On Charlie Brown

by Mark

I rarely tear up reading articles, especially about fictional kids with huge round heads, but when you dear article writer observed that you truly believe Charlie Brown would find happiness, i shed a tear or two. Well done!

Of course he would, Charlie i mean, be happy, and we saw that as children, that ineffable willingness to try again despite a seemingly uncaring world dealing one setback after another. It was indeed his sheer determination to not ever truly give up—yes maybe a month locked in his dark room being ridiculed by his visitors after dropping that winning fly ball—but they came, to see him, b/c he was a part of their 'hood. Good Ol' Charlie Brown, and while they wished he'd catch that fly ball, been the hero, they accepted that even if he didn't he was still part of the tribe. They cared for Charlie Brown, and we all felt it.

Charlie Brown would always have a tribe, be it bowling league, cub scouts with his sons, softball practice with his girl, or just an ear to bend at the local pub after yet another boring PTA meeting that all the dads got dragged to because the new Vice Principal was up to no good and the moms were incensed. Good Ol' Charlie Brown would be there through it all, loving as best as he could, a part of the neighborhood, and yes, i think even he would admit that most days, he was happy to be alive.

That's all we ever wanted as kids (and for our kids), big dreams yes, but we all hoped that grown-up life wouldn't mow us down and leave us bereft. That's why we liked Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang, they were neurotic survivors all, and that, i at least, found easy to relate to.

"So if I were asked to pick the character most likely to find happiness if he or she ever grew up—the real kind, not just the glib, warm-puppy kind—I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Charlie Brown." See here.

Thanks for writing this, Mr. Handy.

m