GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

The continued existence of this site depends entirely on contributions from its readers. If you're able to, please consider donating or subscribing to CF. Thanks!


Happy 100th birthday

To the incomparable Charles Schultz.

The 100th anniversary of the late cartoonist Charles Schulz’s birthday came and went last week without any notice anywhere, that I saw. And so, with thanks to Mark, I pen my own little tribute here to one of the great creative geniuses in American history.

If you were young at any time between 1950 (when Schulz first began publishing his comic strip Peanuts) and 2000, when Schulz died at the age of 77, you grew up in a world in which everyone read the latest Peanuts comic strip (particularly in the US and Canada) as part of their daily newspaper reading ritual.

In that world, Peanuts comic strip panels—carefully cut from the newspaper—adorned refrigerators, bedroom walls, lockers, office bulletin boards, everywhere you went; Peanuts characters adorned T-shirts and lunch boxes; Peanuts references peppered everyday conversations; and Peanuts television specials attracted as many adult viewers as child viewers.

Most remarkably, in that world, Peanuts story lines, themes, and characters resided so deeply in the North American psyche, they had come to serve as crucial cognitive tools for enabling people to experience, make sense of, and communicate about themselves and the world around them.

On that last point, think of how many times you’ve said, or heard someone say, “It’s Lucy with the football”. The reference instantly transmits not just an insight into the true dynamics of a situation, but an insight with powerful emotional valence. In a flash, you think back to all those strips showing Lucy fooling Charlie Brown again…and you re-experience your own past feeling of wanting to believe in something so badly, you’ve forgotten what history has already taught you, and you’ve started to fall prey to the persuasions of someone who just won’t deliver in the end. Think of Lucy holding that football, and you inevitably start to wonder if, in this case, you’ve turned into Charlie Brown. It’s a reality check.

That it surely is. Tal goes on from there to, as he puts it, “touch on a few deeper issues,” in his usual erudite and adroit fashion. To wit:

People naturally tend to think of earlier generations as somewhat benighted compared to us in our present age. We assume those before us didn’t have the awareness we have, or the depth, sophistication, or imagination. And certainly, we might be tempted to imagine that about an era in which “The Andy Griffith Show”, “Gilligan’s Island”, and “My Three Sons” were the biggest shows going, as opposed to, say, “Narcos”, or whatever the latest serial killer series Netflix is running now. Or where the biggest pop stars were Frankie ValliDion, and Patti Page, as opposed to our present collection of convicted felonsprostitutesdrug addictspimps, and Satanists.

But Peanuts often went deep. One example is the daring surrealism Schulz inserted into the strip, particularly through the character of Charlie Brown’s beagle, Snoopy.

Sitting alone on top of his doghouse, Snoopy regularly hallucinates himself back in time to World War I. Once there, he often finds himself in air battle as a fighter pilot. In these moments, his doghouse is no longer a doghouse. It is a Sopwith Camel outfitted with Vickers machine guns. His main job is to kill Germans (particularly the flying ace Manfred von Richthofen); but in various sequences, he carries messages through trenches filled with the wounded, gets shot down behind enemy lines, dates local French girls, and laments the deaths of his fallen comrades.

Schulz goes farther. He ends up casting these episodes as perhaps more than hallucinations. In one strip, for example, Charlie Brown stands before his school classroom to read a paper on the flu epidemic of 1918. He then reveals it was actually Snoopy who wrote it, since Snoopy was there throughout the crisis. Snoopy stands next to Charlie Brown in class, dressed in his World War I flying gear. That Schulz never definitively explains what’s going on with the fantasy sequences only heightens our emotional engagement with the sequences.

Bachman’s deft analysis continues from there. Read of it, for It Is Good.

1
0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kennycan

Peanuts is an American institution and one of the greats of all time.

I’d put it ahead of anything Disney put out.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Comments policy

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't. Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

Categories

Archives

"Mike Hendrix is, without a doubt, the greatest one-legged blogger in the world." ‐Henry Chinaski

Mike @Substack

Allied territory

Alternatives to shitlib social media:

Fuck you

Kill one for mommy today! Click to embiggen

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

Claire's Cabal—The Freedom Forums

FREEDOM!!!

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Daniel Webster

“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”
Ezra Pound

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.”
John Adams

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
Bertrand de Jouvenel

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."
GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free."
Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved."
Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil."
Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork."
David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"If the laws of God and men, are therefore of no effect, when the magistracy is left at liberty to break them; and if the lusts of those who are too strong for the tribunals of justice, cannot be otherwise restrained than by sedition, tumults and war, those seditions, tumults and wars, are justified by the laws of God and man."
John Adams

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine."
Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it."
NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in."
Bill Whittle

Best of the best

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

RSS feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Contact


mike at this URL dot com

All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless otherwise specified

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2023