Reading Politics

Oct 18, 2005 13:03 # 39638

null tells about...

UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

94% | 2

That's right. Belgian TV viewers may be exposed to a 20-seconds ad in which the Smurfs' little village is carpet-bombed and Baby Smurf is crying next to a dead Smurfette while others are running around in panic in the background. The spot has been approved by the late Smurfs' creator's family that holds all rights on the blue little characters.
According to the UNICEF, the cartoon "focuses on the devastating effects war has on children."

From the article below:

The reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror.

An article is here, a UNICEF statement is here. Here is a part of the clip shown inside a news report (Windows Media only, sorry, it's the best file I could find).

I must say, the clip is impressive. I can only imagine what effect it would have on a child. I do hope it makes an impression on some high-rank politicians.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

This post was edited by null on Oct 18, 2005.

Oct 19, 2005 01:19 # 39652

rosyxxx *** agrees...

Re: UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

?% | 1

I haven't read the article yet, but I have read UNICEF's statement. Wow. 300,000 child soldiers around the world to date. What in the world is the world thinking? It certainly isn't the civilization we like to believe it is sometimes... and yet this is a wonderful idea--to show the Smurfs involved in conflict.

After all, we show Looney Tunes cartoons with Bugs Bunny blowing up Porky Pig, and Wile E. Coyote dropping Acme bombs on the Road Runner. Nobody ever really suceeds in truly killing and maiming in the cartoons, and no one really dies. You see the very same characters the very next day. So...the difference is only that the veil of fantasy is lifted?

I'm certainly not destroyed by that, at least not by UNICEF's campaign, I mean... and I personally think that the vast majority of the public should be more concerned about the fact that we give children messages daily, that everything will always be okay, and everything can be fixed. That is....in first world countries. Why do we do this? Perhaps because we live vicariously through our children, and wish that the world were a better place..........so, if we convince them that it is for the actually very brief years of early childhood, then we can 'vicariously' enjoy that happiness. That false happiness.

True happiness comes from knowing exactly what kind of place the world is, and yet being aware that there are wonderful moments of love and laughter that run concurrent with the bad. Children shouldn't learn this by being sent to war the way they are in so many countries, but maybe in other countries, they shouldn't be quite so naive about the atrocities in the world, and how irrevocable some things can be...I firmly believe evil happens when good men do nothing, as well as know nothing.

Humans likely will continue to war and fight and be competitive, and fatally argumentative. I personally wish that I, as a child, was a little less sheltered. Protected yes. But not sheltered. Maybe it isn't a good idea to run the "spot" of the Smurfs being bombed at all hours of the day so that extremely small children don't have nightmares...but I think the idea of showing a cultural iconic group like the Smurfs (a blitz back to nostalgically 'safe' childhoods for many members of First World countries) being devastated by war would really make a few people who have lost their wonder and beauty at the world sit up and take notice. And realize how fucked up war is. And how fucked up it is to send ANYONE, let alone children, but definitely most of all children into battle.

I respect the work that soldiers do for their countries, but from the perspective that I realize what a sacrifice of their lives they could be making. But war as an industry I don't agree with, and maybe if we didn't hide the atrocities of it from ourselves so much, it would happen less. More power to UNICEF for driving the point home to adults that the Smurfs can't live in la-la land forever, unless we, as a adults, realized what we are doing to ourselves.

Thanks for posting this. Incidentally, it is reminding me of a Japanimation cartoon called: Grave of Fireflies.

My mind is made up...not like my bed, which is a mess.

This post was edited by rosyxxx on Oct 19, 2005.

Oct 19, 2005 08:13 # 39663

null replies...

Re: UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

After all, we show Looney Tunes cartoons with Bugs Bunny blowing up Porky Pig, and Wile E. Coyote dropping Acme bombs on the Road Runner.

Heh. Road Runner cartoons rule!
I think picking the Smurfs for this spot is very smart. For one, in most cartoons where stuff is blown up, it's usually the bad guy's plan that backfires, it backfires in a funny way, and you can see it coming for a long time.
The Smurfs spot on the other hand shows a bunch of happy innocent little creatures suddenly getting slaughtered, and it's not made to be funny in the least. And, as the official statement says, how many people out there associate the Smurfs with their first happy childhood memories? (Especially in Belgium where they were created)
I think it also gets the message what war does to innocents across quite well.

Maybe it isn't a good idea to run the "spot" of the Smurfs being bombed at all hours of the day

They say the spot is only run after 9pm, when small children should be in bed.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Oct 19, 2005 13:02 # 39669

rosyxxx *** replies...

Re: UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

I think it also gets the message what war does to innocents across quite well.

Yes, I expect that it does. In fact, I would likely just bawl my eyes out if I were to view it, as I am both easily moved to tears by other cartoons I've seen, and am quite enamored of the Smurfs. My first recollection of them was in 1980, when my family traveled to Denmark. I got a soda bottle with a smurf on the bottlecap, and a cartoon book, and a stuffed Smurf...before they had quite made their appearance Stateside.

I loved them. It would be rather unpleasant for me to watch them being bombed, because I would not only nostalgically think back to being a prepubescent teenager, but also I would immediately put human faces along with the images of the Smurfs, and it would break my heart.

UNICEF Belgium made a wise choice for their anti-war campaign. I'm sure that it will be highly effective.

My mind is made up...not like my bed, which is a mess.

Nov 26, 2005 03:35 # 40734

zen *** replies...

Re: UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

?% | 1

The Smurfs spot on the other hand shows a bunch of happy innocent little creatures suddenly getting slaughtered, and it's not made to be funny in the least.

It's this the point of what makes war and genocide such a horrible thing? The fact that few on the receiving end ever expect it?

it backfires in a funny way, and you can see it coming for a long time.

Comedy is what happens to the other guy; tragedy is what happens to us. It's only "funny" because it's presented that way, but also because it's artifically presented. A bomb exploding next to you will kill you. But in a cartoon it's funny...
What a truly dangerous message that sends, especially considering that these things are geared toward children.

I'm not advocating banning cartoons, nor saying they are evil. But by the same token, I could say any number of wonderful things about them and that would not make their message any healthier.

I haven't seen the smurf ads, but if their message is linked directly to that of the fact that what one is seeing therein is exactly the kind of thing that war brings, then these UNICEF ads are actually healthier than the [Bugs Bunny/Porky Pig] cartoons that we grew-up with. They are healthier and better for kids because they present an honest message in amanner that children can comprehend.

Once Fred Neitszche declared God is Dead, f*ck became the most important word in the English languag

Dec 19, 2005 15:43 # 41105

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: UNICEF bombs the Smurfs

?% | 1

That's very cool, and even cooler is that the creator approved it.

I wonder if it was Gargamel who brought "shock and awe"[tm] to the Smurf village?

Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on Dec 19, 2005.


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