Thursday, January 20, 2005

How Scrooge McDuck Shaped My Life

Dammit! I was just thinking today of writing about Scrooge McDuck. Then along comes Glenn Reynolds with his super-duper mega-blog and endless professor time to write about it and find all kinds of miscellaneous links about it. And literally before I know it, I’m late for the greatest meme in blog history since the Dean Scream.

I grew up on Scrooge Mcduck—in his later incantation as the afterschool show Ducktales. I have trouble finding words to describe the influence this show had on me growing up. It introduced me to every archetype imaginable, ingrained in me the ideals of a benevolent universe, human progress in science and finance, and most importantly, love for human greatness.

Why was Scrooge McDuck cool? He had so much money he could fucking swim in it!! How did he acquire this money? Carl Banks never lets us believe it was any reason beside hard work and creativity. Yet he never let his money get in the way of him being a human . . . or a duck, as it were. He adventured around the world as an effort to preserve and build his fortune. Yet even a child quickly understood that Scrooge used his money as a means to some greater ends. Before Rush Limbaugh, before Ayn Rand, Scrooge McDuck was the first example I was given of a uber-rich protagonist when every other societal source told me that money = evil. (BTW--This would not the last time that Disney has spread Objectivist Propaganda.)

I also liked the nephews, who grew up a lot more the way I wish I could’ve. And a lot of other kids. Childred are meant to mature much faster than the “petri dish” lifestyle they’re crammed into until at least 18. More on that later. Also admirable was the indefatigable Launch McQuack, and the underappreciated Gyro Gearloose. The later deserved his own spinoff, if for no other reason, to teach kids about science.

As for archetypes, here are the ones I can name of the top of my head: Homeric Greece, Atlantis, Medieval times, China, the center of the earth, the Arctic, the Klondike, the Horatio Alger rags to riches story, the robot-gone-crazy archetype, the ancient South American Indian tribe archetype. . . the list goes on.


Post a Comment

<< Home