The Re-Imagining of America – By Brian Morton

The other day, as I was driving to work, I heard a report that Disney had decided to ‘re-imagine’ Winnie The Pooh. It seems they think that some executives somewhere think that the classic character spends too much time eating honey and taking naps and that’s a bad influence on pre-schoolers that are Pooh’s main audience. Well, I have to admit that I was stunned beyond words, unless you count a mindless scream as a word, that is.

You see, too much of our childhood is being ‘re-imagined’ by corporations with only two things in mind, not offending anyone and making as much money from these characters as possible! What’s wrong with a nap? I take them all the time and nothing’s wrong with me! And honey is a natural sweetener that we should all enjoy in moderation. Why, after almost a hundred years, is Winnie The Pooh suddenly inappropriate for small children? And why was it appropriate for us and it’s suddenly inappropriate for today’s kids? It just doesn’t make any sense, unless you’re a Disney exec and someone had told you that Winnie The Pooh is teaching kids to eat honey and take naps and that’s unhealthy and some parents group, somewhere is thinking of either boycotting or, God forbid, suing Disney for putting the horrible values of napping and eating honey in front of today’s youth! It’s getting insane, folks and we’re either going to have to put the collective boots to these, apparently retarded, people, or we’re going to have to ‘re-imagine’ every character we know to make it, not only inoffensive to anyone possible, but to suck all the soul from these, once cherished, characters. So, in an effort to keep ahead of all the corporate execs out there, here’s a few characters and how they could be ‘re-imagined’, so as not to offend any one in any way.

First, let’s take a look at our old pal, Charlie Brown. Chuck has a bit of a depression problem, I think we’ll all admit that. So, in the new happy, sunny, inoffensive media, Chuck will no longer use Lucy as his psychiatrist, Chuck will now be going to a grown up psychiatrist. And, instead of the "wah wah wah" dialogue that all Peanuts adults use, this new Psychiatric character will be understood, with dialogue like, "wah wah wah, bi polar disorder, wah wah, severe depression, wah wah, Prozac, wah wah, extended therapy, wah wah, your hour’s up". This teaches today’s youth not to look down on people with mental disorders, but to pity and fear them because they’re imbalanced and need constant medical attention. There will also be serious re-vamping of the rest of the Peanuts gang, Linus will no longer carry a security blanket, he’ll carry a cell phone that will allow him the security of talking to his parents no matter where he is, thus eliminating both the need to become independent in any way and losing the blanket. Pigpen will not longer be just a kid who’s dirty, he’ll be suffering from a severe allergy to soap and cleaning products and Peppermint Patty will be renamed Alternative Lifestyle Annie and she’ll have two mommies.

Next on our PC hit parade, Scooby Doo. First, Scooby will no longer be a Great Dane, as big dogs can scare smaller kids, Scooby will now be a Dachshund, for two reasons, first, smaller dogs aren’t as intimidating, and second a shorter dog will keep the self esteem of shorter kids from being damaged. Scooby will also no longer crave Scooby Snacks, he’ll now be a vegan, and he’ll eat no animal products of any kind and will beg only for broccoli and carrots. And mystery solving is out of the question too, because monsters are scary, even if it’s only a guy in a costume and because we wouldn’t want kids to ever go into a haunted or abandoned house. Scooby will now solve mysteries exclusively in the laboratory with Shaggy, who will now be called Professor Hair, allowing him to keep his current hairstyle. And the mysteries will be things like, why do things fall down instead of up, and how to tell which way the wind is blowing. Fred and Daphne will now be the cute married couple who takes care of the eccentric Professor Hair and Scooby and Velma will be turned into the wacky neighbor who we’ll all suspect is a Lesbian, but will never be confirmed.

And this is just the start of the ‘re-imagining’ of some of our favorite characters. Speed Racer will now be Careful Driver. Donald Duck will be required to wear pants at all times. Goofy will be renamed Mentally Challenged But Loveable. And Chip and Dale will come completely out of the closet and teach kids that alternative lifestyles are nothing to be nervous about.

And, don’t worry, we’re not forgetting you older kids! The Universal Monsters will be ‘re-imagined’ too. Frankenstein will now be used to teach us about our bodies, by taking parts of himself apart and showing us how they work. The Mummy will be used as a first aid teacher. The Wolfman will be an advocate for animal rights and, our old buddy, Dracula will now have a weekly half hour show teaching kids about blood disorders and teaching the importantance of blood donation. Drac’s who will be sponsored by your local Red Cross, by the way.

Now, I know that this all sounds a little silly, but if they’re ‘re-imagining’ a character as innocuous as Winnie The Pooh, then nothing is sacred! Soon, no show will be allowed to tell jokes because there are some people who prefer drama, and no horror movies because you could have a coronary episode if you become too frightened and Soap Operas are right out, because they’re nothing but people arguing and, as we all know, we should all just get along. Let me be the first to shout from the rooftops, Leave Winnie The Pooh Alone! There’s nothing wrong with a nap or with eating a bit of honey. I always thought that TV was there to entertain us, not to teach our kids. I was under the impression that it was the job of the parent to teach their children and instill the sense of self-worth and the values that they feel are appropriate. I don’t remember being put in front of the TV as a kid and told, "Now, Brian, it’s time for you to learn some life lessons, so sit here and watch TV while I go get my nails done", because my parents actually took the job seriously!

So, let me just end on this note. If you don’t want to spend the time to raise your kids, Don’t Have Them! Don’t expect me to change what I want to see and what I like to do, because your precious child might not understand why I enjoy watching a movie like, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or I Spit On Your Grave. It really doesn’t take a village to raise a child, Hillary Clinton is full of crap, it only takes two parents to raise a good child, but it’s hard work and it’s a full time job, and don’t expect anyone from my side of the village to help you out! You wanted the crumb-crunchers, raise them your damn self. And for those of you who have kids, remember that it’s your job to instill values into them, not TV! I watched TV my whole life, and I turned out just fine…well, mostly fine, but still, I watched the Three Stooges and never once did I hit my brother with a iron skillet, I watched Superman and never once tied the towel around my neck to jump off the garage and I watched Winnie The Pooh and didn’t turn diabetic eating nothing but honey, because my parents took a minute from their busy lives to explain that TV isn’t reality and just because I see it there, doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing to do. That may be something that this new generation of parents don’t understand, you can let your kids watch TV, but maybe you should take time out to watch it with them. If you’d all do that, then maybe Pooh could eat his honey and take a little nap in peace!

Oh yeah, and Disney, you forgot one thing, maybe Eeyore should be put on anti-depressants and we can all chip in to buy Piglet some lifts!