Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Mr. Magoo Theory of Mutant Progress

When you think about it, Mr. Magoo's exploits are the perfect metaphor for mutant progress. Like this hapless cartoon geezer, we humans, in our nearsightedness, like to look down the path we've traveled and take credit for everything that's worked out, while conveniently ignoring (or blaming others for) all our screwups. in our arrogance, we can't see all the near disasters that chance has averted. Meanwhile, futurists try to develop forecasting methods to predict what's going to happen as we drive our fume-belching autos into the sunset -- forget about it! Life's more chaotic, complex, and strange than we could ever predict.
In Gareth Branwyn's short piece on the fortunate Mr. Magoo as the personification (or cartoonification?) of mutant progress, he doesn't get into the fact that the codger initially played second fiddle to a bear who had no lines, yet Magoo was popular enough to get a series of shorts and a few movies, kind of like humans who have stumbled into their current position, thinking they're the cat's pajamas instead of a series of happy accidents, in the face of all their (unwitting) efforts to undo their progress at every turn. But overall, still an apt stand-in for mutant progress (and if you have only seen this first short, don't worry - Mr. Magoo changes from an angry old music-hater to a jolly chap, more in keeping with the happy sort of mutants).

For your viewing pleasure, the first short featuring Mr. Magoo: The Ragtime Bear (1949)

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