‘Memory Lane: Don’t Try This’ (2018)

Image result for images of farmer grey cartoons

Growing up with 1950s TV, I must have seen this a thousand times in ancient Paul Terry cartoons–assorted mice, cats, and humans safely jumping off rooftops with an umbrella for a parachute.

Memory Lane: Don’t Try This!

All over the world, kids got hurt trying to duplicate this feat. Jump out the fifth-story window? Sure, no problem–I’ve got an umbrella!

These were really old cartoons, with captions instead of speech. Like silent movies. Actually, all these decades later (some of them are a hundred years old), they’re still pretty funny.

But kids will try to do what they see characters do in cartoons–so do your best to make them understand why they shouldn’t. (“Experience is the best teacher, but the fees are very high.” Especially when you jump out the window.)

5 comments on “‘Memory Lane: Don’t Try This’ (2018)

  1. This is a sad thing, to think about a child being injured, but perhaps even more sad is the fact that common sense has become so uncommon. When I was a small child, I certainly would not have had the mathematical tools to know that an umbrella couldn’t be used as a parachute, but I am confident that I would have enough sense to know that a cartoon wasn’t real.Actually, there’s an obvious clue; when animals are talking in human voices, it’s fairly safe to assume that whatever is going on is not based in reality and truth. (Too bad that Eve didn’t realize this.)

    Farmer Grey cartoons are delightful and a lot of fun. Likewise a Three Stooges short. Roadrunner cartoons are hilarious, but when the giant, economy-size anvil flattens the coyote like a crepe, and then the coyote is back on his feet a second later, it shouldn’t take a team of engineers from MIT to figure out that this doesn’t reflect reality. I imagine that my parents explained to me that cartoons weren’t real, early in life, but I don’t think that they had to tell me more than once.

    Zooming out a bit, I see this as part of a larger problem; and that is people accepting things they see on TV (or in movies) as being real. None of it is. When Tom Cruise is lofted by the pressure wave of an explosion in the movie version of Mission Impossible, that is no more real than a talking animal using an umbrella as a parachute. If you were exposed to the pressure wave of a large explosion, you would be injured, or killed.

    One of the special effects tricks used in modern movies seems to involve a flame-front advancing down a passageway and the heroes outrunning it. Really? That is about as realistic as an Abbot and Costello routine.

    As I see it, the problem ins’t that movies use such gimmicks. That has been happening for a long time, and even live Vaudeville employed props that made it look like someone was being conked on the head with a hammer, when in fact it was a harmless, soft rubber prop. The problem isn’t the drama, comedy or vaudeville skit, but the fact that many people lack the ability to discern what is real and what it not. IMO, that speaks poorly of the health of our civilization.

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