Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mickey Mouse and the Politics of Appeasement

Can you imagine Popeye, when confronted by Bluto over Olive Oil, looking at his arch nemesis and saying, “Take the girl. And here’s a sawbuck. Let me buy you two dinner. Anything, as long as you don’t hit me!” Heck, no! The cartoon community’s manliest man pops open a can of spinach with his biceps, eats the contents, kicks the ^&$# out of Bluto, and leaves with the girl. That’s as it should be. Bullies only understand one thing: greater force.

So, what message is Disney sending to children when Mickey Mouse is repeatedly shaken-down by Pete the Cat? Mickey needs to go somewhere but his path is blocked by Pete. Pete wants money before he will allow Mickey to pass. It’s a classic shakedown. Pete’s appearances are random, as are the amounts of money that he demands, but not unexpected.  Bullies always return to their favorite marks.  Each time this happens, Mickey happily pays whatever fee Pete demands in order to be allowed to continue his journey. Disney is sending a message of non-violent conflict resolution. It is the politics of appeasement. Give your enemy whatever he wants. If anyone is wondering about the effectiveness of appeasement, they should talk to Neville Chamberlin and the Czechoslovakians.

Here at the Arby household we have a different answer for these situations. We have a karate red belt, two purple belts, and the newest addition to our martial arts family...



...the white belt.

Yes, Captain Chaos successfully completed her first class as a white belt. That means that I successfully completed my first class as a white belt. I had fun. The girl had fun. My seven year old loves the fact that he holds a higher ranked belt than I do. And if Pete ever tries to steal her lunch money, he'll get what he deserves!

(Yes, the time stamp on the picture is off by 3 1/2 years.  Our first class was last Monday night.)

7 comments:

Some Guy said...

At what point in the class do you earn the pink Crocs?

Oklahoma Granny said...

Congrats to Captain Chaos - and you too, Dad! Looking farther ahead than the lunch money bully, you'll be able to rest easier when she starts dating.

Brownie said...

Good for her! and you, too!

L. said...

This is great! All I can say is NOW try and get away with saying no when The Captain wants hot sauce on her oatmeal.

TobyBo said...

Yay for Captain Chaos!

GingerB said...

How awesome for the Captain! A law school classmate's daughter was grabbed by a child molester in a bowling alley, and having been trained in some martial art or other, she kicked him the groin and ruptured a testicle, which incapaciated him long enough for the police to arrive, take in him, have his parole violated and get him locked back up. I think she was around 11 when she saved herself and the rest of us. I've always planned to give my daughters self defense skills, and all the other benefits that come with such a discipline - well done Arby!

The_Kid said...

Nice ! And spot on of course with the rest of the commentary