Remember the Push Me Pull You from the original Doctor Dolittle movie? When I saw it as a kid, I didn’t understand that the Push Me Pull You is really two guys in a costume. I also didn’t understand how in the world the Push Me Pull You could ever go to the bathroom.
Doctor Dolittle Was A Genius
There was so much I was missing, because I’ve come to understand that the Push Me Pull You is actually a brilliantly conceived metaphor for the Moral State of America! What got me thinking about this was a great discussion on the stellar Phil Vischer Podcast about whether societal moral decay is really like a Slippery Slope or more like a game of Whack a Mole. Let me explain.
You know the well established Slippery Slope theory. Pick an issue and people on both sides will declare that any movement to the left or the right of that issue will soon result in Complete Protonic Reversal (the end of life as we know it). Give an Inch and They’ll Take A Mile! This may occasionally be true, but more often than not, the Slippery Slope is Hysterical Hyperbole.
As a counterpoint, the Whack a Mole theory suggests that societal moral decay resembles the aforementioned irritating arcade game. One problem pops up and has to be dealt with, then another, then another with no real rhyme or reason. Keeping your culture on track in this scenario is bewildering and noisy, but it seemed to me like an improvement over the Slippery Slope theory until I began to think about the Push Me Pull You.
The Push Me Pull You Explains It All
THIS is the essence of American moral decline! We move forward in one direction but backward in another. It happens over and over. When I was a kid, smoking on TV and in movies was cool and pot was illegal. Now pot is legal (in Colorado) and a character smoking a cigarette can get your movie an R rating. Push Me Pull You.
Used to be every American boy played with toy guns, but American boys didn’t take real guns to school to shoot their classmates. Now American boys shoot their classmates, but are protected from gun-shaped pop tarts at school. Push Me Pull You.
In the past, primetime TV was clean, and Cleveland’s river was dirty. Now primetime TV is dirty and Cleveland’s river is clean. Push Me Pull You.
Yep, I’m sure of it. The Push Me Pull You is the best metaphor for the State of American Cultural Morality. You may disagree…
“But what about the Slippery Slope?”
“But what about Whack A Mole?”
You’re wrong… with the Push Me Pull You, there are no butts.
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