Discover more from Arty Har-Hars
sisyphus, queen elizabeth, and charlie brown
three jokes that are completely connected
dear friends, family, fans, fellow folks, friends again, and more friends,
i’m grateful that you’re here.
thank you for being who and where you are.
and now, some silly jokes!
A) it’s all fun or games:
football can be dangerous for children.
i know because i used to read Peanuts comic strips.
my grandparents had a lot of old Peanuts books in their home while i was growing up, so i got to see lucy pull the football away from charlie brown so many times, and as i was reading, i was always hopeful that THIS time would be the time that she didn’t do that, that finally he’d get to kick the ball, to achieve the success, to feel the joy that he so deeply deserved, because we all do.
i realize now that this is perhaps akin to rooting for sisyphus to finally get the rock all the way up the mountain, and for it to stay there, for the task to have finally been completed. which sounds nice also.
there are those who might say it could never happen, because it has never happened. but is that true? it seems to me that there are loads of things that have happened for the first time, and before that first time, they had never happened.
so maybe charlie brown will kick that football one day. or maybe it’s all for the best that lucy discourages him every time, so that he eventually loses interest and gives up on his football dreams, which ultimately saves him from a lifetime of concussions. maybe lucy was the hero this whole time.
B) having a bawl:
maybe charlie brown is always depressed
because he only has one shirt.
or maybe it’s because everyone’s mean to him all the time.
what a fascinating comic strip for children Peanuts was. the protagonist is a depressed little boy for whom almost nothing goes right. he can’t kick the football he wants to. when he plays baseball, he ends up the goat (and not the G.O.A.T) as opposed to the hero he wants to be. his friend lucy charges him for therapy sessions (though it does seem reasonably priced, and i’m glad he’s seeking help).
perhaps that is a positive lesson that can be gleaned from this art, the idea that even if it seems like everything is against you, you can still persevere. you can keep pushing that rock up the mountain.
and maybe he actually has many shirts with the same design. maybe it’s comforting to him to have a whole closet full of the same shirt, so he can avoid the decision fatigue of choosing what to wear each day, just like his heroes steve jobs and batman. maybe we should all wear the same shirt each day.
C) fashion statement:
the zigs and zags on
charlie brown’s shirts
are a graph charting
the alternations of
"good" and "grief."
i’ve heard it said that “grief is the price we pay for love” and i love that. i originally heard it attributed to queen elizabeth, but i recently learned that it comes first from dr colin murray parkes, a british psychiatrist in his book, “Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life”:
“The pain of grief is just as much part of life as the joy of love: it is perhaps the price we pay for love, the cost of commitment. To ignore this fact, or to pretend that it is not so, is to put on emotional blinkers which leave us unprepared for the losses that will inevitably occur in our own lives and unprepared to help others cope with losses in theirs.”
so perhaps “good” and “grief” are flipsides of the same coin. if “love” is “good,” and i would say that it is, because love is good. love is the most good. and maybe THAT is what Peanuts is all about. i certainly love it.
and that’s all from me! now what about from YOU?
1) how are you doing? what is new and good? how is your heart?
2) did you read a lot of Peanuts growing up?
3) do you have a favorite Peanuts character or story?
4) what’s your favorite comic strip (whether it’s Peanuts or not)?
5) how are you doing NOW?
and that’s all for right now! now, for some future happenings, here are some places i’ll be doing comedy shows very soon!
9/9: Brainerd, MN
9/10: Duluth, MN
9/13: Chippewa Falls, WI
9/14: Eau Claire, WI
9/15: International Falls, MN
9/16: Bemidji, MN
9/17: Janesville, WI
10/5-10/7: Ann Arbor, M