Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Real Genius...

What is real genius? Some people think it's a number. I think it can be someone who has a keen insight on what it is to be human. Charles Schulz was such a man. Tonight "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is on for the first time this Christmas season. I have never missed this classic cartoon. Me and Charlie go way back... we are almost the same age. Another genius... Vince Guaraldi. Some of the best jazz ever written... and for a childrens' cartoon, no less.

Me and Charlie, 1962, somewhere in England, by Richard J. Coda Jr.

I will remember those dreadful curtains to the day I die. They followed us home to the U.S. and I can remember them well into junior high. As a sophomore in college, my Chemistry exams mysteriously fell on the nights the three Charlie Brown specials were on. The professor was noticeably absent at all of the exams. I figured he was home watching Charlie Brown. Imagine his surprise when I ratted him out in the school newspaper!

All kidding aside, this cartoon could be a textbook. It shows man at his best and his worst; at his cruelest and his kindest; at his most guilty and his most innocent; at his most arrogant and his most humble; at his most selfish and his most selfless; at his happiest and his saddest.

I remember Christmases as a child. We had snow; we had real trees; we had the Norelco Santa; we had simple gifts; we had a completely different view of what "Christmas is really all about." To tell you the truth, I actually feel like Charlie Brown does... today, "it's all wrong".

Maybe it's because my daughter is now a young woman and I long for those Christmases when she was little. Maybe it's the attack on Christmas. I don't know.

I hope that someday I can get that magical feeling back again. I know, tonight, for a half an hour while I watch with my daughter, I will feel the magic for a little while.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Its silly to say, but it is difficult to overstate the impact that that little animated show had on me, especially Linus' reading of the nativity passage from the Gospel of St. Luke--the beauty of the passage, along with its crystal-clear separation between it and the fluff and trash all about, struck me even as pretty dense pre-teen. Glorious stuff!