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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, August 20, 2012

Revisiting Charles Schultz


Revisiting Charles Schultz




Of course Charles Schultz had a right to write what he felt.  I am just very sorry that he felt that way.  The comic strip about sound doctrine that I reposted from somebody recently does not mean what some Christians might think it means.  The message throughout Peanuts is that we live in a hard unforgiving world and the weak take solace in religious myths [like the Great Pumpkin], impossible ideals [winning baseball with dogs and girls], stubborn building of tiny islands of meaning around yourself: Beethoven, security blankets, doghouses, etc.  "Sound Doctrine" is one of those security blankets and might even affect how realists like Lucy think, who are among those who realize the Charlie Brown is a blockhead, Linus is a religious mystic and Lucy and Snoopy [the realists] are always trying to take away the security, so that the blockheads can see reality.  It is hopeless to think that such stubborn blockheads will ever see the truth of psychiatry and nature and live in the world of reality.  

There is no purpose for this stupid world, some realist will always pull the football away; the reality is in the journey, for there is no ultimate purpose. 

The very name "Peanuts" reveals that Schultz's world view was that we are a bunch of insignificant childlike idiots whose lives have no meaning, so you have to find your own meaning in your little circle and be prepared to protect yourself from the realists like Lucy.  

Your little doghouse can be filled with immense furnishings that could exist only in a world of fantasy.  The best thing you can do with such a world is to laugh at it.  Little people living meaningless lives:  Peanuts was pre-Seinfeld Seinfeld, but as funny as can be, especially when you recognize the pain at the root of it, for great humor always comes out of pain.  It is a bitter satire clothed in the comedy of children, a Swiftian satire with the bitterness masked.

The value of such satires and the humor of them is that we see ourselves and others and life becomes a bit more bearable for meaningless lives.  It is especially funny when we see our friends so displayed.  We know those who always whisk away the football.  The tragedy is that in laughter and fun we often miss "The Horror, The Horror!" and drift on into eternity where reality will hit us with a vengeance.  There IS a God and we were created to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  That the present sufferings are not to be compared with the glory that awaits those who believe on Christ and have found the Way the Truth and the Life.  And that is NOT a great pumpkin.

The comparison with the Old Man and the Sea is pertinent.  The world is meaningless.  The struggle is the existential meaning we impose on the world.  The meaning is in the catching of the great fish you dream of--it's the dream that counts.  Make your hands keep holding on, continue the struggle and do not give up.  You will never win a baseball game, but every year you take the mound again.  But realize, that nothing will turn out as you dream, the sharks will eat the fish, and you will be left with nothing but memories of the struggle, but people will marvel at how brave you are.

Pshaw!  No wonder Hemingway blew his brains out.  Cheer up, friend, nothing will turn out right.  The Great Pumpkin will not return again.  [Irony alert]
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