Posts Tagged ‘muppets’

A vital PSA

I’ve been meaning to share this forever, and yet it continued to be pushed to the back burner.  As if there’s anything more important going on?  A few years ago, a movie was released that changed the landscape of “Muppet Movies” forever.  Taken to a whole new production level, this modern take on the community known as “The Muppets” was instantly a hit in my book.  Even with the acknowledgement of drama between the production and Frank Oz (missed him, for sure).

But one of the significant tragedies that happened concerns a major plot element that is never actually revealed in the movie!

The “evil villain” in this movie features “Tex Richman”, an oil baron with an axe to grind against The Muppets.  He wants to exploit the land Muppet Studios is located on, and shows visible contempt for Kermit and his pals.  But what we never hear in the movie itself is WHY Tex Richman dislikes the Muppets.  We get a small hint, as he goes off with his odd way of celebrating something he thinks is funny.  He doesn’t laugh, but rather says the words, “Maniacal Laugh!!” over and over again, in an evil-sounding voice.

Thankfully, my family and I knew the back-story.  Not because we knew Tex Richman personally, but simply because we’d purchased “The Muppets” soundtrack way before the movie was released.  There’s a song within the movie where Tex Richman introduces himself.  It’s pretty entertaining, and has a catchy tune you’ll want to sing along.  But in the movie itself, an important part of the song is missing – the musical interlude where Tex gives a heartbreaking story that happened to him as a boy.  The story is sung as follows:

“I recall a heart breaking story
About my own 10th birthday party
Should’ve been glorious day for me
I’d have been happy as can be
But the Muppets were there to put on a show
They started to dance they were telling their jokes
I didn’t laugh…
I didn’t know how…
Then my friends they all turned around
And they laughed at me…
They laughed at me…
And I hate you Muppets so”

Especially in a heart-breaking operatic tone, one can’t help but be sympathetic to Mr.Richman, and want terribly to find the redemptive moment in the movie where, inspired by the heart of Kermit, he’s given a chance to laugh. Unfortunately, this peek into his childhood is covered up in the film. Buried under what remains to be a solid bit of rich entertainment, the story is only known by those who have listened to the soundtrack.

But it begs the question: Will Tex Richman ever learn to laugh? Will Kermit and his Rainbow Connection be powerful enough to conquer the walls that have been built up over the years of this hardened heart? Or will he be forced to chant “maniacal laugh!!!” for the remainder of his days?

I sincerely hope that at some point in a future movie, we will all get a chance to learn what has become of this boy who became a man who never knew the joy of laughter. Until then, every Muppet movie that continues to be made, although it will make me smile and laugh, will in a small way simply be avoiding the issue. This is a public plea for Kermit and his friends to face the issue honestly, and show Tex Richman what a life lived with laughter can be like.

we dance.

It was Father’s Day – a pretty great one if I might add – and they’d each helped select a gift that would make me smile.  Addie got me a Detroit Redwings decal I could put on my new (to us, thanks to awesome friends!) car.  Sophie drew me a picture of myself, and put it in a nice small frame.  Even Phoebe got in on the action from Africa, and sent me a bowtie made out of African fabric.  Each of the girls helped answer questions in a small booklet, all about their daddy.  Apparently I’m a professional cuddler. (said in my best “King Julien” imitation voice)

All of the gifts were awesome, but one that instantly grew was from Ruby.  She helped select the soundtrack to the most recent Muppets movie.  Even though I’ve not seen it yet, the girls knew I’d be excited to experience anything new related to the Muppets.  This gift, of course, came with certain expectations.  We had all afternoon, as it was a Sunday.  No plans, and the girls knew that.  So what should we do?  9ojti

Open the soundtrack, play the music, and dance…of course. 🙂

Confession: We dance a lot in our house.  Two of our girls have had ballet lessons, but the 3rd daughter is the one who’ll convince you she’s had several years instruction.

We danced with them.  We watched them.  Their smiles, laughter, and movements were beautiful and lit up our living room.  This was the un-purchased gift that warmed a daddy’s heart on Father’s Day.

This is the activity we join together in, as we enjoy the gifts God has given us.  To dance and enjoy the goodness of His creation is not a denial of evil or suffering.   Yesterday morning, they were clearing a major area because of shots fired at a hotel.  A suicidal man was firing rounds into the air as many of us simply drove by on our way to work.  It was a morning that faced the harsh realization that our world includes suffering and brokenness.

But last night, over 80 people of varying ages and backgrounds gathered in our church gym.  We shared a meal, talking and telling stories.  We spilled drinks, and laughed as we cleaned up.  We sang songs, some goofy with motions and some straight out of the hymnal.  We told a story that had a 6 year old leading 70 year olds in making trumpet noises.  We confessed the painful truth that some of us have yet to see the response of God to prayers we’ve made for a long time.  We prayed.

Our lives as followers of Christ, are not denials of the evil in our world.  Our lives are powerful statements that even in a world where evil has made an impact, Jesus is Lord.  Even in a world where brokenness exists, beauty abounds even more.  In a world where wrong motivations and false Gods lead people astray – we invite people to dance with their Heavenly Father.

My kids are getting it.  One day at a time.  I think my church is getting it to.  I’m so proud and excited for the family, and church family, I get to dance with.

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