Happy 100th Chuck Jones!
Chuck Jones is One Hundred Years Old today, September 21st, 2012.
Chuck was born on Septermber 21st, 1912, in Spokane. He graduated from the Chouinard School (now known as CalArts) in the early 30’s and started working bottom of the barrel animation jobs, such as washing cels. Eventually he made his way to Warner Brothers and started working in the Termite Terrace studio on Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies shorts. He worked as an assistant animator for Tex Avery and Bob Clampett until he directed his first short, The Night Watchman.
Jones started out doing more cutesy material, stuff that was closer in content to Disney rather than what we traditionally think of the Looney Tunes. He broke this habit with the Dover Boys.
From there, Chuck went on to make his most famous shorts: “What’s Opera Doc?”, “One Froggy Evening”, “Duck Amuck”, and of course created Pepe LePew, Marvin the Martian, and Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
Later, in the 60’s, Jones left WB (after winning a few Oscars) and pursued other creative endeavors. He teamed up with Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel to make the classic animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” tv special, which to this day is still shown on tv during the holidays. He also won another Oscar for his short film subject “The Dot and the Line: A Romance In Lower Mathematics.” He would close out the 60’s by producing the animated/live action hybrid film “The Phantom Tollbooth”.
After that Jones worked on many different things throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, including 520 episode of The Electric Company. He became a lecturer, and even made cameo appearances in movies like “Gremlins” and “Innerspace”, which were directed by his friend Joe Dante, and contributed animated sequences to “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”.
Jones is one of the few artists who lived to see his work properly appreciated. He received numerous awards even after he stopped making cartoons regularly. A voracious reader of literature (particularly Mark Twain), he was a thinking man’s animator, someone who approached his cartoons with critical thought and deep philosophy, which only highlighted the humor.
He died relatively recently on February 22nd, 2002, at the age of 89. Robin Williams once referred to him as “the Orson Welles of cartoons”. Today, we celebrate his centennial.
Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz haven’t spoken since 1998.
Respected actor Phil Hartman voiced them, turning them into those wonderful, memorable characters.
One night 13 years ago, Phil’s abusive wife came home from a dinner with friends and started an argument with him. Phil threatened to leave her if she didn’t escape her drug habit.
Shortly before 3am, she sneaked up to a sleeping Phil and shot him thrice with a .38 caliber handgun.
How could someone so adored by all be killed by the woman he loved? Why didn’t he speak up about her growing abuse? Where was the support network for victims of domestic violence?
There wasn’t one, of course. More accurately, there isn’t. In the UK there are 7,500 refuge places for women. There are 60 for men. There is no government funding for any male refuge places, there is for a large proportion of the female refuge places. It’s a similar picture for the USA and Australia.
Obviously more women than men are victims of abuse though? Not really. In a metastudy with a sample size of 369,000, women were found to be as or more aggressive than men towards their partners. In most cases of domestic violence, violence is substantially reciprocal. In fact, Erin Pizzey who created one of the first women’s refuges and popularised the concept, has been sent death threats by feminists for her finding that “of the first 100 women who came to the refuge, 61 were as violent as the men they had left.” and that she fully believed women to be as capable of violence as men. Her dog was killed by feminists, her whole family threatened, she was forced to flee to America because feminists were so offended that one of the mothers of the women’s rights movement dare believe in equality instead of ideology.
It’s been 13 years since Phil Hartman was murdered. 13 years since Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz left our television sets. And what’s changed? Nothing, really. 835,000 men are physically assaulted by their female partners each year in the USA.
According to the Duluth model of domestic violence, which is commonly used by law enforcement and the judicial system (including in Australia), the man is always the aggressor.
Isn’t that shocking? We know, beyond any doubt, that men are victims of much domestic abuse. Yet if a man calls the police to report his being abused, chances are that he’ll be arrested. Because the model we use to combat abuse assumes that he must be the party responsible for it.
Feminists make their cases emotively, and they make them cleverly. But ultimately, feminism is not an ideology based on impartial evidence. It’s more aptly, though maybe a tad too extremely, described as a hate group and support network for people who fetishise their own victimisation. Australian feminist groups viciously protested a modest increase in the rate of women being arrested for domestic violence as though it were evidence of the patriarchy trying to silence women. How ridiculous is that? At no point is the concept even considered that women might be responsible for any domestic violence.
I only wish Phil Hartman’s death had led to an increased awareness of male victims of domestic violence. But it didn’t. His death was empty and meaningless because what it stood for went against the prevailing ideology.
Thank you, feminism.