Boogie Fever

We’re a long way from the Fall of 1979 or are we? First let me admit straight out of the gate that I spent (like most kids of that era) a lot of time with these Warner Bros. Cartoons. Admittedly though if it wasn’t Bugs, Daffy or Foghorn Leghorn I didn’t mess with it too much especially the silent Road Runner. Now when Wile E. Coyote “Supergenius” spoke I was all ears. So what’s the message here?

Rerun Stubbs

I don’t really have an answer. What I do know is the old adage about change being the only constant is incredibly true. Rarely did a day go by(save Sunday)that I did not watch one of these cartoons and ingest its messages and the messages of the sponsors of the program from age 4 or 5 until early adolescence. That’s a lot of hours. That’s a lot of messages ingested. Both from the worldview of Bugs Bunny and the worldview of Mattel, Kenner, Playskool, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Lego, Marx and on and on and on.

You Can’t Be Serious

I’m not posting the below episode(which was as a child one of my favorites)out of ignorance. I’ve studied this episode and numerous problematic episodes across a wide swath of cartoon series. The bottom line as a child in the 1970’s you were going to ingest some very racially insensitive messages from cartoons produced from the 1930’s through the 1960’s (in all reality the 70’s weren’t that much better). But I wouldn’t even begin to sit here and act like I didn’t laugh then or now at the entire interaction between Yosemite Sam and “Abraham Lincoln”. Now the older me may pause and wince at some of the dialogue between Yosemite Sam and “One Of Our Boys” but I’d be a lie and the truth would not be in me if I didn’t confess to being a kid and being outside and reenacting the dialogue in this episode and plenty of other questionable dialogue.

Even though I have a problem with so many fashioning themselves to be Social Scientists on Social Media espousing what many take to be fact without figure(data)the first, I get it. It’s emotional. Just like the nostalgia of 1979 and Saturday Morning/after school watching Bugs Bunny on WDCA 20 is emotional to me. It’s a romantic comfortable place. It’s comforting and romantic when someone confirms a bias that you hold. And that my friends is the message(confirmation bias) that we probably didn’t need to return to but unfortunately it’s here and on full display. As ridiculous as Yosemite Sam’s character is, many can’t see that their logic for lambaste of others is on par with “I’ve got to burn my boots they catched Yankee soil!” On with the show this is it!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.