The following is my response to techgnotic 's journal, Peanuts Revolution, now deleted for reasons unknown.
In it, he points out how casually
Peanuts introduced ideas like equal-opportunity in sports and play, and treating all people as friends and equals, regardless of gender or race.
At the end of the article, he asks four questions I'll attempt to recreate here (corrections appreciated):
1.) Do you think Peanuts influenced our culture and thinking more than we give it credit for?
2.) Do you think moral teachings and attitudes should be taught through media or by shouting it in the streets, or are both necessary to properly teach these principles?
3.) Which cartoons or comics do you think most influenced how you socialize and interact with your fellow man?
4.) Which fictional character would you rather have influence this type of thinking in you: Bugs Bunny, Batman, Superman, Peter Parker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
1.) Yes. Your article convinced me.
2.) Both are necessary. Parents, especially, need to make sure their kids are understanding the lessons being taught, are applying those lessons properly, and that the lessons are wholesome in the first place. Children should never be raised primarily by television/media, it's simply a useful tool as part of a larger education.
3.) Probably the classic Batman, Superman and Archie comics I grew up reading.
Newspaper strips and cartoons like Peanuts and Garfield helped, too, along with a handful of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons (Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Jetsons, Superfriends, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Space Ghost and Birdman, to name a few).
4.) Peter Parker.
Bugs Bunny very rarely teaches a serious lesson, and is usually saying things with tongue firmly in cheek.
Batman comics have as many negative lessons/ideas as positive, especially in the last thirty years.
Superman would be a close second to Peter, but has changed his stance on the proper response to having power and responsibilities throughout his history…
The golden age and Nu52 versions seem to say you should use your power as you see fit, even if those in authority try to stop you.
The silver and bronze age versions seem to say that you should use you power to do good within the confines of the rules and regulations given to you by those in authority over you, particularly the Government.
The post-Crisis/preFlashpoint Superman seemed to want to find a balance between the two, when he couldn't side-step the issue entirely, e.g. via his "no politics" rule.
Because of this, Superman sends a somewhat mixed message relative to Spider-Man, though all three positions have their advantages.
Peter is both the most consistent with his lessons, and the most trustworthy (deals with the devil notwithstanding). He also tends to be aware of what lessons he's teaching, while teaching them for the "real world" -- very few comics readers will ever be in a position to spare an enemy's life, for example. Personal responsibility and watching out for others besides yourself, on the other hand, are things even many adults could use a lesson in.
Obi-Wan tended to be annoyingly vague in a "[riddle
], grasshopper," sort of way, and much of his advice, once again, would be hard to apply in any direct way to real-life circumstances.
the TMNT were not a large part of my childhood, but as far as I can tell, they don't have any particularly bad advice. I just haven't seen any particularly good advice, either. Again, I'm not all that familiar with them, so I could be wrong.
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