Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
Why is that? The X-Factor is a great show. I’ve actually watched it. It’s a reality show where people compete with great talent to get to get noticed. Survivor? A long running show where people survive on an island. Both are great programming with good networking people behind them.
How can a show that has been airing since the year I was born (1973) beat both of them out in the ratings? And most likely, A Charlie Brown Christmas will probably beat out most programs in that time slot as well.
What’s up with Charlie Brown? Charles Schulz was the crafter of the cartoon and made it come to life with its simplicity in the comic strip. With characters like Lucy, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and others, they made the weekly and Sunday morning comics come to life. They were Americana. They have stood the test of time.
I’m sure there are network executives banging their heads against the wall trying to figure it out. Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe they’re saying, “Well, it’s tradition. People are watching because it’s part of their heritage. It’s just middle America making sense of life when everything is falling apart.“
That may be true. But I think the story of Charlie Brown is more than that. It’s something we can all wrap our hearts around.
It’s the story of a boy who nothing goes right for. A boy who just wants simplicity and joy. Who wants a few friends, a dog and normal relationships. More than that, even when Christmas comes, he doesn’t pick out a giant Christmas tree, he picks out a puny little tree and makes it his own. He’s an underdog.
He’s pure Americana. He represents the underdog of us all. He can’t kick the football because someone keeps pulling it out from us when we try to kick it. He can’t seem to catch the fly ball despite his best efforts. He doesn’t seem to understand the adults in his life because they all seem to say as if through a muffled trombone, “MUUHHH MAHHH MUHHHH MAHHHH MUHHHH MAHHH MUAHHHHH.”
And he says, “Yes, ma’am.”
He doesn’t roll over, he just keeps going. He just wants joy. He just wants that final scene where Schroeder is playing the piano, where Pig-Pen is dancing, where Snoopy is doing the Snoopy dance, where Linus is grasping his towel in joy, and where everyone is happy. He isn’t an apple polisher. He is a person who lives up to his potential and wants complete joy.
That’s what all of us want. A life where all of us are dancing at the end. Where piano music is heard and all of us can dance together.
That piano music is much more enchanting than the X-Factor or any reality television show. And we all soak it in, hoping and wishing for all of it. Hoping to put ornaments on that sorry little tree.