Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 05/20/22 Power to the People. As noted here Wednesday, this is the week of the Upfronts, the annual rite when the traditional broadcast networks and now streamers unveil their wares for the upcoming (2022-23) TV season. People can argue about the differences between broadcasters […]
Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 05/03/21
CBS Sunday Morning declares Cancel Culture to be a new wedge issue. At the same time, Ted Koppel’s report on the issue notes that it’s been with us for generations and was once known as Political Correctness. I give the journalistic icon credit for making a genuine effort to cover the issue from all sides though, IMHO, his conclusion stated at the end of the report below pretty succinctly encapsulates the difference between how the corporate media frames the debate and how its critics do.
I may be dating myself with the following analogies but… The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a laugh-out-loud absurdist satirical riot in the vein the classic Cold War-mocking Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of the 1960’s. It can also be compared with more serious live-action shows of the era like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek which took on issues that were considered too confrontational with the power elite of the time to comment on directly (i.e. racism and the Vietnam War). In the current moment, it’s the expanding power of Big Tech to monitor us, manipulate us and even cancel us that is the 1000-pound monster in the room. Like those aforementioned works of creative genius, Mitchells brilliantly couches its subversive commentary in fantasy escapist storytelling so effortlessly and stealthily that its targets literally may not know what hit them.
Its plot about a cell phone-led attempt to extinguish humanity is well underway before one of the characters actually says something about the craziness of handing all our personal data to power-hungry Big Tech monopolies that just maybe don’t necessarily have our best interests at heart. As the Mitchell family becomes the Machines’ unlikely last stumbling block to total world domination, an attempt is made to use their previously recorded out-of-context actions and comments to shame and divide them. They are told that even when they’ve been nice to each other they were only pretending and, therefore, they’re positive actions and growth didn’t count. If that doesn’t sound familiar, check out the item above this one. Spoiler Alert: It’s only through forgiveness and understanding that they manage to rise above the psychological gaslighting.
The Bottom Line is… The Mitchells vs. The Machines is creative, witty, thoroughly entertaining and has a good heart. It’s also bravely makes a very timely and important point with a narrative that is appreciated and likely to stand the test of time. For all of that, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is Highly Recommended.