For decades, children have enjoyed the antics of that inquisitive simian Curious George. Leave it to Hollywood to think it can improve on an author’s creative genius by altering the original work to bring it in compliance with asinine politically correct assumptions.
Integral to the Curious George mythos is the character referred to as “The Man In The Yellow Hat” who takes care of George and helps him out of all the mischief the rambunctious primate happens to get into. But in this era where it is said traditional values no longer exist and the worth of one’s character is determined by what trendy progressive causes one might happen to support, the kindness he bestows upon his furry companion is no longer enough to demonstrate his compassion and understanding. Now in order to be categorized as an appropriate cinematic protagonist or figure worthy of admiration, the back story of The Man In The Yellow Hat must be altered to placate the sensitivity sentinels.
According to Georgite canon, The Man In The Yellow Hat originally captured George on behalf of a zoo. Now in the movie version, The Man In The Yellow Hat is employed as an archaeologist sent to Africa on a quest for artifacts.
The reason behind the career change, the film’s director told USA Today, is that today capturing an animal would seem harsh and amounts to stealing. While George seems quite childlike in his stories, it must be remembered he is just an animal. Therefore, how can he be stolen unless inappropriately taken from another human being?
It’s not like George ends up being used in laboratory experimentation. From what’s depicted in the storybooks, it always looked like he had a pretty good life as do many other zoo animals.
Are we to assume that all zoological gardens and wildlife preserves are places of lamentation and misery for every last animal? Even though he is known for his kindness to animals, is Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin “harsh” because he administers a zoo and, unlike the animals that boarded Noah’s ark, those under Irwin’s custodianship did not just one day show up at the doorstep of Australia Zoo as a result of some divine compulsion?
If we are to carry this perspective of Western man as world exploiter to its ultimate conclusion, isn’t it just as offensive for The Man In The Yellow Hat to be an archaeologist despoiling the material culture of spiritually enlightened primitives? After all, isn’t it inherently worse to take someone else’s property than some monkey that doesn’t even belong to anyone?
Interesting how those that get all worked up over the rights and dignity of monkeys aren’t usually all that much into the property rights of either the living or the dead.
Copyright 2005 by Frederick Meekins
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