Positive Cynicism – It’s NBFD, Charlie Brown

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

Last week, a teaser trailer was released for Blue Sky’s computer-animated Peanuts movie, and the Internet briefly had one of its daily curmudgeon fits that amounts to “How dare something be different from the way it was when I was six, god dammit!”

Good grief.

Is this really a thing we’re supposed to be upset about now? A computer-animated Peanuts movie? This is the newest thing that’s sexually assaulting our childhoods? (And, by the way, could you please stop using the phrase I couldn’t bring myself to type out as though your dislike of something is in any way comparable to a traumatic physical attack, you insensitive, entitled jackasses?)

Look, I’m really getting sick of the fandamentalism over every piece of cinema and television that comes our way. Either enjoy it or don’t, but your entitled whining is making it so hard to be excited about things. I should have been happy when Lucasfilm announced three more Star Wars movies. Instead, all I could think was, “Damn, another decade of hateboys whining about how bad everything is.” Because, come on, it’s not like any of you people are going to like it. It’s new. I shouldn’t have to get annoyed by your tiresome bitching before it even happens. But, then again, you shouldn’t be tiresomely bitching before you even see something. Getting all crabby about a teaser trailer for a movie that won’t even be released until 2015? Don’t you have something worth your time to hulk out over?

Look, the doctor is in. Give me a nickel, because I’m going to tell you how to handle your problems.

First: shut up. Let it go. If the Peanuts trailer is more offensive to you than discrimination being written into law or CNN seriously talking about black holes and the lost Malaysian plane, it’s time to shut off the Internet and sit down with your eyes closed. Just take a few minutes. You’ll find that the Internet gets along fine without you for a while.

Second: stop talking about your precious childhood. We all had childhoods. Some of us just gained realistic perspective as we got older. For example, my perspective reminds me that I was born 10 years after the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and 26 years after the first Peanuts comic strip was published. So even though I loved Peanuts as a kid, it’s not “mine.” And even loving Peanuts as much as I do, if texture and shading on Snoopy could ruin it for me, my love was pretty shallow in the first place.

Third: stop saying it only exists to make money. Of course it exists to make money. Why is there always some asshole in every comments section who says this as if it’s ever been an original observation? Wait, wait, you mean making a movie out of those characters from a hundred MetLife commercials might be a moneymaking endeavor? Holy shit! Next you’ll try and convince me that A Charlie Brown Christmas was made to sell Coca-Cola!

Fourth: make peace with the fact that the world of children’s entertainment has moved on without your input. You’re in your thirties now, so it shouldn’t be surprising that movies and TV shows aimed at children are not groveling for your approval. Guess what? The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is not aimed at your nostalgia. It’s aimed at your kids. Because your kids and their money is what’s going to keep licensed properties alive. Oh, did you think it was your loving reminiscences? Nope. Maybe think about how stupid you sound when you’re essentially saying “But that Superman movie from 34 years ago was so perfect I can’t believe kids raised in a world of CGI and postmodern hyper-referencing don’t love it the way I did!” Why would something aimed at today’s generation of underagers take into consideration whether it struck the right chord with the type of person who is going to get angry about a teaser trailer? Especially when that guy’s 35?

Fifth: figure out what you even want when old properties are revived. Remember how you all clamored for a new Indiana Jones movie and then instantly hated it? I don’t know how that even surprised anyone. This is the Star Trek conundrum: everyone wanks on about how they want something new and fresh and not beholden to the original series or its continuity, but then those same people get pissy when the characters are even a little bit different from their pet interpretations. What, McCoy has been replaced in the lead triumvirate by Uhura? Ow, my butt!

Sixth: appreciate what might be good about something. Stay open-minded. Personally, I found the teaser trailer charming. It felt like the animators went out of their way to split the difference between modern computer animation and Bill Melendez’s sparse 2D everything-on-the-same-plane style. I really liked that. I hope they take a cue from the specials and the earlier movies and make interesting lighting and color choices. And if they don’t, I guess I’ll just … I don’t know, get over it? I’ll either like it or I won’t. Predicting my reaction is just a waste of time.

Seriously, guys, stop wasting your time. If this doesn’t meet with your high standards … you know, what even are your standards? What’s the sweet spot on stuff like this? Exactly how much pandering to you is enough to make you feel appropriately blown, without pandering so much that you’re insulted by its obviousness, your majesty? How much … you know what? Fuck it, you’re ridiculous.

It’s no big fucking deal, you guys. Get a life.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

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