Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cartoon Network

Mills of the gods

The Cartoon Network (a cable channel) has announced that it is editing all smokers out of its cartoon archieves. I doubt that that there have been many smokers in cartoons of late. I never saw Sponge Bob light up (of course it is hard too strike a match under water). Many years ago, and we are talking more than 40 years ago, cartoon figures would smoke. Fred and Wilma Flinstone, along with their neighbors, the Rubbles were smokers, even if only in ads. But everyone smoked in those days, Ricky Ricardo, Andy Taylor, Rob Petrie, even Jed and Granny Clampett. The Cartoon Network has stated that it will not edit out images of cartoon villians smoking cigars. I recall that Popeye archenemy Bluto used to smoke cigars, some of Mighty Mouse's enemies smoked cigars, I recall Daffy Duck lighting up a cigar now and then, although it usually exploded, burning his face and turing his beak around to where it was displayed on the back of his head. There was no mention in the coverage of this story as to whether exploding cigars will be edited.

There is no doubt that smoking is dangerous.I applaud the Network for this censorship, but I can't help thinking that they have not gone far enough, so I have sent them the following letter.

Dear Cartoon Network Folks,

Thank you so much for editing smoking out of your cartoons. Millions of people would be alive today if this act had been taken a half a century ago. There is a great deal more that you can do in the interest of public safety. I have reviewed a sample of your cartoons over the past couple of days and make the following suggestions for editing.

1. Anvils-It has been my experience from watching your cartoons that if an anvil is dropped from a heighth of say, a tall cliff and lands on the head of someone, say, a coyote, that the victim will be smashed flat, but will be able seconds later to pop back out again with no apparent injury. This leaves the mistaken impression to children that they risk no serious, or at no least longterm injury ,by dropping anvils on each others heads. I wish you would review this.

2. Dynamite-dynamite shows up a lot in your cartoons. It has not been my experience in real life that dynamite is not as prevelant as you would have us believe, but perhaps I just don'tt know where to look. At any rate, dynamite in your cartoons, often does nothing more than break the victim into little pieces, only to allow him to reasssemble for the next scene. This is sending a false image to children regarding the permanance of being blown up. In point of fact, you do not reassemble. Ever.

3. Running on air-It is not possible, once you have run off a cliff to turn around and run back on the air. In point of fact, since Newton, science has known that what actually happens to you after running off a cliff is that you will plunge to your death.

4. Cannons- Mo matter how accurate the cannon, you can not shoot a hole through an individual and keep that individual alive and perfectly well, except for a large hole in the trunk area of his body. In real life, the person (or rabbit) would go into shock and bleed to death.

5.Shotguns_The best defense against a shotgun blast is not bending the barrell back so that the shooter blasts himself in the face. There is just not enough time or ready equipment for such a manuver.

There are endless other dangers lurking in your vaults, but you get the general idea. If we are trying to keep kids safe, lets not stop with cigarettes.


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