When I was a kid, I wrote a story called The Magic Bubble. It was a short tale of a kid named Al who ate Cocoa Krispies for weeks on end so he could mail away for a promotional prize: the titular magic bubble. This bubble, costing 5 Cocoa Krispies proof of purchases, would take the owner anywhere in the world–as long as it wasn’t too hot for the bubble to handle.
Al pumped up his magic bubble and then chose his destination: Egypt, because he didn’t know anything about Egypt (and also likely because I was interested in pyramids and mummies at the time).
Unfortunately for Al, Egypt was a bit hotter than he expected and his bubble popped shortly after arriving, leaving him lost in the desert. He met a “South Egyptian” who spoke with Yoda-like backwards grammar, a cloud-like figure Mr. Cairo, the capital man of Egypt, and a young Egyptian boy who helped him get on a Navy ship that would take him home.
Now let’s just say that I wanted to expand on this story in the form of a feature film. I’m going to add a political spin, bring in a big conspiracy, and top it off with real-life emotional intrigue–the failing health of poor young Al. And I’m not just going to write, produce, and act in the film, but I’m going to pitch it as a true story.
Much like this:
You might not believe in Al and my story, and that’s ok, you have every right to question it. But bad things happen when people believe in his. This is not about having a discussion or even free speech, it’s about harming children. Andrew Wakefield should be personally accountable for every child he has harmed because of his lies. He’s already been held professionally accountable, but that doesn’t seem to slow him or his supporters. In fact, he’s apparently used it to turn himself into some sort of martyr in this “documentary”.
Good for you Robert de Niro and Tribeca for not allowing this libelous garbage to cloud your film festival. Now if we could just find some way to use Wakefield’s own hot air to burst the bubbles that have befuddled all his supporters, we’d really be on to something.