Are We Cartoon Characters?

I am here intending to write blog posts, but I keep falling asleep. I’ve been sitting here for–well, I have no idea how long.

Heckle and Jeckle, “the Talking Magpies,” were among my childhood favorites. The cartoon posted above (“The Power of Thought”) is the one I remember. In fact, I remember it more vividly now than I ever did before. It was released the year I was born.

In this cartoon, Heckle and Jeckle learn that because they’re cartoon characters, they can do anything they please. Anything! The only reality is… your “thought.” Anything you can imagine, you imagine it into being. Into and out of.

Were Heckle and Jeckle the first post-modernists?

If I say I’m a woman, that makes me a woman. If I say I was Joe Biden in a past life, I was. If I say I saw Ramesses II go into a bar with Mamie Eisenhower, you’d be a Racist if you said I didn’t.

What can be done with impunity in a cartoon–just chucking reality aside–cannot be done in real life. Reality is stubborn. If there’s a deep pot-hole stretched across the street, it doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not. No amount of delusionary thinking will save you from eviscerating your car. (I speak from sad experience.) You have to grant reality its due–and not drive into the pot-hole.

I wonder what university Heckle and Jeckle wound up teaching at.


4 comments on “Are We Cartoon Characters?

  1. I think they wound up teaching at my old university. Or maybe not. My postmodernist colleagues there weren’t half so entertaining as Heckle and Jeckle.

    And notice that I specified my postmodernist colleagues. I was blessed, at first, to teach for many years with mostly dedicated old-style scholars who were also dedicated teachers. It was only toward the end that the postmodernists and just-plain-ninnies started taking over.

    Lee, lie down and let yourself take a nap. Your body is telling you it wants some quiet time to mend itself. (Sheesh, I sound like my mother.)

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