Do we have our priorities up-fucked?

Dear Ms. Perrson,

Can I call you Cecilia? Great.

There was once a ship that attempted to sail between our two countries that didn't exactly make the voyage. Perhaps you've heard of the little boat. It was called the Titanic. Now, one of the stories of the Titanic, and indeed one of its greatest ironies, was that while this ship was sinking, after having its side ripped off from an iceberg, the musicians were playing classical music, pretty much until the end. Some people have found this quite noble, believing that it calmed the passengers. I, however, have always thought that even the greatest composer would find it almost impossible to stop a full-fledged panic, like that likely to come over me as I die drowning in freezing ocean water. So, basically, I subscribe to the opinion that musicians playing on the Titanic was slightly more useful than polishing the brass as the ship was going down.

Which brings me to my point.

I understand that things must be difficult out there in Boomerang, finding appropriate programming for children. And, goodness knows that in today's world, finding anything appropriate for children can be a challenge. The cartoon reels that you have in your files are probably from periods of time with humor that simply isn't funny anymore, as it is, rightfully, considered offensive and generally inappropriate for children.

So, imagine my surprise at reading this article this week. Evidently, you've determined that Tom and Jerry episodes which "glamorize" tobacco products might have a negative impact on children.

Let me begin by saying, I am no friend of tobacco products. I've never had one and anticipate that I never will. I find the smell of cigarettes disgusting in every sense of the word. I can't stand next to people who have just smoked, and I've actually refused to date a rather attractive girl because she smoked. Simply, I believe the less smokers there are, the better.

However, I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge my concerns with your position here. You see Cecilia, I believe the reason you are objecting to tobacco products on Tom and Jerry is because, well, I think you are concerned that children may...and call me crazy for thinking this...emulate what they see on a cartoon.

I know, I know. I too am shocked by this Cecilia, but honestly, it appears to be the only premise from which your tobacco cartoon ban appears to have spawned. But you, yourself have stated that Tom and Jerry smoking "could be seen as glamorizing smoking." The only way I can see this to be the case is that you anticipate children to emulate this activity.

And, you see Cecilia, this is where I have a problem. Now, don't get me wrong, I think getting rid of Tom and Jerry smoking scenes is probably not a bad thing. However, if you are so deeply troubled by children emulating scenes from Tom and Jerry, I can only ask why you haven't directed your efforts to, well, for example, this:

Now Cecilia, as a Southerner and a gun owner, I of all people understand the importance that some Americans place on their Second Amendment rights. However, I'm inclined to think that Tom pointing a firearm at not one, but two, other living beings (which, as gun owners know means he's made a decision to kill them) is, well, less than ideal firearm responsibility.

But perhaps firearm responsibility, or lack thereof, isn't your bag. After all, you are on the other side of the pond where the cops carry whistles and sticks. So, let's look at a different example:

I'll grant you that it's possible that Tom could simply have a toothache and is being helped to keep his mouth open by that little yellow bird. Indeed, Jerry may be investigating with that rather painful looking hammer in an effort to relieve Tom of his obvious pain. Of course, Jerry may just be waiting for an opportunity to clobber Tom too.

So let's try a different example:

Again, I'm sure you'd tell me that it is certainly a possibility that Tom isn't thinking of kicking the crap out of this little mouse. I must confess, it's possible that Tom may be daintily placing the mouse on the windowsill. However, that awkward angle of Tom's foot and his winked eye, in an effort to aim, makes me somewhat doubtful of that explanation.

Okay, let's look try yet again:

While this may look a bit bad, I'm sure you would tell me that Tom could simply be taking care of his friend Jerry's place while Jerry is in the Poconos or Cancun or something. Sure, Tom could be concerned, but I'm inclined to think that a cage, three mouse traps, two fox traps, a spring gun and an axe trap may be a bit of, excuse the pun, overkill.

So let's shift the subject a little. I'm sure people who would consider this frame offensive are just being "oversensitive":

After all, how many Pacific Islanders are there in Great Britain? Four, five? So, surely their opinions aren't all that important. And I bet they'd be pretty touched to see a mouse dressed this way.

And, of course, I must bring your attention to this:

Now, I know what you're going to say Cecilia. You never see Mamie's face, so how could anyone be offended or claim that Mamie is perpetrating a blatantly racist stereotype? I can see how you might find it perplexing how a faceless black woman with a large chest and ass in slippers and an apron could be seen as offensive. I guess people who felt that way were probably also just being sensitive.

Cecilia, I must confess, I grew up watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. Frankly, I found them genuinely funny as a child. And despite watching them, I never became a smoker; I certainly don't consider myself racist or to harbor any other type of discrimination; I'm not at all violent with other people (well, with the exception of some well-planned sibling torture, but let's just ignore that shall we?). Other than the somewhat disturbing things you may learn about me in the archives to the left, I consider myself a relatively well-balanced individual. And, although I was entertained by Tom and Jerry, I didn't spend my life emulating them.

But if you're going to engage in censorship of cartoons from another era under the auspices that children will learn the wrong things from them or emulate the activities within them, I ask you this: Is "glamorizing" smoking really the biggest problem, or is banning smoking scenes in Tom and Jerry just polishing the brass banister on the Titanic?

Yours truly,

Blundering American

P.S. Tell Tony, "Yo Blair" for me!

Yes, this is a repost of what I posted on the 22nd. It didn't get much front page time and I didn't have the compelling desire to write anything else. If you didn't catch it the first time, I hope you like it, I reposted for you! If you did, don't worry, I have a feeling something new is coming soon...

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