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December 1995, Week 4


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Jeffrey Apfel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 26 Dec 1995 07:25:33 -0800
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I find it interesting that, while there has been a lot of disagreement
on this list about whether Sid's family was deprived or just depraved,
there seems to be almost universal consensus that we should be out
there policing Disney on this issue.  That is, even those who have
argued that Sid is middle-class but simply from a bad family do not
challenge the assumption that it would be somehow sinful for Disney to
have made Sid's family not middle-class.
Chris Carlsson, to take an example, discusses how the film might be
exploiting the concept, 'embedded in out culture', that lower economic
status is associated with lower moral status.  But then he goes on to
point out Unstrung Heroes, a film which celebrates (through the uncles)
unkempt, unmonied diversity and criticices the middle class pretensions
and hypocrisies of most of McDowell's relations.
C'mon, let's face facts here: in Hollywood, it is this latter
theme--the poor are virtuous, the moneyed are suspect--that gets a
*lot* more play.  (As for the *rich*, forget it, they are beneath
contempt--most villians are educated Jeremy Irons types).
As a middle-class person believing that this country's (written from
USA) strength lies in the ability and, yes, the willingness, of the
middle-class to create assimilating opportunities, I am offended by
this constant drumbeat against the middle-class.
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