Last night, my mom and I were flipping through the channels, hoping that something good we overlooked would suddenly pop up. And something did. Like starving hyenas on a piece of fresh sirloin, we pounced upon Charlie Brown: Happiness is a Warm Blanket.
You see, I'm a huge Peanuts fan. Even though it's not one of the "funny" comics in the paper, I still make an effort to read the 'Classic Peanuts' strip. There's just this air about it, this staunch, powerful view of society as expressed by kids. Charles Schulz -- praised be his name -- knew that children would be the best medium for expressing such prominent topics of his time like integration, gender equality, and bullying. I can relate so much more to the simplistic, stripped down conversations between Linus and Snoopy than I can to the fame-obsessed, overproduced stuff they now show on TV (but I'll focus more on that another time).
One of the things that I've always found fascinating about Peanuts, is that, boiled down, everyone represents one of Charles Schulz's -- praised be his name -- characters. If you look online, you can find dozens of quizzes to determine "Which Peanuts Character are you?" but not all of them are accurate. If you want my opinion, just familiarize yourself with the characters, and make the decision for yourself. Are you a immersive, self-motivated person like Schroeder? Or a blissfully unaware and jolly person, like Pigpen? My mom, for instance, is textbook Lucy: she's bossy and strong-willed, yet incredibly creative. My middle brother is the self-confident, sport prodigy Peppermint Patty. My youngest brother is the always pleasant, good listener Franklin. My cousin is a dead on Charlie Brown: a bit of a downer at times, very unlucky, but always tries to please everyone, and is one of the nicest guys out there. His little sister is like Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally, who wants nothing more than for everyone to love her. One of my best friends probably doesn't know that he's just like Marcie, a quiet, under-the-radar person with a fiery personality that most people don't see. Try and figure yourself out, and -- if you're brave -- comment on who you think you are most like and why.
Me? I fancy myself as a Linus. Linus has always been my favorite character in the series. I'm not sure whether it's the way he talks like he's much older than he actually is, or the fact that he's willing to think like an adult without sacrificing most of the joys of childhood. I keep a cool head in most situations, and I often find myself as a third party to resolve conflicts.
That's not to say that Linus (and myself) doesn't have flaws. He gets bullied a lot. He has trouble letting go of things. But that's the beauty of Schulz's characters: they're real. Peanuts is one of the few comics/shows/movies in which every single major character and many minor characters are very three-dimensional, complete with in-depth quirks and backgrounds.
In fact, figuring out which Peanuts character you are can really help you figure out who you are on a deeper level.
And so... that's my Peanuts rant. Stay tuned for next week: I plan to tackle Justin Bieber and modern pop culture. Whether or not that tackle will be physical or metaphorical is yet to be decided.