Telling a great story

Is it OK to rape if the culture you come from has normalized it?

Why is Havana crumbling? What are the costs, and is it affecting their great (according to Michael Moore) health care?

And is depicting bullying necessary when telling an anti-bullying story? Some people don’t think so. Let’s let Rudolph demonstrate why it is. Merry Christmas!

Mentioned links:

Refugee acquitted of rape ‘as he has different cultural norms’ – His female victim attempted suicide

How Havana is collapsing, building by building

The truth about Cuba’s health care system

Viewers Noticed Some Very Disturbing Details In ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’

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Show transcript

Dateline France: A Muslim refugee from Bangladesh was acquitted of the rape of a high school girl. I have a link in the show notes with the details of what the accuser said he did.

We’ve heard of cases like the woman who accused members of the Duke Lacrosse team of rape, which we found out later they were innocent of. It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, it needs to be called attention to, in order to avoid rushes to judgement later.

Now as I said, we’ve all heard of cases like the Duke Lacrosse case, but this case in France is different in one rather important way; the guy did the crime. He did rape the girl. That much is not in contention. However, the French court acquitted him because of his “different cultural norms.” According to the website Voice of Europe:

Experts who investigated the man, described him as narcissistic and self-centered and that in the male culture of Bangladesh, his country of origin, “women are relegated to the status of sexual object”.

And apparently that’s also true in France now.

Back in 1978, we learned of a fictitious night club that, 30 years earlier in the 1940s, was the hot place to be. How hot was it? Well, according to Barry Manilow, the Copacabana was [the hottest spot north of Havana].

(And right now, my sister is smiling.)

Anyway, in the 40s, Havana was a great place to be. Today, after communism has ravaged it, not so much. Turns out that the buildings there – buildings where people still live – are crumbling one at a time. There’s a link in the show notes to an article detailing one incident where Rafael Álvarez was up early warming milk for his baby daughter, when he heard the sound of pebbles falling. The next thing he knew, the floor below him crumbled away and he fell, winding up waist-deep in rubble, but alive. His daughter, as well as his mother and two others, however, died in the collapse.

This is the “utopia” that many Leftists hijacked planes to in the 60s. This is one of the countries extolled by Michael Moore’s movie “SiCKO”, letting us know that socialized health care was so much better. Turns out that socialized infrastructure isn’t much of a utopia, and hospital buildings in that country are subject to the same problems, which of course translates into their actual health care.

So no homes, no safety, and, not so coincidentally enough, no statistics of the injured and dead. In the meantime, Mr. Álvarez can get his health care. But please don’t tell me it’s “free”.

Every year around this time, the networks pull out the classic Christmas animations featuring Charlie Brown, Frosty, and Rudolph. It’s that last one that I want to point out something about.

Well, actually, first the Huffington Post pointed out a few things that their readers pointed out. There were some of the usual questions like why is that dolly on the Island of Misfit Toys. I mean, this Christmas special has been with us since 1964, and there’s been no really good explanation for it. But if you read most of the quoted tweets, linked to in the show notes, you’ll find a common thread.

Everybody’s a jerk towards Rudolph and company. His dad tries to hide the nose, Comet and the other reindeer kick Rudolph out because of his difference, Hermey the Elf (who wants to be a dentist) is demeaned for wanting that, and even Santa finds Rudolph weird. But, that all changes when the crew, along with the fantastic Yukon Cornelius, saves the day. There’s bullying and ostracizing going on from the get-go. And Huffington Post noticed that a lot of tweeters noticed.

Y’know what else I noticed? In Moby Dick, Ahab is overly obsessed with a white whale. And in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge is a real jerk with his miserliness. And in Romeo and Juliet, there’s this awful family feud between the Montagues and the Capulets! See, I’m told that, in the literary world, conflict seems to be a rather important thing. In fact, it often drives the story; it’s the reason that there is a story.

It manifests in the Rudolph story as being mean to those who are different. Without it, there is no story to tell. And let’s go back, as they say, to the source material. Have you heard the song it’s based on? There are just a couple of lines in it that allude to actual bullying as well. But that’s what I like about the animated special.

First, it fleshes out the story, giving us more detail about how Rudolph was laughed at and called names. Then, it adds another character who is also different, and we got a wonderful buddy story. But at the end of it all, the bullying is recognized as wrong (yes, even by Santa himself), and a lesson is learned about accepting differences in people, just in time for the storm to kick in and Rudy gets to save Christmas.

It’s an anti-bullying message and a tolerance message, which you can’t have unless your story has actual bullying and intolerance in it. This should be a good thing, right? And I think it’s also a good reminder that bullying is not some new phenomenon of the 21st century; we’ve had it for at least 50 years, and likely as far back as, oh, the dawn of man.

So let’s not get too overly anxious about a story with flying reindeer, toy-making elves, and an abominable snow monster, especially with as good a message as this one has. Oh, and spoiler alert; Bumbles bounce!

Filed under: Economics & TaxesGovernmentHealth CareHollywoodImmigrationJudiciarySocialismTolerance and Diversity