Somewhere around 1996, I purchased my first real PC. It had Windows 95 on it which included Microsoft Word (In the days when MS cared.) I began a series of columns which evolved eventually into the blog you are reading now. Below is the third such columns I started which I originally titled A3 (no idea why.) I never released it – so I’m doing it now. If it makes no sense to you, transport your mind back 18 years.
Alley Oop was a man for prehistory, a man for the 1950s and early 60's.
Or is he a man for today?
As we contort ourselves in our conform/disgust dance with political correctness, sometimes it’s the perspective of the distant past that can help us deal with the never-changing/constantly re-discovered issues of our day.
Was Alley’s existence consistent with the tenants of proper behavior that we perceive from our lofty perspective? Clubbing animals into submission and then eating them as well as wearing their skins evokes in us visions of baby seals and whales named Willie. Indeed, if the tales are to be believed, Mr. Oop was personally responsible for diminishing several now-extinct animals (saber tooth tiger comes to mind).
He was not above the enslavement of dinosaurs to meet his selfish need for transportation. Did he actually believe that a brontosaurus (or whatever Dinny, that he rode was,) wouldn’t rather be grazing on succulent leaves and hanging out at the dino-disco than schlepping a smelly, dead-animal-wearing human?
Reports imply his domestic life to have been less than tranquil. Why didn’t he ever marry his faithful girlfriend, Ooola? Did he have no empathy? no connection to his feminine side? Nowhere in any Alley Oop comic are the phrases, inner child, beneficial fiber, or voluntary civic service to be found. If, indeed this man was measured on the yardstick of Alan Alda, or Phil Donahue one can only presume that our poor prehistoric person of the male persuasion would be found “correctness-challenged”.
In spite of his connection with Dr. Albert Wonmug, Oop never had the advantages of our modern educational system where he might have been taught to rebel against all notions taught to him by his parents. In so doing he might achieve his level of individuality (in lock-step uniformity with his teachers and peers.)
No – Alley Oop is not a man for today. He lacks that pressure-formed character imposed upon our increasingly politically correct society.
But like all societies that get uptight about the trivial, and neglect the important, barbarians will soon storm the gates, burn our houses, and drag us into slavery.
Perhaps then his time will come.