The Many Life Lessons I Learned by Watching Looney Tunes Cartoons as a Kid

Pepe Le Pew is not the only problematic cartoon character in that cast

Looney Tunes image

I watched a lot of cartoons when I was growing up. One of them was Looney Tunes. The ridiculous antics of characters like Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Sylvester the Cat, never failed to amuse me. Little did I know, I was also being brainwashed and programmed like a little robot, my brain nothing but a blank slate that the Warner Bros company stuffed ideas into and gave all the information necessary to become a good little capitalist worker drone.

It’s unfortunate and true. Because I watched Looney Tunes cartoons on many mornings and afternoons as a child, I am now incapable of making good decisions, or pursuing things that give me joy for the sake of my own happiness. Everything I do is poisoned. Literally every sandwich I eat, looks like a Tweety Bird.

Right now, Pepe Le Pew is in the news because Warner Bros have decided to remove him permanently from any new Looney Tunes productions. It seems that this talking skunk has been accused of perpetuating rape culture to impressionable young men, and of course this makes perfect sense. After all, every notorious rapist since 1950 or so has listed Pepe Le Pew as their primary motivating force for committing their abominable crime.

Pepe Le Pew is guilty of teaching children to never take no for an answer. That even if you are a skunk, and the love of your life is not a skunk, but a cat, you can still win their heart. He taught us that it’s okay to ignore our own faults, it’s okay to walk around smelling like roadkill or worse, and it’s definitely cool to be in love with one person for over 75 years, no matter how they identify.

But it turns out, this is just the tip of the iceberg for questionable and problematic lessons being doled out to the sponge-brained youth sitting in front of TV sets across the land.

Bugs Bunny

The main star of Looney Tunes is of course Bugs Bunny. Okay, wow, first of all, yet another animal that can talk. It’s weird that despite this cartoon teaching me repeatedly that animals often walk and talk like human beings, I have yet to encounter this in the real world. I can’t figure out why. They must be hiding this from us, and it is only a matter of time before their secrets are discovered.

Bugs Bunny taught me many valuable and life-altering nuggets of knowledge. The first of which is that all hunters are dumb. They are Elmer Fudd clones who are easily tricked and coaxed into traps of their own making. But, they are also immortal. No matter how many sticks of dynamite you stuff in their pants or put in their cigars, they simply will not die.

Bugs taught me that cross-dressing is cool. If you have someone that is harassing you, it’s always an option to consider dolling yourself up like a sexy seductress of the opposite gender, even though you don’t mean it, and then luring your prey off a cliff or into some other hilarious predicament, such as standing on an “x” you’ve drawn to indicate where an anvil is about to drop. And this, of course was the inspiration behind The Silence of the Lambs.

I learned a great appreciation for classical music from Bugs Bunny, but especially for the opera. My go-to favorite thing to do now when I see any opera performance is to knock out the composer, take his place, and then trick the main vocalist into holding his high notes until the entire building collapses around him.

The biggest and most important lesson that I learned from Bugs Bunny, is that firearms are not really dangerous. Any time a gun is pointed at you, it’s easy to mitigate any physical harm by simply sticking your finger in the barrel. If this doesn’t appeal to you, the other option is to tie the barrel into a bow knot. Either way, the result is the gun will backfire on whoever holds it, but don’t worry, they won’t die either. At the most their face might get covered in soot. It’s all in good fun!

Elmer Fudd gun knot

Wile E. Coyote

Wile E. Coyote is another great example of never giving up on your goal. In this case, that goal is both murder and revenge. No matter how many times his plan of killing the Roadrunner fails, he just gets up, brushes himself off, and tries again. Admirable, and the greatest role model any would be murderer could ask for.

When it comes to committing acts of violence for the sake of hopefully murdering and eating your prey, Wile E. Coyote teaches us to think outside the box, to always be innovating and experimenting with the latest technology, and to never settle for the simple tools of the knife and fork.

Wile E. Coyote was an Amazon addict before Amazon was even a thing. In his day, it was called ACME. He was constantly ordering and receiving new toys from his ACME catalogue, up to and including rocket ships and explosives. Mr. Coyote taught me at an early age to be a consumer. He taught me the primal joy of opening boxes of goods, following detailed assembly instruction manuals, and then using those goods to destroy your enemies.

The Coyote taught me to be wary of how plans can go awry. But, much like the lessons of Bugs Bunny, that death is nothing to fear. Whether you get a piano dropped on your skull, fly yourself via cannon into the side of a cliff, or explode yourself with bombs, you will not die. Gravity itself is even something that can be outwitted, as it only really works if you happen to look down.

Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and more

Many of the other cast members of the Looney Tunes ensemble, taught their own fair share of valuable moral conditioning.

Daffy Duck and Porky Pig primarily existed to teach kids that bullying is not only natural in relationships, but it is to be encouraged.

Yosemite Sam is yet another character that taught me I could solve every problem I had through guns and violence. That having a bad temper was a great personality trait. And that the most valuable thing in the world was gold.

Sylvester the Cat taught me that it is impossible to escape the most primal of our animal instincts.

Speedy Gonzales taught me that the people of Mexico are all extremely fast runners. He also taught me that Mexican people generally all wear sombreros and speak in exaggerated accents.

Marvin the Martian taught me that kidnapping people is awesome.

Foghorn Leghorn taught me that it’s cool to abuse animals, especially dogs.

The Tasmanian Devil or Taz as he is endearingly often referred, taught me that mental illness is hilarious, and self-destructive behavior should always be the punchline of the joke.

I could go on and on about how integral these cartoons were to my personal childhood development, and what they have meant to me personally and to society as a whole.

But honestly, all you have to do is go outside and interact with the physical world, to know how true this is. Besides, I have more important things to do. I just received my latest package of rocket fuel from Amazon, and this piano crane isn’t going to build itself.

I wrote this entire article from the sky.

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: Jaysizemore.com.

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