a cross section of school cliques that would typically despise each other. But instead, this group really were fast friends. They cared about each other, they were intensely loyal, they worked together extremely well, and they treated each other with respect. In that regard, Scooby Doo presented a hopeful vision of the future, of a time when even high schoolers would stop forming cliques and would all just get along.

Moreover, none of these characters fit the well known stereotypes. Fred, despite being handsome and athletic, was also very intelligent and friendly. He was brave and loyal, and he treated his friends with respect. Velma, the nerd, was actually the co-leader of the group. She was smart, clever and brave, as well. Daphne, the hottie, was stylish and personally attractive, and she also was smart, brave and capable. She was at times clumsy, earning her the nickname “Dangerprone Daphne” but she could hardly be called helpless. Shaggy was a gymnast and a track star, but he’s also a bit of an early hippie. He is much more easily frightened than the others, but he too proves himself brave time and time again. And of course, there was Scooby.

Classic Scooby Doo also had a positive, simple message. Don’t be afraid. All the ghosts and monsters they encountered always proved to be a guy in a costume. Thus, the message was obvious, don’t fall for crazy, paranoid or supernatural explanations and never let your fears control you. There was also a strong undercurrent of trusting your friends and that, by working together as a group, one can overcome all obstacles.

But all that’s changed. . . now that they’ve made it “better.”

How Political Correctness Warped Scooby Doo

Somewhere along the way, angry feminists got their hands on Scooby Doo. And they warped this show beyond recognition. But what they did gives us an interesting mirror into their thinking.

First, they hated Fred. The idea that a handsome, athletic male would lead this group was enough to cause their little, hate-filled hearts to burst. Clearly, this was old-school male oppression, and it was keeping little girls everywhere down. So they changed Fred. Did they make him more egalitarian? No. They made him into a barely competent fool. None of Fred’s ideas make sense any more, and everyone ridicules them. He is seen as muscle, when needed, comic relief when not -- he can't even drive well. And every time he comes up with a plan, the others need to demand to know why he thinks he’s the leader.

They also like to make Fred out as sexist (when they aren’t suggesting that he’s gay). See, in the original series, whenever he wanted the group to separate to find clues, he always chose to take Daphne and leave the ugly girl (Velma) to go with Shaggy and Scooby, right? Hence, sexism!!! Boo hoo hoo. Actually, no.

In the original series, they rarely broke the group up this way. Usually, Shaggy would take Scooby in one group and the other three would go in the other group. Moreover, what the feminists miss, is that Velma is the second leader of the group. Thus, forming groups around Fred and Velma would be natural. Third, there was a suggestion that Fred and Daphne were dating, which again would be a reason for them to stay together. But because the feminists can’t see past their victimology, they assume this pairing (which rarely happened) had to be sexism. So now every new cartoon or live action movie has to include a scene where Fred proposes to break the group up and he selects Daphne, only to be harshly slapped down by Daphne and Velma for being sexist.

But Fred wasn’t the only victim of politically correct hate. Daphne’s character has suffered as well. Because she’s attractive, the same people who made Fred incompetent decided that she needed to be made vapid and vain. After all, we can’t have little girls believing that good looking people might be anything other than shallow, because then they would feel oppressed by the good looking. Consequently, hardly a new Scooby Doo movie goes by without Daphne obsessing about her make up, her hair or her clothes.

But there was the inescapable problem that Daphne, being female, also needed to be a role model. So they set about forcing her to act out the feminist obsession with being good at all things men can do, and being independent from men in the process. Despite her obsession with beauty she is now made to reject any hint that she’s interested in men -- she’s not a lesbian, she’s just become anti-sexual (“frigid” in the ancient parlance). She is also required to have an independent career, and to engage in whatever masculine hobbies fit the plot. And she must always be seen to be better than everyone around her, except when she’s being vapid. The message to little girls, you better become better than boys if you want to succeed.

Velma too has suffered, and in the strangest way of all. Of all the characters, you would have expected Velma to have undergone the best transformation at the hands of the politically correct. Are we not told that we should not judge people according to their looks? Apparently, that’s a myth. First, the politically correct stripped Velma of her leadership role. She’s now a full-on modern nerd, which apparently includes confused thinking and social insecurity. . . but not leadership. In the latest incarnation, they’ve even gone so far as to cast an Asian girl to play her -- reinforcing the stereotype of Asians as tech savvy nerds. What’s more, they’ve made Velma into the only sexually active character. In movie after movie, she now lusts after some male (always a geek, of course, because looks do matter and you don’t want to encourage ugly girls to go for attractive males). But even more insulting, she remains flummoxed by the experience of lusting after boys until Daphne steps in and teaches her the art of seduction, which always includes make up, new hair, tight clothes and a scene where she stumbles around learning to walk in high heels.

And what makes this really sick is the fact that the people who have done this, honestly believe that little girls are influenced by the girls they see on cartoons. Think about that. What that means is that these are conscious choices. And yet, rather than offering two different yet intelligent and capable female characters (as they were in classic Scooby Doo), they’re now offering a frigid, vapid, neurotic loner with a chip on her shoulder, and a nerd girl who needs to learn to mimic the vapid chick to get the attention of boys.

Moreover, as a consequence of these changes, these “friends” are no longer really friends. They fight and argue and act out petty jealousies. Daphne is obsessed with showing she can be independent. Velma is obsessed with proving she’s smart and satisfying her nerd lust. Fred sulks for his lost masculinity. Only the relationship between Shaggy and Scooby remains unscathed.

Of all the characters, Shaggy actually escapes with the least harm. Shaggy’s lost his core, particularly his hidden bravery, but he’s little changed otherwise -- having gone from proto-hippie to quasi-stoner. Apparently, stoners love their dogs.

And It’s Not Just The Characters That Have Changed

In addition to the dramatic and disturbing changes in the characters, there have been two other dramatic changes wrought by political correctness. First, each new cartoon is crawling with politically correct information. Rather than just solving mysteries, we now learn about global warming. We learn how Wicca is a religion, not just something for goth kids to jerk themselves with, and that all witches were wrongly accused. We learn that greedy American developers are destroying wonderful third world paradises like Mexico. And so on.

Secondly, the monsters are now real. That’s right. The monsters and ghosts are now genuine. This is truly despicable because it replaces the comforting and rational message of “don’t be afraid” with the disturbing message of “fear the dark, for there be monsters in it.”


Look what political correctness has wrought upon Scooby Doo! Gone is the show about a group of kids, who have shattered stereotypes and ignored peer pressure to become friends, and who work diligently as a team, using the best virtues of mankind to solve mysteries and expose to children that there is truly nothing to fear. In its place, we have a group of highly stereotypical, self-centered unpleasant people who barely get along and who prove time and time again that monsters are real.

This is the fruit of political correctness. The self-appointed victims of oppression have not shown us a world free of victimization as they promised, they just victimized those they don’t like. And in their anger, they have shown a startling jealousy. Could it be that political correctness is not about correcting injustice so much as it is about getting even with those who make us feel inadequate?


Unknown said...

Andrew: Interesting side-note. Freddie Prinze, Jr. who plays Fred in the movies, is a Republican. Unfortunately, his rising star started to fade just about the time he got the part the first time. I can't help thinking that dying Prinze's black hair blond was part of the gelding process. Not quite sure where his wife Sarah Michelle Gellar (aka Buffy) stands, but they met on the set of his first big part in "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

MegaTroll said...

I get the feeling that a lot of cartoons are either becoming politically correct or very commercial. What ever happened to the days of Bug Bunny? Why can't cartoons just be fun anymore?

It is really interesting that in making the characters more politically correct, they've just insulted different people and put in different nasty messages? I wonder what the next wave of political correctness will bring?

Writer X said...

I grew up reading Scooby Do and The Archies comic books, so this is quite depressing. I loved Velma!

I hate to think that these characters are only shadows of their former selves. Unfortunately, everything that you've described is very much alive and well in a lot of young adult (and even middle-grade) literature, too: the dark, seemingly hopeless scenarios, the teenagers who are confused about their sexuality, their inability to have healthy relationships--with anybody!, the bizarro fixation that all girls only care about hair and make-up and competing for brainless hunks, although the latter has been with us a long while.

It makes me feel sad for young readers and teenagers that they can't enjoy a book or a movie, simply for the sheer pleasure of a good, entertaining story. These subtle (and not so subtle) attempts at spreading political correctness (that's anything but correct) is really quite sickening.

To answer your final question, I think it's as much about getting even as it is about shaping hearts and minds. Maybe that's the same thing?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm not sure the color of his hair matters. In any event, the latest live-action Fred has dark hair.

Mega, I think you're right, I think that cartoons have become highly political. I think this started in the 1970s, but has really taken off since the mid-1990s. I've also noticed that cartoons that preach "less violence" are becoming much more graphic in their violence.

And you're right about commercialism, it's running rampant in the cartoon world. Most cartoons today are either rehashed old cartoons, are meant for adults (particularly anime), or are poorly disguised product placements.

It's all kind of sad if you ask me. I guess we can't let kids just have fun anymore?

ScottDS said...

"...she’s not a lesbian, she’s just become anti-sexual (“frigid” in the ancient parlance)..."

So she became Jewish? (Sorry, sorry, sorry!) Happy Rosh Hashanah by the way. Welcome to 5770!!

Uh, where was I? I think the one I don't quite understand is Daphne. So she was capable but then they felt the need to make her capable without anyone's help... did I read that correctly? And I don't quite get the "She is also required to have an independent career, and to engage in whatever masculine hobbies fit the plot" change.

Can you elaborate?

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I haven't kept up with kid-lit much, but from what I have seen, you are absolutely right. It's like someone decided that they would unload the darkest, nastiest parts of the human subconsious into entertainment meant for kids. And they don't even try to give it the redeeming values that might justify such a dark trip.

I find the juxtaposition in modern Scooby Doo stunning, that the same people who talk about making sure that kids have good role models in books and on film, are then the same people who use kids entertainment to settle scores.

I'm not a big believer that kids model their behavior on television, I think they take the parts they like and leave the rest, but if I were girl, I wonder where I would find a character that I would look up to? The old Velma and characters like Nancy Drew gave you something positive to shoot for. . . the modern ones don't.

Also, as a male, I liked both Velma and Daphne and without a doubt, I respected Velma. But the modern versions are people I don't even want to know, much less care about. That's not a good thing.

Writer X said...

Andrew, what's sad is that Scooby Do started out as a cartoon. And a comic book. The movies they became are fantasy. Couldn't the writers have thought enough about the audience of children that would likely watch this movie and keep it light, fantasy, fun? The fact that they've changed the characters so substantially can only lead to the conclusion that there is an agenda. My prediction is the updated movie will bomb.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Daphne, like the rest was very capable. But she's attractive and they have a real "good looking people are shallow" thing going now. So they made her vapid and shallow. Part of that involves making these people useless -- like Fred's new character, because (under these new PC rules) good looking people can't be seen to be confident or capable.

BUT at the same time, they want her to be a "role model." So she spends most episodes (and big chunks of the films) obsessing about proving to everyone that she can handle everything "by herself." In fact, the story for the first live action movie starts with her breaking off from the rest of the group because she wants to prove to the world that she doesn't need them (which then causes the whole group to break up). (Fred's fault of course.)

In the cartoons, this manifests itself in two ways. First, she seems to be the only one with a career, and she's almost always bossing people around as part of that.

Secondly, in the cartoons, she is typically the character that has mastered some dangerous activity (like getting a black belt and becoming an expert sword figther). Basically, they make a point of showing that her character can "out-butch" the males.

It's a fascinating, contradictory mix. On the one hand, they make her vapid and fashion-obsessed at points, but then make her into Rambo at other points. And there almost isn't a cartoon episode or movie where she doesn't verbally make the point that she can do something "without help" or "by myself" -- in a tone that tells you it's an affront that others offers to help.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, The live-action movies are only one part of this (there have only been three to date, with the last one being made for television).

This same problem permeates the cartoon movies that have been coming out about 1-2 a year and the revival of the series in the 2000s as "What's New Scooby Doo."

Writer X said...

Oops. My bad. I thought there was also another movie (non-cartoon) slated to come out? It's even more sickening to think of how the cartoons have been warped, too.

ScottDS said...

Good morning -

One last thing - what's the problem with Wicca? Personally, I couldn't care less but why does its presence constitute political correctness? I know, it's PC to bash Christianity but to treat other religions with kid gloves but the mere presence of it doesn't mean anything in and of itself. But the vibe I got from your article was that it was used to prove something else.

Some people seem to have that problem with gay characters. I'm not talking about in kid shows but in general: the idea that the mere presence of a gay character = promoting some kind of agenda. Sometimes a gay person is just a gay person. (I realize there are exceptions but it's just one of those things.)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Wicca was created in the 1950s/1960s as an attempt to revive "paganism". But what separates it from other recent "religions" -- like Scientology, which just does its own crazy thing, is that a large part of Wicca's selling point is that it is a specific rejection of Christianity and Christian teachings, beliefs, etc.

As a result, many on the left have used it throughout the years to stick their thumb in the eye of Christians.

And it's not just the inclusion of a mention of Wicca or a Wicca character in a story that makes it politically correct. It was how it was presented in the cartoon. First, the cartoon in question spent considerable time talking about how "most of the witches burned at the stake" (and they are of course showing Christians foaming at the mouth burning beautiful, friendly people) "were really Wiccas" (not true -- didn't exist at the time) and then they go on a lengthy (several minute) discussion that is essentially proselytizing for Wicca, along with a full presentation of Wicca mythology and a discussion of how wonderful the religion and its practitioners are. As they do this, all of the characters nod their heads in agreement and makes statements about Wicca sounding great and Wiccas being good people.

If the cartoon had done the same for Christianity, there would have been blood flowing in the studio.

CrispyRice said...

I used to love Scooby, but they totally lost me as soon as Scrappy came around. In fact, my favorite scene in the new live-action movies involved Scrappy... but I won't spoil it. ;)

But all this reminds me of when the early Sesame Street shows came out on DVD a couple years ago, and they had a label that said -- "Not suitable for children." What??! You couldn't watch Cookie Monster eating cookies or a character with a pipe anymore. And Sesame Street was always rather "PC" for its age anyway. Crazy.

AndrewPrice said...

CrispyRice, You bring up an interesting point about Sesame Street. Sesame Street was created to be politically correct when it was first made. But over time, the politically correct keep changing their views of what they find acceptable, so suddenly something that was politically correct becomes verboten. And over time, the new political correctness will become verbotten. And so on. Because they're chasing something they will never find -- you can't force people to respect you, you have to earn it.

CrispyRice said...

Yes, and ultimately, you can't force people to have certain thoughts or not have them. If you want people to think like you do, you need to show them why your way is better and let them change their thinking on their own. You need to be able to have the debate with people who don't think like you do, which you can't do as soon as you don't even let them speak.

Cronickain said...

I was sad to find out the other day that cookie monster no longer eats cookies.. he eats apples. talk about a load of horse...

Cronickain said...

The Ministry of Peace from the Babylon 5 series is what Obama's Civilian National Defense force will become. Unless we stop it.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, That is sad isn't it? So we've hit the point that even the cookie monster can't eat cookies. Twisted.

Anonymous said...

I've been saying that the "New" Scooby Doo was full of political correctness for some time now.

Concerning the "Witch" movie: They also tried to claim that "witches" and "wiccans" are two different things.

This is a blatant lie. In fact the word "witch" comes from "wicce." (Check the etymology of the word "witch")

Wicce is merely the feminine rendering of the word Wicca. Wicce/Wicca depending on the gender of the practitioner being mentioned.

Wicce - Female

Wicca - Male

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, I agree.

I think the newest version (the "Mystery Inc." show currently being produced by Cartoon Channel) is an improvement. In fact, it's surprisingly anti-PC in many ways. But the "new" Scooby Doos and the recent films have been crawling with politically correct themes and ideas, and often stop the plotting cold to make their point. Take the witch movie, for example, there are stretches in that film where it literally feels like you're sitting through a lecture on how great it is to be a Wicca.

And you're right about the etymology of witch and Wicca. The idea that these are somehow two different concepts, as they say in the movie, is simply false.

Unknown said...

People loved Scooby doo. Why would you change a great cartoon.

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