Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer
As an extended dramatic exercise for a theater camp I attended as a teenager (I know, I know: I’m a geek. Just remember what website this is, okay?), we were instructed to allow a single deep thought to enter into our heads, and to let it expand as we saw fit. The idea was that this single germ of an idea, and what it grew into, would serve as the basis for our big final performance. Now, given that the class consisted of angst-filled, “artistic” teenagers, you can imagine the kinds of thoughts that were getting created and expressed that day. They were all EXACTLY as eye-roll-inducing as you’d imagine…except for one.
For some reason, the thought that popped into my head, and that I could not remove, was this: “Do Smurfs taste like chicken?” Apparently, after watching scores of episodes of The Smurfs where various villains attempted to capture and devour the little guys, and knowing so many “exotic” meats are described as tasting just like chicken…I had always wondered if there was a correlation between those two facts. Is it any wonder I couldn’t get dates in high school?
That single thought, as per the assignment, spawned an entire thesis on The Smurfs, which has evolved over time. That summer, I merely wondered allowed how one Smurf could call himself “Vanity” while looking and dressing exactly like the others, and how all the Smurfs so clearly lusted after Smurfette, despite the fact that there are no natural female Smurfs (Both Smurfette and that annoying red-headed chick from later seasons were creations of Gargamel. It’s true; look it up!) That would be akin to slapping a dress and some rouge on an amoeba, and checking to see if it becomes more popular amongst its peers. However, as time went by, these cute little musings gave way to one single, horrifying truth: the Smurfs were COMMUNISTS!
(Author’s note #1: The preceding paragraphs, in addition to introducing the thesis for this article, also exist to create a narrative historical precedent for its origins.)
(Explanatory note for Author’s note #1: The author, in researching various facts on Communism for this piece, came across several articles expressing his same views on the correlation between a certain 80s cartoon, and a certain political system. The above author’s note was meant as a claim on the authenticity and originality of his ideas, even if his article has been “scooped.” It also serves as the justification he required to allow himself to write the piece anyway.)
Author’s note #2: The Spell-check function on Microsoft Word recognizes the word “Smurf” (provided it’s capitalized), but does NOT recognize the word Smurfette. Yet more proof (if any more was needed) that she was not a real Smurf.)
Are you in denial? Are you appalled that the cartoon that you allowed into your living room (and by extension, your suggestible little mind) was actually a parable extolling the virtues of a political and social agenda that had nearly resulted in a cataclysmic and catastrophic world war, and caused us to experience “a-bomb drills” in our schools at least once per year? Well, I understand your hesitance to accept this. However, consider the following comparisons:
Karl Marx – The nineteenth century thinker, complete with bushy white beard, who was often referred to as “The FATHER of Communism.”
PAPA Smurf – The leader of the Smurfs, complete with bushy white beard, who had an obsessive fondness for the color red (a color and word that are BOTH linked to Communism.)
Leon Trotsky – The controversial, bespectacled communist politician who engaged in a power struggle with Joseph Stalin, and was eventually thrown out of Russia.
Brainy Smurf – The controversial, bespectacled Smurf who constantly engaged in power struggles with Papa Smurf, and was subsequently thrown out of Smurf Village onto his head.
Capitalism – The “nemesis” of Communism was Capitalism, the paragon of Western thought that it was fighting against. Capitalism was (and is) “an economic system in which the means of production are mostly privately owned and operated for profit, and in which distribution, production and pricing of goods and services are determined in a largely free market.”
Gargamel – The nemesis of The Smurfs was Gargamel, an evil human wizard who was forever hatching plots to capture some Smurfs and turn them into gold, a precious metal that we can only assume he meant to use toward his own personal financial gain.
“Give according to your abilities, receive according to your needs.” – this axiom, adopted in the 1800s as a slogan for the Communist movement, basically espouses a system in which its people work as hard as they can for the betterment of the society, and yet take only as much as they need to survive. In other words, the concepts of “wealth” and “poverty” are abolished, and as long as everyone pitches in, everyone will live in perfect equality.
Smurf Village – Outside of a kibbutz, Smurf Village was perhaps the perfect practical application of the thought expressed in the above quote. There is no money, and no consumerism. All Smurfs dress exactly alike, and live in houses of exactly the same size. Each Smurf has one task that they perform for the betterment of the community, and neither seek nor achieve any personal gain for their efforts.
Revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat – Karl Marx believed that the move from Capitalism to Communism could not happen overnight, and that a transitional period was necessary for the change to take place. To quote: “A process of class conflict and revolutionary struggle will result in victory for the proletariat and the establishment of a communist society in which private ownership is abolished over time and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community.”
Jokey Smurf – Despite the high ideals of Smurf Village, it seems that a certain amount of avarice was inherent in each of the Smurfs, a fact that Jokey used to his advantage. No matter what the situation, if Jokey presented his mark with a present, the allure of personal gain was too much to resist. However, upon opening the gift, instead of a good, the recipient was greeted by a bomb exploding in their face. Thus, the Smurf who succumbs to the pull of Capitalism needs a violent reminder of the evils of such a system.
Subjugation of Women – Karl Marx’s wrote that, with Communism, “Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity. All are instruments of labor.” While this might imply that Communism was the first system to embrace the equality of the sexes, the fact remains that, “At the very beginning of the Communist Revolution in Russia a decree was passed declaring that all women between the ages of seventeen and thirty-two became the property of the State.”
Smurfette – Let’s review: All Smurfs are male, and new Smurfs are given to the village by a stork who flies in when needed. When Gargamel creates Smurfette, she is an evil harridan with black hair whose only goal is to destroy the entire Smurf Village (I’m pretty sure she was a bomb). However, Papa Smurf uses his magic to transform her into a blonde bombshell, who lives a life of idleness and gets the men to do things for her. So, according to the Smurfs, females are either an instrument for your destruction, or a drain on society.
The Cold War – With the rise of Communism following the end of World War II, the Western response prompted a forty year war of attrition, with each side building up their armies and armaments for a war that (luckily for all of us) would never occur.
Grandpa Smurf – In the final episodes of The Smurfs, Grandpa Smurf entered the picture, along with a magical boot that could travel through time. The parallel here is too obvious to mention.
If none of this convinces you, then consider the following:
– The Smurfs theme song, that irritiating “La La La” thing, has exactly 11 “Las” per stanza. There are EXACTLY 11 letters in the name Joseph Stalin (if you spell Joseph as “Josef.”) Also, the name Vladimir Lenin has 13 letters, which is EERILY CLOSE to 11.
– The word “Bolshevik” starts with a “B,” as does the word “Blue.”
– The Smurfs ended their run on television in 1990, a mere two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was as though, once Western children saw a concrete example of Communism’s failure, the writers finally gave up.
And so it goes. If this is the first time you have been exposed to these facts, then please accept my apologies; it is not my intention to destroy innocent and pleasant childhood memories. However, I believe truth is the most powerful thing of all, and to that end, I must do my duty.
And just WAIT until you hear what I’ve discovered about Strawberry Shortcake! (Let’s just say that never has a dessert proven to be such a Tart.) But that’s another article, for another day.