Q. What do Buster Bunny, Spongebob Squarepants, Lenny the Shark, Tinky-Winky, Barney the Dinosaur, Bugs Bunny, and Ernie and Bert have in common?
Over Xmas it was Shark Tale's Lenny the Shark, last week it was Spongebob Squarepants, today Buster Bunny. Homosexualist militants are clearly using animation and puppetry as a secret and dastardly ploy to turn children poofy. Is there nothing the gay mafia won't do to try and convert our youngsters to the pleasures of dirty, dirty bumb sex [clearly here, I'm addicted to the ratings boost I received last week from mentioning bumb sex in the title one of my posts] or, in the case of Buster Bunny, whatever it is lesbians do?
They're on a roll, those loons from the Rapture Right.
Today we find, reading in the New York Times, that this week, PBS decided not to distribute to its 350 stations an episode of the popular children's programme, Postcards From Buster, due to pressure from the
In the series, a combination of live action and classical animation, Buster Bunny travels around the States, meeting different kids and explores the many sorts of lives children have in different parts of the country.
According to the Times, 'One episode featured a family with five children, living in a trailer in Virginia, all sharing one room. In another, Buster visits a Mormon family in
In the episode in question, 'Sugartime!', Buster travels to
The incident, which to my mind exposes how whipped even public broadcasting is in the States to the paranoid homophobic hysteria of the happy-clappies, follows on from last weeks' 'outing' of Spongebob Squarepants by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family.
At a black-tie inauguration celebration dinner, Dr. Dobson condemned Spongebob Squarepants, the camp, lisping, far-from-sessile poriferan who lives in a pineapple under the sea and holds hands with his best friend, Patrick the (pink - shock, horror!) Starfish, while watching their favourite TV programme, The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, as 'pro-homosexual'.
I must say, I don't know where he gets that idea.
Meanwhile, over Christmas, a film review by the American Family Association inveighed against Disney's film Shark Tale, not for the plasticky computer animation and awkward character design, but because the vegetarian shark hero of the film was 'swishy'.
The film's 'undercurrent of approval for homosexuality' is made plain by 'Lenny's mannerisms and voice [that] tend toward the effeminate…but that's not the worst of it,' wrote the AFA's Ed Vitagliano, '…The pressure of his [meat-eating] father's disapproval is too much for Lenny, and he runs away. Oscar [the fish], who should be his natural prey, becomes his friend. However, that friendship allows Lenny to open up, and he finally confesses to Oscar that he's "different." He admits: "I'm a vegetarian...You're the first fish I ever told. I'm so tired of keeping it all a secret. And my dad - he'll never accept me for who I am! What's wrong with me?"
It gets worse: 'Lenny is more than just a vegetarian. He turns out to enjoy dressing as a dolphin, an obvious allusion to cross-dressing.'
What especially vexes the AFA is the necessarily happy ending where father-shark and son-shark are reconciled: '"What is your problem?" Oscar demands of [Lenny's dad] Don Lino. "So your son likes kelp. So his best friend's a fish. So he likes to dress like a dolphin. So what? Everybody loves him, just the way he is. Why can't you?" Lino's heart softens, and he tells Lenny, "I love you son, no matter what you eat or how you dress."'
Thus the entire film, while never actually even mentioning homosexuality, is, according to the AFA, far too suggestive and, says Vitagliano using a far-too-obvious pun, 'swimming a bit too close to shore for many parents.'
All of which is of a piece with the God Squad's fundamentalist panic in recent years about the sexual orientation of Tinky-Winky the Teletubby, Barney the purple dinosaur, and, of course, the definitive gay rights pioneers, Ernie, Bert and Bugs Bunny.
Of course all of this is quite amusing insofar as it's an example of how feverishly deranged the American right can be, but what is genuinely extraordinarily frightening is that it all comes from a sense of confidence on the right, especially since November, that they can freely force their agenda on broadcasters and publishers, corporately consolidated as they are, petrified of offending an imagined red-state moral majority.
The Petroleum Broadcasting Service, did, after all, pull the Postcards From Buster broadcast, rather than laugh in the face of such bigoted lunacy.