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The Politics of The Incredibles
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I saw The Incredibles a couple of weeks ago, but didn't comment on it here. It was a great of the best this year, and all sorts of people seem to agree. So it's a bit sad that all some have politically coopted the film.

Like Andrew Sullivan, who is generally very independent-minded.

I agree with him about the central message of the film:

The fundamental moral of the movie is that this restraint is wrong and needs to be overcome: Letting the talented earn the proud rewards of their labor, and the fruits of their destiny, harms no one and actually helps those in the greatest need.

Yes, I agree.

It's similar to Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron", which is set in an America where the best and brightest are "handicapped". The strong are forced by law to wear heavy weights and the intelligent are equipped with noisemakers in their ears, all so that everyone can be "equal".

The Incredibles is working on a similar vibe, though I'm not sure this is a conservative sentiment (Vonnegut isn't exactly a card-carrying Republican). I have seen liberals more apt to employ this sort of attitude, but it's by no means restricted to the left.

As a student teacher, I had more than one instructor bring up the whole "multiple intelligences" meme, that we're all intelligent, just in different ways. I had another talk about how, for an English class, instead of making all the kids write essays, we might offer assignments more suited to their talents. Hell no, I thought. If I'm teaching an English class, my students are going to write. I'm not going to let some kid get an A for building the House of Usher out of fucking macaroni, instead of writing about it.

Anyway, then Sullivan says:

It's not anti-family, of course. But it is pro-talent and pro-opportunity. It is in favor of the urge to get out there and achieve things without apology. Within the right-left rubric of American cultural discourse, the movie is therefore rightward-tilting. And that's why many critics on the left have decried it.

Huh? Who?

Last time I checked, the movie was universally well-reviewed. It's at 96% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. Who are these "many critics" on the left who have "decried" it?

That kind of commentary is a bit silly. And it's a shame, too, since it's a fine movie that really shouldn't be dragged into the arena of political discourse.

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