I bought this book at a garage sale some aeons ago, and it languished in my eleven boxes of eBayable books that I’d held in reserve in case I accidentally opened a book store. As I prepared to divest myself of these investments, I picked over the collection one final time for books I might want to read, and I settled upon this book and probably several dozen others. Because at my pace, I am scheduled to run out of reading material on my shelves sometime in 2009, and we can’t have that.
Whenever I go on vacation, I fill up the bag with quick read paperbacks. When we went to NYC last weekend, I packed this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Short chapters filled with Peanuts cartoons make for a quick but interesting read.
The book contrasts the Peanuts gang with the kids today–from 1968, remember–and finds the kids today lacking. The Peanuts kids respect their elders, go to church, recognize the value of education, and love their families; kids today just want to get high and paint their bodies in San Francisco parks. So I thought I was looking into a book describing the epistemology of Peanuts, and I end up with a pre-Hannity conservative tome. Not that I am complaining; it’s an interesting historical document for starters, and also an accessible book that relates art to philosophy in a non-scholarly way.
Perhaps the book proved more accessible to me than it would to someone of today’s generation; I had a Snoopy electric toothbrush and remember wwatching seasonal animated television specials featuring Charlie Brown. Have newspaper comics faded in the contemporary age? Dilbert remains popular, The Boondocks remains controversial (but popular? Hmm…), and Day by Day gets blog attention, but who even reads the comics in the newspapers today? Pardon me while I project.
Also, the book sharpened some dulling trivia about the Peanuts gang. I mean, I’d forgotten Violet, but she was an important foil to Charlie Brown. And I know the ages of the kids–five years old or thereabouts. Any book that provides useful trivia is a good book, especially when it costs a quarter or less and takes a little more than a three hour flight to read.