One of the most beloved comic strips of all time is Charles Schulz’ “PEANUTS”. Based on the life of a seemingly forever down on his luck kid named Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy, his sister Sally, and other neighborhood friends Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and Franklin to name a few. The popularity of the strip led to films, a few video games, endless toys and apparel, but most notably, the holiday television specials. My favorite being “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”.

Timeless. Whimsical. Makes you wish you were a part of their group of friends, doesn’t it? Well, not me! I see through the veil of bright colors and fun adventures. I see the dark and sad. I see the group of friends for what they really are. Cancer Patients.

“Cancer Patients?” you ask. Yes. I will explain the world of Peanuts and the gang as I see them.

NOTE: My explanation will be full of plot holes based on which movie/special/story line from the strip you try to match it up with. This is just a fun observation that is only meant to make you not see Peanuts the same way again.

The world they live in – We only see their world from the eyes of the children. The world that is full of bright colors and imaginative things. NOT the real world of a hospital where they truly reside. Sure, the hospital allows them outside time and activities, it’s not a prison, but they never leave the hospital property. EVER.

The Characters –

Schroeder- He’s been in the hospital long enough to teach himself how to play the piano in the play room.

Lucy – She’s just a bitch, but if you were going through chemo, you might be too. Silver-lining, she has a crush on Schroeder.

Pig-Pen – No one really knows his true name. He wont say. He is also new to the ward and his nerves cause him to keep refusing his baths. There’s always a stinky kid.

Franklin – The token black character who acts like he’s better than everyone else. Maybe because he feels he shouldn’t be there anymore due to his cancer being in remission?

Linus – Charlie’s best friend. He’s always carrying his blanket around. People think it’s a security thing, but I see it representing how tired he always is from the treatments.

As for the rest of the supporting characters, you can fill in the blanks yourself. Now for the main characters. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and his friend Woodstock.

Snoopy and Woodstock – These two are only a dog and a bird due to the imagination of the kids. They really are adults. Snoopy is the cool orderly and Woodstock is a quiet, but equally as cool volunteer. This is the reason why they are the only one who really do leave the hospital and come back to tell their takes to the kids.

Charlie Brown – The man of the hour. Missing almost all his hair. Always feeling down. Remorseful, I would say. Nothing ever goes right for this guy. He has a crush on the little redhead girl, but she’s just there from time-to-time visiting family. He can’t have her. He wishes Snoopy, the orderly, was really his dog. Ever notice how he really never has any control over his dog? While trick or treating, from nurses station to nurses station, they only give him rocks. Maybe that just means he’s a diabetic? Maybe the rocks were painted nice. We’ll never know.

Wait a second. In the final Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown’s baseball team finally win a game. Then again, we all win ever game when we go to heaven.

Yes. We lost Charlie Brown to cancer in the last comic strip.

R.I.P. Chuck

Long gone are my teenage years, but the memories and movies remain.

AMERICAN PIE was released into theaters 15 years ago yesterday (July 9th, 2014). I chose to watch this movie out of the blue last night without any knowledge of said anniversary. Coincidence? I think so!

As for the film, it still holds up and is as good of a watch as ever. Being a teen in the mid to late 90’s, I connected and related with this movie on a level like that of which teens of the 80’s connected with The Breakfast Club. -For the record, I love The Breakfast Club. – I had completed my mission of losing my virginity a couple years earlier, which help me connect with the film, I’m sure.

AS long as there are teenage males questing to lose their virginity, this film with have an audience and will find more fans who endear this film as much as I do. 


The Dark Side of the Island

     “Gilligan’s Island” was a family friendly sit-com that aired on CBS from 1964-1967. The story followed the group of seven people from all walks of life getting shipwrecked on a deserted island and focused mainly on the follies of our lead, Gilligan, as he foiled the group’s many attempts/efforts to escape or be rescued from the island. in often slap-sticky ways. Goofy, silly and sometimes endearing is how they, CBS and the Gilligan’s Island writers, would have you believe. I see through all this sugarcoated tomfoolery. I see the darkness and madness that infects the island and more importantly, the island’s only resident… Gilligan. 

     You read that correctly. Gilligan was alone on that island all along. I know, I know. You think I’m crazy, but I will show you how and why I came to this conclusion. Or should I say, “Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of Madness and delusion”? 

     The Set Up: The Skipper owned a boat tour business where Gilligan was his first mate. The Professor. Mary Ann, Ginger and The Howells all bought a ticket for just a simple 3 hour tour, but a storm strikes and they get shipwrecked and forced to learn to survive on this island until they are rescued or they find their own way off the island. 

     How I see it: The Skipper did indeed own that boat tour business. Only he, The Skipper would operate the boat for the tours. His first mate Gilligan dreamed of one day manning The Minnow and leading the tour all on his own. Being that The Skipper trusted no one besides himself to steer The Minnow, Gilligan stood zero chance to see his dream come true. The Skipper would fire him if it weren’t for the debt he owed Gilligan for saving his life when they were both in the Navy together. In an act or rebellion, Gilligan commandeers The Minnow to prove to The Skipper he has what it takes to lead a tour or two. With his inexperience at captaining a boat, the storm hits, Gilligan loses the fight with the weather and winds up shipwrecked on the shore of a deserted island… ALL ALONE. .  

     Gilligan grew up a Boy Scout in Pennsylvania and spent some time in the navy, uses these skills to survive and thrive on the island even though he is clumsy and accident-prone. Hours turn to days. Days turn to weeks. Weeks turn to months. As these months crawled by, Gilligan slipped down a rabbit hole of disillusion and mental illness. Through this illness, he develops his own company to join him on the island. 

     First “person” to join him on the island was The Skipper. Possibly out of guilt. He was Gilligan’s boss and he did wreck the SS Minnow. (Note: Skipper used his life savings to purchase The Minnow and start the tour business.) So, there they were, The Skipper and Gilligan together again on the island. Only this incarnation is nothing like the real Skipper. This is the Skipper that Gilligan “saw.” He felt that The Skipper wasn’t just his boss, but his best friend. The good Skipper as he was portrayed in the show. Not the abusive, angry asshole that he really was. He was playfully abusive on the show. Pushing and hitting Gilligan with his hat whenever Gilligan would get on his nerves. Hey, this was the 60’s and hitting people wasn’t really that big of deal as it is today.

     Now that he has his best friend with him, he needed a woman. That’s where he couldn’t decide. Should he be with his sweetheart from back home in Pennsylvania or his celebrity fantasy? Being unable to decide, he chose both. Mary Ann and Ginger joined the boys on the island.  The good girl who would make a great wife and the sexy movie star that he just wants to bang. The best of both worlds. 

     Back home, his parents had to work hard for very little. This is why I believe Lovey and Thurston Howell are the embodiment of his parents. Only this is his parents from inside his head. They are incredibly rich and can have anything and everything they want. Including being on the deserted island with the son, Gilligan.

     This only leaves The Professor. The Professor is the problem solver. He is by far the smartest man on the island. This is because he is Gilligan’s old teacher from back home. Gilligan remembers him as the smartest man he ever met. Why wouldn’t he recruit him for all the problem solving and inventing the things that Gilligan wished he had on the island? Such as the radio and all the attempts at escaping the island or getting rescued. 

     Ever noticed how Gilligan was the only one messing up each attempt to get off the island? That’s because he truly was the only one there to mess up any attempt that he thinks The Professor would do if he was there. 

     Gilligan was a goof, but he also cracked form all the sun and possibly dehydration. He went mad and brought everyone with him. Think about this the next time you watch an innocent little episode of “Gilligan’s Island.”