So there’s this little rant making the rounds on social media complaining about Pepé le Pew being cancelled. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times in the last two days on Facebook. What follows is direct copypasta. I’ve put it in quotes and changed the justification, but here it is in all its… well, not so much glory as word salad.
“Listen up Buttercups! As someone who actually grew up watching PePe LePew (and all those “BAD” Saturday morning cartoons), I never saw Pepe as a rapist or promoting rapist culture. HELL I didn’t even know what a rapist was. I WAS A CHILD!
Let me impart my CHILDHOOD thoughts:
The only reason I ever thought the cat tried to get away from Pepe was because she was in fact, A CAT and he was a SKUNK. (For those of you who are biologically/scientifically challenged… Skunks and Cats ARE completely different animals.) Skunks also smelled… bad.
I distinctly remember watching and thinking:
If Pepe catches up with her, she’s going to need a bath.
DEAR CANCEL CULTURE:
STOP READING MORE INTO OUR CHILDHOOD CARTOONS, BREAKFAST FOOD ICONS, VEHICLE NAMES, and everything else. No one became a rapist, racist, murderer, animal abuser, or dropper of anvils from watching our vintage Saturday morning cartoons while eating Aunt Jemima pancakes with Mrs butterworth’s syrup. You are, IN FACT, idiots, looking for attention due to the lack of parental fortitude in YOUR own lives.
You are walking, talking, “grown” infants. Screaming when you don’t get your way resulting in showing the world how truly absurd you are.
How about WE THE PEOPLE cancel YOU because WE are offended by your feckless, pansy ass, stupidity!
Wake TF up people….this is NOT progress.
If you agree Copy & Paste”
It’s a trap.
But I have tried to engage with a couple of people on it, and mostly had crickets in response. Okay, one person like my comment on one of them, but that’s all.
Sooooo many problems with this mini-rant. Let me count the ways.
- The underlying assumption is that one particular perception is (or should be) shared by everyone.
- You may not have known what a rapist was as a child, but some children did. See point number 1.
- You may have thought that Penelope was only trying to get away because she was a cat, but some kids saw a cartoon mirror held up to their own situation as someone, probably someone they knew, pressured them into things they couldn’t understand and couldn’t tell anyone about. I would bet, if you ask them, most of the women in your life know what it’s like when someone can’t seem to understand ‘no’. See point number 1.
- You may not have thought that Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth were racist portrayals, but it might be worth checking with people you know who grew up with the same stuff but who don’t share you skin tone and see what kinds of responses you get. Again, see point number 1.
- Pepé being retired is in no way cancel culture. While he’s been pointed out as problematic in the past, no one forced Warner Bros to give Pepé the golden handshake. The company made the decision on its own. Similarly, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, Mr. Potato Head, and so on. And you know what? They did it for financial reasons, because they’ll sell more product if they adjust to the modern world. Interesting how that works.
- Someone ‘canceled’ a car model?
- Isn’t this whole little spiel screaming because you’re not getting your way?
- If you want to win hearts and minds instead of just preach to the people who already agree with you while the rest of us roll our eyes, drop the insults. By my count, there are six in those 234 words. And I was lenient in the count.
- You do understand you’re using the phrase, “We, the people,” in a way that’s intended to exclude anyone who disagrees with you, right?
Oh, and because I’m that guy:
10. Ease up on the caps lock and tidy up your punctuation a little.
My advice, not that I expect most people who would post the rant would care what I think (or what anyone thinks who doesn’t agree with them, for that matter), is that more of us would benefit from examining our own beliefs and preconceptions a little more often. Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes instead of just assuming that your view is the only possible one.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by