Saturday, September 09, 2006
I'd like to take some time and bandwidth to talk about an underreated classic Ant Pasted. Not only is it a well executed cartoon with impeccible timing that only Friz Freleng could achieve, there's something below the surface as well. It is also a scathing attack upon Senator Joe McCarthy and his Un-American Activities Committee stuff. Here's what I've noticed:
Joe McCarthy is represented by Elmer Fudd (who better to do so?). The fireworks Elmer lights and throws around represent the extreme patriotism that McCarthy and senators like him (then, now, and at any other time in political history) shamelessly display in order to feel righteous. The ants here represent those that were victimized and blacklisted by all this.
Unfortunately, in real life, the blacklisted individuals were at the mercy of this committee and all they could do was wait it out and survive however thye could. Some even committed suicide. But, the victimized ants in this cartoon actually retaliate, something I'm sure Freleng and everyone who was blacklisted wished they would have done.
If you're thinking that all this is no big deal, keep in mind that this cartoon came out in 1953. The blacklist was in full swing at this time. Any little insignificant part of your past that could even be remotely construed as being linked to Communism got you in front of that committee pleading your case in front of a group of cold heratless suits ready to find you guilty no matter what. So, for Friz to actually slam these guys through animation or whatever is quite a bold move indeed. Thankfully, I don't think Joe McCarthy ever caught on because Friz disguised his attack with a blanket of patriotism. He made the ant's retaliation seem like it was being done for America. And in a sense it was. Those Communist hearings were a dark period in American history. The sooner those ended the sooner America could seem more like a police state run by tyrants.
Well, I think I've said enough about this cartoon. I now invite all who have read this to view the cartoon for yourself and see if you agree with me or not. So, with that, I now present Ant Pasted: