Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The World According to Tweety-Bird

  • The World According to Tweety Bird
  • Who is Tweety?
  • Tweety is the little guy. Tweety does not count for much in the scheme of things. This, for Tweety, is not a problem as he is content to be the little guy, so long as he is supplied with bird seed, water, and a swing to swing on. However, Tweety is a victim of forces much larger than he is (“Dat bad ol’ puddy tat!”). Tweety is the one who is oppressed, a victim of Sylvester, who seeks to over power him utterly. At the same time, Tweety always wins. Tweety is never caught and eaten by Sylvester, and this makes Tweety self assured to the max.
  • Where is Tweety?
  • Tweety lives in a cage. This is not a bad place to be as his cage offers safety from the “bad ol’ puddy tat.” His cage is home, and is the place of food, safety, and rest. Whenever he chooses, or needs to, Tweety is free to leave the cage in order to torment his nemesis, Sylvester the cat. Tweety’s world is a dangerous place for those who are small, who might find themselves becoming breakfast for those who are large. Tweety must be always on the alert for Sylvester, who is diligent in his efforts to bring Tweety to harm. Tweety’s world is also one where justice prevails always, in the end, or Tweety would have been long gone ages ago.
  • What is Wrong?
  • Tweety actually looks like "breakfast" to Sylvester. Tweety is the victim. Tweety cannot ever get fully away from Sylvester. Tweety is the one who has no power. Tweety is small and Sylvester is large. Tweety is weak and Sylvester is strong. Tweety is innocent and pure, and Sylvester is evil.
  • What is the Answer?
  • The answer lies in Tweety’s own perseverance and cleverness, along with a streak of luck, which includes some impossible “cartoon” type feats of strength, and daring. Tweety is also fortunate in that while Sylvester is big and evil, he is also very foolish. Sylvester is often a victim of his own schemes to capture Tweety. When all else fails, there is “Gwanny” who comes in at opportune moments and gives Sylvester a royal “lickin” with her umbrella.
  • Commentary:
  • Tweety shares much in common with other Warner Brothers Cartoon characters. In many of them the weak are oppressed by the strong and yet win out in the end. Bugs Bunny is a classic case, facing several enemies: Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, and the Tasmanian Devil. The Road Runner is another, who always wins over Wile E. Coyote, even though the coyote is more powerful. These cartoons appeal to Americans because it is an American story. We love to see the underdog win. Americans have always championed the little guy in any conflict. When Tweety outsmarts Sylvester, it is the same as the Horatio Alger, rags to riches story, where the little guy fights against overpowering odds and wins. It is the story of Rocky and of The Lord of the Rings. It is the Alamo and D-Day. We love to see the underdog win. Truman over Dewey in 1948 is one example. Andrew Carnegie, who came to America as a poor immigrant child, and went to work as a telegraph boy, but grew up to be a multi-millionaire is seen as the American success story. In some ways it is America’s own story—a little band of Colonists come to Jamestown in 1604 and overcome impossible odds to survive and build Virginia and then all the colonies declaring their independence from England, all these farmer-militiamen, winning out over well trained and equipped British troops. We were the Tweety Birds and the Redcoats were Sylvester. The Warner Brothers cartoons may be seen in light of the Bible as well. Tweety wins, but unlike in the Bible, it is not by faith, but by cleverness and cartoonish jokes. The “savior” in the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons is always “Gwanny” who is good at fighting evil and injustice, but who offers no permanent solution. In the Bible it is different. The little guy wins in the Bible, only because of faith in God. Scripture tells us that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27). This runs all through scripture. The little guy wins over and over, not by cleverness but by faith. The Bible tells us the story of God choosing Isaac over Ishmael, and Jacob over Esau. Even more so, it is Moses, God’s Tweety, standing up to the ungodly Pharaoh (Sylvester), and winning, not because Moses’ “Gwanny” gives Pharoah a whack, but because God has chosen to bless his people at that time. It is the story of David and Goliath, of David and Saul, especially. Saul must have felt like Sylvester sometimes, always after David and always failing to get him. Let’s remember, however, that God is not always on the side of the underdog. God is on the side of the underdog who has faith in God, and who lives according to God’s purposes. Tweety always wins, and for that matter so does Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner. They win because they are clever. God’s people win because they give themselves in faith to Jesus Christ and have their lives in line with the purposes of God. Let Tweety be an encouragement to all of us—sometimes the little guy wins. But even more than that, let Tweety remind us that the clever are guaranteed a win, only in the stories. The real winners in the end are those who belong, in faith, to Jesus Christ.


Bud said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Fred! Excellent work so far!


Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Dr. Smith! Its so good to hear from you. I trust you are doing well at Liberty. I'm sure the transition after the death of Dr. Falwell has been a challenge. I hope that your wife is doing well, also.

I appreciate you stopping by my blog and offering your comments. How did you hear about it? Feel free to email me if you want to move our discussion off the comment thread: ehmcgowin@gmail.com.

Grace and peace to you and your wonderful wife,


Carl in Charlotte said...

Hey Fred! Good work on the blog. How do you find time to do this along with everything else you do? As a storyteller, I've noticed a direct link between some of the WB characters and the old folktales. Bugs Bunny is the classic trickster and Wile E. Coyote goes back to the southwestern Indian stoires about Coyote. Could you make a case that Jesus was the greatest underdog ever?

Cobby said...

Dr. Smith, I am glad to see that you have taken time to unravel the nefarous acts of Satan. Not only have you exposed his treacherous acts, but also, you have clearly opened the eyes of Christians to be careful what they hear and see especially in movies. This work will go a long way in exposing Hollywood and the media. Keep on the good work! Dr. Cobby.

juliancosimi said...

Dr. Smith,

Interesting analogy. I am reading the Corduan book on apologetics - very interesting. When we depart from truth, i.e. relativism, skepticism, etc. we undo ourselves, our truth-reality system, EVERYTHING. Something must be true - and as a result something false. It is amazing that our technological zenith, the system of electronics/computer programming rests on the principal "+" present, "-" not present. Which reflects the ultimate dichotomy between "true" and "false". We cannot escape - everyone must make a decision.

Anonymous said...

how are you?

Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work

Anonymous said...
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