Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thoughts on Peanuts

"Wah wah wah wah wah wah..."

Recognize these words? These are the words of an absent parent.

How many times reading the comics, watching the holiday specials, or the feature movies, did you see an adult actually acting like one? Charlie brown is a child with serious emotional issues. I don't believe in antidepressants (not in a 'Tom Cruise whack job' sort of way), but by today's standards he'd have been on them from birth. Course given the side effects it probably would've ended in a murder suicide with Snoopy.

I highly doubt he even needed therapy though. A simple parental hand on his life might have done the trick. Where's his mother? She's a stay at home mom, but I've never seen her. Charlie's dad? A barber. Barbers do not work that late. I highly suspect him of sowing his oats on other fields. And by sowing his oats I mean sleeping with Linus's mother.

Honestly, how else could you explain the van Pelt mother's absence? A little boy has an unusually strong attachment to a blanket and no one but his sister cares. Speaking of Lucy, she cutely refers to herself as the happy winner of the title "World's Biggest Fussbudget." Meanwhile back at the ranch, everyone of us knows her to be a sociopath who beats on her brother, his friends, her friends, animals, and I bet if we were to see in her room at night when the lights go out, herself. I've often suspected Lucy is a self harmer. Most likely a cutter. She has all the marks of someone who's overcompensating for a lack of self esteem.

Even on holidays the van Pelts seem to have no interest in caring for their children. Lucy and Linus decorate their own eggs for Easter. They Make their own costumes for Halloween. And yes, they put on their own Christmas plays. It goes even further, because Lucy is a substitute parent for Linus, and Linus is a substitute brother for Sally. He's the one who drags her out into the fields at night to wait for his crazy delusions to arrive. The great pumpkin... I would guess the great pumpkin was a story his father told him one night in a drunken stupor. Sadly he's held onto it alongside his blanket, the only pieces of his tattered childhood left.

Pigpen wanders the streets dirty. He has a home, but he has no boundaries, and he has no one looking out for him. Everyone remembers the kid at school who was never clean. Part of you couldn't help but wonder how the parents could allow that child to go to school day after day as dirty as he was. Pigpen's house though is spotless, so I can only assume his parents are more concerned with the material things than with the love of a child.

All the kids in neighborhood are largely ignored by their parents. Well, except in the case of one kid. Schroeder sadly is in a class of his own. You think that talent came naturally so young? Clearly his parents are obsessed with turning him into a piano maestro, even if it's at the cost of his childhood. In the face of adversity, he's managed to play the most elaborate songs on a little more than a toy. It's like a modern day Rumplestiltskin, where he must spin gold from straw.

Yes, peanuts is more than a comic about silly antics from a boy and his dog. It's about neglect, self abuse, adulterous affairs, dissociative disorders, and also Franklin. After spending their lives being ignored, is it any wonder when an adult talks, the children just hear noise?


  1. I wonder why none of the neighbors ever called Child Protective Services?

    I always felt bad for them because of their freakishly large heads...

  2. Loving your analysis of one of my favorite childhood TV specials.

  3. Hey, first of all Linus' Mom was the ORIGINAL MILF. She drank like a trucker and swore like a lumberjack. Smoked two packs and day and gave Lucy the stones to kick ass and take names. Then she went all 'heath kick' and over parented poor Rerun and terrorised him on that damn bike of hers to the point where he was more skittish than a tree lemur with a ten cups of coffee a day habit. Charlie Brown's dad would have been lucky to 'hit dat'.

    And don't blame Charlie for his relationship with Sally. She was always the reminded that there was a 'spare' in the next room everytime he screwed up. She had it easy. He had nothing she had to live up to.

    I blame that damn delusional dog for not stepping up and giving ol' Charlie a sweet nudge every once in awhile. Think about it. There was a bird and a dog but no cat. How weird is that? Contrary to popular opinion cat's like to be in relationships with dogs. Unless they are unmedicated dogs then it's just too much damn effort.

    And Pigpen wasn't dirty. He was just the bad boy. He left the house clean - neglected but clean. Dirt couldn't avoid him - dirt flocked to him like bounty hunters to Han Solo - he was a stallion brother and stallions run free.

    Now Shroeder. He was the one who had the real problems. He played that same damn song on that piano and drove himself mad like Chopan. When he wasn't 'ticlking the ivories' he was tickling the trigger on his dad's revolver.

    And Franklin. I got no problem with Franklin. Kid like that would grow up to be President some day. Now there is a thought.

  4. Okay, I don't say this very often. I KNOW it but I don't SAY it...but that there was some good piece of writing. I am proud of that comment. That is a 'hall of fame' comment. In fact, I am gonna do something I never have done before. Follow me over to the Cave of Cool kids.

  5. OMG Pat, I forgot about the heads. That water source must have been polluted with lead or mercury because that was some viscious macrocephalicness going on on that street. (I assumed they all lived within walking distance of the school)

  6. And Peppermint Patty???? Marcy???? C'mon - I wanna know more about those two!!!

    Totally enjoyed reading this!

  7. I loved Chris Rock's bit on Franklin. How he barely had any lines. BTW...I had a crazy crush on Marci. Is that bad?

  8. Marci is the Velma of the whole Peanuts gang. You can't like one without dreaming of the other. There should be a whole club on the internet for us.

    Sorry TS, last time I comment on comments on your site. I only do that with you. Honest.

  9. Love your take on this. The lack of parents has always been my favorite part of Peanuts.

  10. Cal, your comments were hilarious. I can't speak for TS, but if you can make me laugh that hard, feel free to comment on your comments all you'd like.

    Sorry TS. Stepping over some big boundaries, I know. And your post was also really funny. None of that stuff ever occurred to me. But those issues clearly needed to be addressed. It was really funny while also being a bit disturbing. A lovely mix, really. Thanks for that roller-coaster.

  11. Marlene, I realized part way through it that I could probably go on forever so I cut it short.

    Kal & Rep, you guys know I don't mind others commenting on other comments. We're all a little community anyway, right?

    nikki, thank you. Yeah I always enjoyed the way the children were essentially the adults.

    Copy, A crush on Marci? lol. I think she grew up to become Daria so why not?

  12. Marci = Daria...YES. It's just so simple. How could I have ever missed the connection?

    Oh Rep and TC - the worst thing you can do to this dancing bear is ENCOURAGE him to dance

  13. I don't know what's left to say. Yes I do. I fully agree with this post; these kids are a mess. I think Charlie Brown has Trichotillomania - an anxiety disorder that causes a person to pull his/her hair out. I didn't get a therapy license for nothing. Oh, yes I did. Thanks for letting me put it to use just now, TS.

  14. Now I am worried about you, copyboy...I mean, a crush on a cartoon character?
    But...she is a pretty good actress...

  15. Marci? A good actress? She was a GREAT actress. I caught her performance in the 'Vaginal Monologues' and there was not a dry eye in the house. That girl knows her vaginas.

  16. What about the teacher at school. I couldn't understand anything that woman had to say. Please get the Sh*t out of her mouth. I sure am glad she doesn't teach my kids. THAT DAMN TEACHER! I JUST WANNA KICK HER A$$.


  17. This comic strip would never have made it in this world today people would flip out at the lack of parenting. I will never be able to watch a Charlie Brown special the same way again.

  18. great analysis, I wonder about those kind of things too. I wonder what the woman in The Muppet Babies looks like.

  19. That might possible be the greatest post I read this week. Wonder what the drug addict parents in the Peanuts' universe sounds like? Wwwwaaahhh-waahhha-wahhhhh-aaaaaa....thump!

  20. What a wonderful post! Say what you want about Charlie, he was 'a good man'....

    Have you ever heard of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead?


Related Posts with Thumbnails