What’s wrong and what’s good about the Stooges?
Anyone who remembers the Stooges will be happy that Moe hasn’t lost a step, kick or poke and the other Stooges can still take a punch or hammer bash with a blink and a ‘boink.’ You will laugh and need a stenographer to catch all the puns, quips and jokes. The movie blends perfectly with the Stooge ‘oeuvre.’ So what’s wrong?
Well, it’s subtle but the movie goes ‘Clinton / Edwards’ on us in the last act. You might sense yourself squirm just for a second with a plot twist we’d only expect from a President or Senator. I won’t spoil it for you but inquiring minds will get their faces rubbed in the lechery and betrayal of what Hollywood sees as ‘family life.’ Yeah strange things do happen in families but geez, this is supposed to be a Stooge movie not a depravity contest.
Anyway, Hollywood and Politics have become a fashionable blend. You can’t seem to get one without a smear of the other. So the writers felt obligated to get a cultural (political) cheap shot in at the the Church and Family. These are easy targets for brave writers who never seem to write anything funny about Islam.
At some parts you may catch yourself laughing a little too hard. Are we trying to elevate ourselves in a perverse way, by trashing under foot the honorable notions of culture, family and faith?
The Christian faith, like the Stooges, can take a good punch and still turn the other cheek. And for all its missteps the Christian faith still encourages family, tolerance, charity, generosity, honesty, goodness, community and peace. So if knocking ‘family and faith’ isn’t courageous, clever or profound, what is it? It’s perverse. And it’s also politically correct and all too common. Why?
Lots of reasons but here’s two big ones.
1. We want everyone to feel good, which is nice and Utopian but Utopian is not realistic.
2. Politicians want every group and vote counted, no matter how bizarre, weird or destructive, because politicians just want to win.
Alexis deTocqueville called this situation a ‘tyranny of minorities.’
In the Stooge’s case, knocking ‘family and faith’ is just another celebration of the ‘weird view,’ disguised as comedy. According to Joseph Campbell, mythologist and scholar, a solid culture celebrates the eternal truths with stories that support the culture and truth.
Judging by the Stooge story, ‘family and faith’ are not a respectable part of our culture. People will say I’m too conservative. But where’s their tolerance, where’s their love? We used to make funny movies without trashing and shaming ourselves. Now we’re essentially beating ourselves up all the time in the Simpsons, Family Guy, glorified soap operas like Desparate Housewives, and all the TV comedies with buffoon fathers.
Today we mistake self destruction for humility and tolerance. And that’s so bad, it’s funny.
Check out the Stooges. You’ll laugh.