The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 24, 2012

Cartoons almost made me forget sickness

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
The Stanly News & Press

Monday, December 24, 2012 — There isn’t much to do when you’ve been stricken by something eerily similar to the flu (I never got a positive diagnosis one way or another) other than lie around, eat, watch TV and try to get to feeling better.

Now there is next to nothing on daytime television and less than that is on in the wee hours of the morning, but I did manage to find something to keep me entertained: Bugs Bunny.

Looney Toons does still run on the air, and I’m eternally grateful.

There is something refreshing about watching the cartoons you grew up with, regardless of how many times you may have seen them in the past.

But considering how old these cartoons are, I had to ask myself, are they still relevant?

Can a younger generation still relate with Bugs, Sylvester or Daffy and the impossible situations they got themselves caught up in?

I think the answer is a solid, resounding yes if for no other reason than this simple fact: Cartoons are about the imagination.

Cartoons set up an interesting juxtaposition for the mind to savor: Real vs. Fake.

As children we’re taught the basics of the world, how things work and how to successfully negotiate this thing called life. That we have categorized and systemically convened this information over the years is fantastic. It’s what has allowed us to develop into the complex society that we are today.

But I believe this is only part of a child’s education.

It is imperative, I cannot stress enough, that children know and understand their perception of reality.

However, it is just as important to show children the possibilities of what could be.

This is where the cartoons come in.

They represent the infinite expanse of the human imagination.

What happens when you plug your fingers into a gun barrel and pull the trigger?     

You walk away missing fingers.

What happens when Bugs Bunny sticks his fingers into the barrel of a gun?

Elmer Fudd walks away with a soot-stained face.

Through showing children these sorts of bizarre, unrealistic images, we are teaching our children how to think outside of the box.

Cartoons teach how to imagine by offering up impossible scenarios. This ability can then be applied to other situations at will.

By watching Bugs Bunny, children are taken out of the world of predictability, physics and good sense.

Cartoons thrust children into the world of imagination, causing them to wonder.

It sounds simple, but wonderment is the inspiration behind everything from innovations to novel stories.

Someone somewhere along the line asked a question, wondered about what could be and then made it happen.

They used their imagination to solve a problem in reality.

The figured out a way to make their imagination a reality.

So in a way, these two ideas, reality and imagination, are symbiotic; without one, you cannot understand the other.

Cartoons aid children in growing their imaginations, a priceless act and one essential to the continued growth of our society.

And they give people something to think about when they’re sick.