Tuesday, November 4, 2008
What’s Opera, Doc?
I called Charter Communications today about extending our cable in the apartment to get channel 102 BOOM. For those of you who are not familiar with the Boomerang channel it consists of the good old cartoons like Dexter’s Lab, Yogi-Bear, The Pink Panther, Flintstones, Smurfs, The Jetsons, Johnny Bravo, Tom and Jerry, Looney-Tunes and the list goes on and on…These are the classic cartoons that helped me pull through my youngest years. Waking up every morning flicking on the boob-tube and tuning into the genius of Chuck Jones being inflicted upon my brain.
One episode of Loony-Tunes will always stand out in my mind, “What’s Opera, Doc?” I’m sure I have seen the flick many times but it wasn’t until most recently seeing it on BOOM that I realized the simple implication that was intertwined. In the beginning the famous Bugs Bunny is called upon to outwit Elmer Fudd as he does in every show. I feel bad for Elmer; despite being the antagonist Elmer lacks the malice of a true villain or maybe it is hard for me to take a villain seriously when he is incapable of pronouncing his own first name. So anyway back to the show…as every Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd show goes Elmer is always trying to kill bugs because he is “wabit hunting”. In this chapter Ride of the Valkyries is somehow playfully playing in the background throughout the entire show, chanting “kill the wabit, kill the wabit” over and over again into your head. Elmer is dressed as a Viking Opera singer that taunts Bugs about his fearsome “spear and magic helmet” and showing his mighty powers to the tune of The Flying Dutchman, the hunt begins. Bugs enters in a genius disguise as a woman Viking riding majestically down the mountain side on an enormously fat horse. After 6 minutes of singing and dancing Elmer finally discovers that his Viking lover is actually Bugs. Raging with fury Elmer summons upon a storm that with a single lightning bolt is able to kill Bugs. Immediately after seeing Bug’s limp body Elmer starts to suffer regret. Elmer dashes down the jagged rocky mountain and swoops Bugs up singing “What have I done, I’ve killed the wabbit, poor wittle bunny” and slowly begins walking away towards a sun setting horizon. Right as you think the show is ending Bugs head pops up and says “Well what did you expect in an opera, a happy ending?” This cartoon marks one of the few times that Bugs Bunny is defeated by Fudd. I felt good after seeing Bug’s head pop back up, perhaps a sigh of relief. I reflected for a moment and thought that life is a lot like that, you get smashed but you soon find a way up again, you break a bone but then heal, you are either the hunter or the hunted. Never once have I ever seen Elmer give up, never once have I seen Tom catch Jerry, but they had the determination to keep trying, to find a new way even if it lead to their own pains. Maybe that is what Chuck Jones was trying to teach kids, to never give up, to never stop trying to catch what you’re meant to. That the chase was the most exciting part, the road that leads to success. Elmer was sad when he finally killed Bugs because the chase was over but luckily his chase was only over till the next episode. If I could only be so fortunate, after each chase a new exciting one would start. There would be no boredom but only one great adventure leading to the next. So why kill the wabit?