A lot of people have been talking about Funny or Die’s new Captain Planet spoof featuring Don Cheadle, but no one has really analyzed why it’s funny.
As with almost all good comedy, there has to be an element of truth to it. The reason why something makes us laugh is because there’s usually truth at the heart of what the comedian is trying to say.
Given Funny or Die’s liberal reputation, it’s astonishing that someone would call out the green movement on its bizarre self-loathing and hatred for humanity. When Captain Planet goes from turning “evil” businessmen into trees, and instead aims at the guy walking his dog or the mom pushing a stroller, the writer highlights what conservatives know to be true: To environmentalists, humans are the problem.
Conservatives don’t hate the environment. They just look at human ingenuity and creativity as the main tool needed to care for the earth. Liberals want smaller “footprints” (i.e., less humans doing less of everything that gives life meaning).
Conservatives see the need for more space and get to work on taller skyscrapers. Running out of food? Get better bio-engineering that yields more crop on less land.
The planet was here for billions of years. It existed before us, and it will be here long after we’re gone. To think humans are able to permanently scar the earth requires an incredible amount of hubris, and until monkeys start ruminating on the meaning on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness let’s just agree that the earth and its raw materials are here for us to use as we see fit.
In the Captain Planet skit the “Planeteers” have a moment a truth, where they realize that a planet of trees—with no humans around to appreciate them—is a pretty useless thing. Absent us, the earth is just another big rock whirling around in space, suspended and maintained by the awesome laws of physics created by the ultimate mathematician; I usually call him God.
Is it possible that the Funny or Die writer who penned the script was so dumb that his only motivation was to have Captain Planet go off the deep end? Sure. But even if a dumb writer doesn’t realize where the road of environmentalist logic leads, it doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t read a map.