An end to an era
Sun Feb 13 22:15:23 CST 2000
I thought nothing of my necktie choice this morning. The news was
impossible to avoid; Charles Schultz had passed away. As I was dressing
for work, then, there was no real choice; it would be a Snoopy tie. The
only choice, then, was which Snoopy tie it would be -- the Valentine's
Day tie, an obvious choice given Monday's holiday? The Snoopy baseball
tie, in light of the impending start of spring training? Any of two
dozen other Peanuts ties in my collection?
The choice came down to Starry Night. The tie is as the Van Gogh
painting of the same name, Woodstock and his relatives alight in the
night, Snoopy sleeping atop his doghouse in the foreground, the heavens
above painted in the dark, heavy manner as Van Gogh had done. And
written on the backside of the tie, the caption: "Goodnight, Vincent."
Goodnight, in more ways than one. Charles Schultz, the creator of
Peanuts, of Charlie Brown and Snoopy and Linus Van Pelt and Rerun and
Pepperment Patty and all the rest, gone to another place. And Peanuts,
the last Sunday strip, the last original strip ever, running today in the
newspapers. Charlie Brown would be no more. Snoopy would never again
fight in the trenches of Flanders, joust with the Red Baron in the skies,
dream of writing the Great American Novel. Lucy could never dispense her
useless psychobabble to another unwary listener, pull away the football
from the luckless Charlie Brown yet one more time.
Revisiting the past, revisiting one's youth, is never a wise action. But
I will always revisit the past of Charlie Brown and his friends, as long
as the old strips are reprinted in whatever their form. Revisit the
storylines that I read as a child with the understanding of an adult.
Stories such as Charlie Brown's first girlfriend (Roy Hobbs'
great-granddaughter, no less), Rerun starting Kindergarten, Charlie
Brown's first baseball victory, the time he finally kicked the football
that Lucy had always pulled away.
Childhood ends, but in the world of Peanuts, childhood will never end, so
long as we empathize and understand.
"You don't just take on responsibility for yourself. You don't just take
the word of others. You feel it necessary to take on the entirety of The
Way Things Are every time out, and let the consequences fall on you. You
remake the galaxy in your image."
-- Peter David, "Star Trek: New Frontier -- Once Burned"
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