Bugs Bunny, Civil Rights Activist?
Elmer Fudd, Oppressor?
The holiday season is fast approaching and you know what that means! That’s right, cold and flu season! So forgive me if my update is a bit wonky this time around as I’m a bit under the weather and… you know what, I don’t think anyone visits this site to find out how I’m doing, so onto the update!
Judging by the title to this article the brighter folks out there may be dreaming up dissertations or theses about the roles eternal foils Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd play in their eternal struggle between animal and vegetable. The vegetable being Elmer for always getting the wrong end of the rifle pointed at his head again and again and again. Seriously, anyone who gets blasted that often must have serious brain damage, which explains his ‘weally, weally’ weird way of talking. But I digress, this entry is much more straightforward than people much smarter than me would have you believe. See, Bugs Bunny REALLY IS a civil rights activist, or so says a story in Bugs Bunny #160 from 1974.
Before I begin, I would like to introduce an iconic image that I would like you to remember while you continue to read today’s article…
Yes, it’s none other than iconic Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States during the Civil War and largely acknowledged as having “Freed the Slaves.” It’s a really nice drawing (thank you Google!). I say iconic not for who he is, but for the image. Abraham Lincoln was well known to wear a stovepipe black hat (although a quick Google search showed 99.9% of available images had Lincoln without his hat!). As I said, please keep this image in mind as the story in Bugs Bunny #160 progresses…
And there you have, ladies and gentlemen, the reason for the eternal struggle between Bugs and Elmer. Kind of eerie, eh? In Bug’s eyes the poor rabbit is a slave to Elmer. It makes me wonder what he thinks about folks who enjoy rabbit on the menu. Guess that would make those people cannibals.
How does Bugs counter Elmer’s verbal assault? Knowing Bugs, it’s something witty and off-kilter…
And there you have phase two of the civil rights activist – getting your ass kicked by the man after having an oral debate (get your minds out of the gutter). This is quickly followed by phase three - rebellion. Bugs moves to swift and righteous justice by bypassing Elmer’s state-of-the-art 1974 security system and letting the BABY RABBIT OUT THE WINDOW! Yes, I’m positive that the little critter would be much better off on his own in the city where he could become a decorative hood ornament after getting run down, or a nice meal for the neighbor’s dog, or… well, you get the idea.
And as for my theory on Elmer suffering brain damage, in one panel he’s freaking staring directly at Bugs as he hands over a carrot AND DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIM! Look folks, if you can’t recognize your life-long enemy at point-blank range, then maybe you shouldn’t be driving.
After running over only 7 pedestrians (a new record!), Elmer and Bugs arrive to their destination…
And so Bugs proves he is the better man by freeing the poor baby rabbit and volunteering to help Elmer of his own free will, not slavery. I don’t know what a frilly looking lamp has to do with magic, but what the hey, it’s Elmer’s money, not mine.
You know, for landing on his head twice in the same story, Bugs is pretty lucid as he enters phase five of civil activism, cooperation.
Man, cooperation sucks. For Elmer anyway.
Still have the vision of Lincoln in your head? Good, let’s keep going…
Oh, for shame! How could Elmer rebuke Bug’s attempt at cooperation so readily? How could he ‘Flip his Framipan’? And what the heck is a Framipan anyway? Guess Bugs hit his head harder than I thought.
You know, when Elmer gets really worked up he sure emits a large amount of flatulent gas. No wonder the folks are so pissed off. By the way, if you’re ever playing cards with Elmer, he has a very distinct ‘tell’ when things aren’t going his way. See, he tries to eat the fingers on his right hand, as you can clearly see above and in the next page…
And remember, Abraham Lincoln…
Ah yes, blissful cooperation between formerly opposed parties can be grand. Thank you Abraham Lincoln and… uh… Gandalf I guess.
And as we bid adieu to Abraham Gandalf and Bugs Frodo I’d just like to thank you all for visiting and wish you all the best for the coming flu and cold season!