The Elmer Fudd of Today

What surprises me the most

Is having watched Looney Tunes

As an adult, I see Bugs Bunny is in the role of Squidward.

Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian,

The Tasmanian Devil,

They are basically Sponge Bob

And Patrick, and Mr. Crabs.

 

It’s almost eerie in a way

That we’ve moved from the Looney Tunes

Where the characters were defending themselves

From being eaten, from their homes being invaded,

From a whole host of things and aggression.

But, Sponge Bob, Patrick, Sandy and Mr. Crabs

Come and destroy Squidward’s life over

And over, and over, and over again.

Now the home invader is Sponge Bob

And it’s ok. The person with the right

To privacy, the right to live and let live

Is being invaded by Sponge Bob.

 

I don’t say this to say that Sponge Bob is a bad cartoon.

I like the cartoon.

I just think it displays our modern archetype

Of the victim being the one to blame

Because they are stuffy, or whatever reason we find.

Often Squidward is innocent in every episode,

And we find a narcissistic pattern in all the characters.

Which, seems to reflect the society.

Did it build the society?

Art tends to do that better than any medium

Because it works on a powerful,

Subconscious level.

And it does…

The question is our response to it as a culture.

Do we let things continue down this path

Of Sociopathy, Psychopathy,

Criminal Negligence, etc.

Because Bugs Bunny always had justice on his side.

It seems Sponge Bob does not…

Very frankly our culture reflects this reality

By giving the Sponge Bob like people

Those haphazard, foolish,

Zealous and lustful about life

The reward, which is happiness.

We prize Sponge Bob in our modern culture

Because he doesn’t question the corruption

Around him, but rather is part of the corruption itself.

You can say Squidward is, too,

But in a sense he’s being exploited

And is in indentured servitude

At least implied a dozen times in the cartoon.

So… it’s eerie that this is our moral compass today.

And again, Sponge Bob is not a bad cartoon.

I think, though, the challenge it presents

To the former ethos is one that presents

Within its design and internal logic

A pattern of corruption that seems to celebrate

People who are overworked,

People who are exploited,

And people who are content with being exploited.

Which, frankly,

That’s the sum difference of Looney Tunes and Sponge Bob.

Looney Tunes the characters fought back.

Both are excessively violent, and display the same

Lewd sexual undertones.

That’s not the issue.

The issue is which side has justice.

And Bugs and Daffy Duck

We saw this same thing…

It’s something cartoons exploit.

It’s not something that ought to be censored.

But often, justice is a very powerful thing

And we need to at least have some semblance of it in our art

As I’m pretty sure most of our problems today

Stem from our art.

The reason why is because

Simply put

They put ideas in our head

That weren’t there previously,

You can lie and say it doesn’t affect you

But you don’t know what an arm being torn off looks like

Until you’ve seen it on TV.

You don’t know what a penis entering a vagina looks like

Until you see it on TV.

I remember flagrantly in my youth

Trying to imagine both

And I couldn’t

Until I had seen it.

And that alone, with the myriad of other problems

Shows how our art is exploitative and a cultural movement needs to change it.

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