My New Favourite Book
Schulz, Charles M. The Charlie Brown Dictionary. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973.
Knuckle Toes hunted down an old book for a friend of ours, and before he had even shown up to receive his impromptu gift, a group of us dived into it and read all the way up to the letter S. I knew that I had to have my own copy, so I found one and ordered it from Amazon.ca the next day.
I was born at the tail end of 1972, and the political climate was obviously somewhat different when this book was written in 1973 than it is now. It always surprises me the level of caucocentrism that was deemed acceptable during the early part of my life. I do not remember it. Of course, that is not surprising, especially since I grew up white, middle class, Christian, and physically average. By dint of my birth, I was privileged out of any greater awareness of perceived difference and its implications for those othered by their colour, culture, religion, gender, and all the other many attributes that are used to include and exclude individuals à la mode.
But really, what can be said about The Charlie Brown Dictionary's definition of black? In a world in which Africville, Nova Scotia in Canada was expropriated between 1964 and 1969 and the state of Mississippi in the United States took until 1995 to officially outlaw slavery, Schulz's (I assume) subconscious support of a race-based class system (I am pointing a finger at the phrase "little black friend [emphasis mine]") is not surprising, and it is also not surprising that this book not only passed in the eyes of editorial staff but also in the eyes of the paying public throughout the several years of its publication. (My edition was printed as a textbook and is stamped on the inside cover with "Property Of / Ridgecrest School / Jordan School District" for the '73-'74 school year.)
I did not intend to go down this oh-so-serious road when I started this entry, because this book is rife with race and gender misinformation that is laughable in its anachronistic presentation, by which I mean to say: it's so out-of-date and ignorant that it's funny. See?
Lucy is serving Snoopy, and he deems her servitude extra good because she is pretty. Also, she has been good enough to don her proper serving attire: a french maid outfit. A young girl taking a role submissive to that of a dog while dressed in one of porn's first favourite costumes is funny, no?
Now I am going to watch some Tyra Banks and loosen my brain up some. It is obviously wound a bit tight.
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