Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

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If there I had to name one thing I like better than cartoons, it would have to be racism.  Or maybe the one thing I like better than racism is cartoons.  Whichever, I forget.  Either way, they both crack me up. coalblackprince.jpg 

Cartoons usually are exaggerated depictions of things we encounter in real life.   So is racial prejudice when you think about it.  They go together like Hasselhoff and Speedos.

Cartoons and animation directed at children used to be chock full of stuff that twists the knickers of people who belong to outfits like  Outraged Parents Without Control Over Home Electronics and The Society for the Preservation of Uptight Hollywood Liberals.  Because of these assholes, Speedy Gonzalez has been removed from our nation’s collective pop culture memory.  A whole generation of kids will grow up thinking that Speedy Gonzalez is something you order from the lunch menu at a Mexican restaurant.

Rotten has a take on this in their Banned Cartoons entry that I agree with:
Animated features with even the slightest reference to alcohol (including rum cake), adultery, breasts, chewing tobacco, cross-dressing, gambling, marijuana, pornography, profanity, "rim jobs" (i.e. dogs licking each other), vaguely sexual or flirtatious situations, recreational sex toys (i.e. Tom from Tom and Jerry sticks a vacuum cleaner up Mammy Two-Shoes’ skirt, producing giggles), smoking of any kind, suicides (i.e. a flusterated Daffy Duck blows his beak around in circles with a shotgun) – and even baby ducklings emerging from their shells in demure strip tease were deemed unacceptable. What’s left to laugh at? Dora the Explorer? Rotten Dot Com is confident it speaks for all of us when we say screw that edumacational bullshit.

The Grand Slam Breakfast of racist cartoons are the ones used to stir patriotism while indoctrinating soldiers, sailors and Marines on the ins and outs of operational security in the combat environment while maintianing their racist cartoony goodness.  The classic HOW TO SPOT A JAP, by Milton Caniff is the  Sgt. Pepper’s of racist WWII cartoons.  This paragraph is arguably the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack of mixed metaphors, by the way.

Many of the best cartoons supporting the war effort depicted the Germans in less than a flattering manner, but portrayed the Japanese as being something less than human.  When nations get together to kill one another, they aren’ t worried about the hurt feelings and damaged self-esteem of the enemy.  The problem, of course, comes from when you similarly depict your own countrymen in a unflattering fashion.

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The Citizen Kane of racist animation is undoubtedly Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.   This classic cartoon is one of the Censored Eleven.  I think there are more than just eleven cartoons that have been yanked due to having wildly offensive sequences, but these eleven are the big ones.  There are about twelve Bugs Bunny toons that are gathering dust and no longer are upsetting people.

YouTube recently yanked Coal Black due to a nasty letter from Warners.  Or because it was offensive.  They aren’t sure.  However it is still available at Google Video.   The actual racist content, though considerable, is so over the top, it becomes secondary to the great music and frenetic pacing that characterizes the Golden Age of Animation, and helped to enshrine it as one of the Fifty Greatest Cartoons of (I guess) the 20th Century.

It may be racist and offensive, but it is surely better than Shark Tale or  Jungle Book 2.  That crap is offensive for reasons that transcend race.

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6 Responses to “Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together”

  1. Jagosaurus Says:

    Well thank you for expanding my horizons, Yossarian. Coal Black is — deeply inappropriate content and characterizations aside — a rather magnificent bit of animation. "Magic mirror on the wall send me a present ’bout 6 feet tall."Heh. I say that all the time.

  2. SistaSmiff Says:

    I seen a horse flyI seen a dragon flyI seen a needle that blinked its eyeBut I be done seen about everythingWhen I see an elephant fly.I don’t care how racist it is, but, I love that little ditty.

  3. Kevin Barbieux Says:

    I’m sure Warner Brothers, what made about 11 cartoons it now will no longer display, is mostly trying to prevent lawsuits that would come because of these works. And yes, many of them are great works of art. But even if these cartoons were made by Rembrant, this would not excuse the crimes within. Yes, at the time they were made, the subject matter was acceptable by the majority of society. But at one time lynching was acceptable by the majority as well, but we certainly don’t condone that anymore either.Sure, when deciding what’s best for society, (like most every endeavor) people tend to take the short and easy path. Now, they use a pretty wide brush when painting things "Racist".If a negative characterization of a group of people, wrongly portrays their general image, then yes, it is racism. But when certain negative, yet actual, characteristics of a group of people are highlighted, these things should not be considered Racism, although they are most often.For exagerated example, lets draw a cartoon of a snail, as if snails were a race of people. If we drew all snails as being buck-toothed, then such would be racist. Snails don’t even have teeth.But, if we drew all snails as being painfully slow, which by all standards, (except for the starfish) then that would not be racist – though for drawing light to a negative aspect of snails some would like to have such images removed from society.I have actually seen African Americans with gold capped teeth in the design of dice. So, what does that say of the image posted here? Is it the negative lie of racism, or the negative truth of the race?BTW, white folks get made fun of all the time in cartoons, but you don’t see much of anyone complaining about that. I really don’t see a problem with me being characterized as a doopy dog – I understand the truth in that image.

  4. Kevin Barbieux Says:

    That should be "dopey dog" (I think this makes my point clear enough!)

  5. Katherine Coble Says:

    <I>Is it the negative lie of racism, or the negative truth of the race?</I>I am SO not gonna touch that….

  6. jag Says:

    I wonder if this is where Ashanti and all them got the name for Murder, Inc. I doubt they were that clever.I like the ‘Midgets – 1/2 price, Japs – free’ part. Not because I agree with it, but I suppose because it shows the mentality of the country at that time. I can’t stand these politically correct overreactors.

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