I think the world might actually be going mad. Last month, my husband and I watched a childhood favorite, the 1970s cinema version of Pippi Longstocking. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should probably know that it’s not going to win any awards. But not even wooden acting and choppy editing can mar such a glorious tale as that of Pippi, the redhead girl who lives in a wonderfully ramshackle villa without adult supervision.
My husband and I both knew the theme song, but my husband, being Swiss, knew the German version. I went online to YouTube to listen to his version and the first comment posted was “Why so many dislikes?” What evolved was a divisive thread (by Germans) about German political parties. I was utterly baffled. What does Pippi have to do with right, left or center? I didn’t read far enough to find out. I didn’t want Pippi ruined for me.
After the eclipse last August, the only story that JTA ran managed to make the eclipse about people in Tennessee who voted for Trump. Again, all I could do was shake my head in bafflement. What does a natural occurrence that brought millions of people together have to do with politics? It says a lot more about the writer and a lot less about those he interviewed or the place he went to that this is the angle he found. Sad. Even silly.
We’re living in an age where everything is politicized — from children’s literature to celestial phenomena. Pippi will still be great, as will future eclipses. The ones being diminished are ourselves.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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