A Fruit Too Far

How do you raise your child to be a good little Social Justice Warrior? Easy! Take them to a children’s movie, then moralize on how insensitive it is.

Case in point. Sony Picture’s re-telling of the classic tale “Peter Rabbit.” My favorite drinking game word comes into play here, so have your preferred beverage at the ready.

The movie studio issued an apology over a controversial scene (“Controversial.” Take a drink!) where the titular rabbit’s foe (who is allergic to blackberries) is attacked by said bunny hurling the demon berry.

Here is where we are, folks. A cartoon rabbit threatens the bad guy with something to which the guy is allergic, and all hell breaks loose. And people wonder why so many of our youth are undergoing existential crises.

After having been judged, juried and prosecuted for such an offense, Sony Pictures regurgitated an apology akin to every other one prepared to keep the perpetually offended at bay.

Why, in my day, our cartoon rabbits used dynamite to blow up their nemeses, not to mention guns, knives and, on one occasion, a collapsing amphitheater. And we liked it!

Social media is the real-life counterpart to Star Trek-The Next Generation’s Borg, a hive mind collective which gains strength through symbiosis. When a single member of the collective is incapacitated, the body as a whole remains unfazed.

Same with social media. It does not matter how outrageous the accusations are online, because as soon as one is quelled, a dozen more pop up to take its place.

Back to Mr. Rabbit. An allergy awareness program was quick to get their 15 minutes of fame by wailing, “Anaphylaxis can and does kill. To include a scene in a children’s film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable.”

Or, perhaps it is only a children’s film. To paraphrase Elmer Fudd, the bad guy wants to “Kill the wabbits.” Spoiler alert: neither side dies. Sony Pictures, however, got a metric ton of free publicity. Sadly, most of it was in the form of Hashtag Harridans who cannot sit through a movie without finding a new crusade on which to embark. Ladies and gentlemen: does anyone truly think “Peter Rabbit” was an indoctrination film to show children how to weaponize fruit? Seriously?

Of course not. But Heaven forfend the poor wretch who throws shade on the thin skins of our Aggrieved Class.

Can you imagine if my generation had to put up with the hashtag bully brigade when we were young? There’d be no Bugs, Elmer, Porky, Wile E., Rocky, Bullwinkle, or any other number of toons who got us through Saturday mornings. Those guys were our saviors, shielding us from “Meet the Press” and “Bowling for Dollars.”

It has always amazed me how older folk like to treat children as miniature adults. From dress to mannerisms, our youth aren’t given the chance to be kids, if only for a little while. I, for one, would like to give the little ankle biters a smidgeon of credit, and hope that they do not take their cues for lifelong comportment from a cartoon.

I mean, c’mon Mom/Dad/Justice Warriors. We were exposed to a lot worse when we were growing up, and for the most part, we seem to be doing okay.

That’s all, folks!