Monday, July 19, 2004


One of the curious pleasures of parenting is the opportunity to revisit childhood classics and discover that they bear almost no resemblance to one's memory of them. Last week we rented Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the boys, and watched it over the course of four nights.

Now I may be wrong about this, but I suspect that the Neocon boys over at the Pentagon may have been watching it as well. Towards the end small force (Caractacus Potts, Truly Scrumptious[1], two generic children) with superior technology (CCBB) invade a country ruled by a despotic leader who has enslaved or driven underground a significant portion of the population (the children). With the help of a knowledgable insider (the toymaker) they succeed in overthrowing the baron and releasing the prisoners. Despite the ensuing chaos, they are able to immediately leave, while an announcer calmly reveals that with the overthrow of the ruler democracy is able to take root and flourish.

Eery, isn't it? Unfortunately, it turns out (and this is one of the things I had forgotten) that all of the bits involving cars that float and fly are merely a story told to the children and have no basis in reality even in the world of the film. This is a key detail that I suspsect the Perle-ites missed.

[1] Apparently Ian Flemings ridiculous female character names weren't limited to Bond movies!