Whatever the animation company, almost every cartoon on television I watched as a child had the same formula. The bad guys would hatch some convoluted and ridiculous plot and the good guys would put an end to it just after the third ad break with the bad guys vowing that the next time their plan would succeed. Sometimes there was a multi-part special or the odd episode where it transcended this formula but this was generally what you could expect. Off the top of my head this was true of G.I. Joe, Pokémon, Captain Planet, X-Men and a whole bunch of other shows.
Scooby-Doo was similarly formulaic but the bad guys changed with each episode. I haven’t watched it for a long time but I recall that they always got caught, admitted what they’d done and were brought to justice. While in one sense, it is good for children to see a clear distinction between good and evil and justice being served, this is not the reality of the world. Thinking about it, earlier works of fiction for children were far more grim and realistic with stark lessons to be taken away. This is particularly so for most fairy tales as they were originally told.
It seems there is a never-ending debate about what children should and should not be exposed to while growing up. This I should stress is one among people who genuinely want to raise children well and not amongst the growing legions of people trying to corrupt them. There are things children should definitely not be exposed to but there are also very bad things that it is best they are aware of. The true nature of evil is one such example.
In the real world, evil is never so unsubtle as the antagonist of the morning cartoon. The most ridiculous example I can think of is the aptly named “Prime Evil” from the Ghostbusters television series. This is one I only vaguely remember from my childhood and shares only the name and a similar concept with the two 1980s films. The character who is pictured openly announces he is evil, dresses in a way we associate with evil and is literally named evil. Plenty of other cartoon antagonists are more subtle, but not by much.
How children are taught to recognise evil.
In the globalist environmental propaganda program Captain Planet nearly all the antagonists want to pollute and trash the earth for no other reason than the joy of doing so. Sometimes profit motives are mentioned but then I recall one episode where one of them plans to go back in time to buy the title deed to the Grand Canyon.. Why? To fill it with trash.
Now I watched many such shows and grew up and like many adults, saw how silly this all was. In fact, I can claim to have recognised this much earlier than adulthood as I’m sure many other children do. However, I have to wonder if this has left an unconscious impression on many with how they see the world.
As mentioned, evil seldom openly announces itself. Evil generally defines itself as a good. The Reign of Terror that followed soon after the French Revolution was conducted by the Committee of Public Safety. It was evil of course, but it certainly didn’t claim to be and many carrying it out would not have believed themselves to be evil. They would have believed they were doing it in the interest of the public good. Similarly with the many terrors and purges in the Soviet Union and Mao’s China. These actions were being conducted against people who were counter-revolutionaries. It mattered little that you were merely lukewarm as the powers that be wanted enthusiasm and many gave them exactly that to protect their earthly existence. I don’t believe that even the worst of the actors in these bloody upheavals would have defined what they did as evil — but they were.
A question that was asked in my schooldays when discussing events such as those listed above and most commonly, National Socialist Germany was whether or not you believe you would have gone along with it? Most people don’t believe they would but events as I write suggest that most in fact would. Evil today isn’t going to wear Hugo Boss to help you understand what you’re dealing with. Evil will in fact claim to be totally against the evil that came before.
Even if you can recognise evil, resisting evil is generally not a fun exciting adventure. It requires people willing to stand against what could be most of those they know. It can mean losing possessions, positions and loved ones. It can mean being spat on, beaten and ostracised without any recourse to the law. There is no promise of a happy ending. There is ultimately a happy ending but it is not one to hope for in this world. If you think you believe you are resisting evil but still find your life genuinely comfortable, you should probably have a think about what you’re really doing.
At the end of the Scooby-Doo episodes, the bad guy would admit his wrong when caught or cornered and justice would be done. This seldom happens with evil and even when it does, it indicates at least the beginnings of repentant heart. Usually, no amount of evidence will change them.
Consider the recent case of Cardinal George Pell who had all seven High Court justices throw out his conviction. The highest court of the land and not just a majority — but all. Did the people that had persecuted him utter even a minor mea culpa? Not one. They continued (and continue) to insist on their righteousness. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they also claim to be fighters against the system and imagine they live in a world where they and the “victims” they defend are actually oppressed. It is easy to wonder whether or not they are acting but I think the vast majority really believe it.
The reality of recognising and resisting evil means constant conflict. It is not a cartoon or a movie. You can’t expect things to be triumphant as in a war movie or wrapped in a neat bow as in a comedy. The fight is really more of a never ending tragedy. There is a happy ending of course but it isn’t one that you can expect to enjoy on Earth.