Thursday 23rd of January 2020

I climbed over the fence, but I was still in the world...


The newspaper comic strip section is a particularly and peculiarly American institution. I can’t deny that, being British, when I open the special Sunday edition comic pull-out—six pages’ worth, and all in color!—I feel a twinge of self-consciousness.

But I also won’t deny that I fight through that DNA-inscribed British snootiness to read on—and I’m always rewarded with more than just a chuckle. There’s plenty of underappreciated wisdom in the comic section.

Snoopy’s philosophizing in Peanuts alone is enough to justify checking in. By way of illustration in a recent panel: Charlie Brown and Linus are strolling past Snoopy. “Do you ever feel like running away?” says Linus, to which Charlie Brown replies, “Of course…sometimes I feel like I want to run away from everything.” Snoopy watches them walk on before thinking to himself: “I remember having that feeling once when I was at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm… I climbed over the fence, but I was still in the world.”

Deep wisdom touching on self-knowledge and futility, with hints of T.S. Eliot’s “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”


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Note: in the Peanuts comic strip, the apostrophe man has struck again. It's should be Its...