Tea for the Bloggerman

The Politics of Spongebob
December 15, 2008, 6:24 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

With winter vacation in full-swing, I have had a lot of time to lazy around and watch cartoons. Well I just watched an episode of Spongebob Squarepants I had not seen before and I am quite impressed.  Now I love Spongebob, but I didn’t think it much as a vehicle for politics, but I was wrong!

This episode begins with Mr. Krabs singing the joys of money and of greed. When he finishes his song, a wealthy businessman and his associates enter the Krusty Krab looking for the owner. It is soon revealed that the wealthy businessman is none other than the man who engineered the ruthless takeover over many of the mom-‘n-pop restaurants in Bikini Bottom and transformed them into chain restaurants. He offers Mr. Krabs a truck full of money for the Krusty Krab and he accepts.

Soon Mr. Krabs finds retirement not quite what he expected and goes back to the Krab to get a job. Upon returning to the Krab he finds how drastic the changes are. Even though the restaurant looked more impressive and had many more customers, the new owners controlled the staff with an iron fist, forcing them to follow regulation upon regluation. The Krabby Patties were no longer handmade with love from the finest ingredients. Oh no. They were made on a conveyer belt using artifical food substitutes. To quote the new manager of the Krusty Krab: “our customers are quite satisfied with the contrived and the mediocre.”

Mr. Krabs realizes the error of his ways and reveals the horrid nature of the food they have been serving. The people run in fear, the machines malfunction and destroy the Krab, Mr. Krab buys back the restaurant, and they start over from scratch. Overall, a happy ending.

This is obviously a social critique at big chain restaurants like McDonalds and Starbucks who drive independent businesses to ruin so they can make ridiculous profit hocking their third-rate products to unsuspecting and unthinking consumers. While this may be good business, it cuts the heart out of the American economy: the belief that with hard work, dedication, and innovation, great success is possible. This ethic has been largely replaced by corportate greed and the tendency for the American consumer to jump off the proverbial cliff like lemmings. It is a sad fate.

The second part of the episode involves Spongebob being worried that his “laugh box” is wearing out and that he needs to stop laughing forever. A political interpretation of this portion will follow shortly. Kidding!