I saw an episode of South Park where the class had to read Catcher in the Rye as it had just come off the banned book list. After reading it, the boys couldn’t figure out what about this book caused it to be banned or why everyone made such a big deal about it (the same reaction I had after reading it) so they wrote their own book, making it as disgusting and offensive as they possibly could. Somehow it got published and became a best-seller. People read all kinds of deep, profound meanings into it which simply weren’t there.
Why do people always want to find things in books and movies that just aren’t there? Take, for instance, March of the Penguins. It was simply a very nice documentary film showing how penguins survived in the harsh environment of Antarctica. Yet various fundamentalists and other religious nut cases somehow saw it as a statement on “Intelligent Design.” It’s just a charming and educational film about penguins. As Sigmund Freud said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
Have you ever noticed that almost nobody finds deeper meanings and profound truths in everyday television fare? I suspect that’s because no matter how deep you dig or how hard you look, you’re not to find any real substance in the junk food for the mind that passes for lowest common denominator entertainment. It’s pap for the hoi polloi, nothing more.