‘Wabbit’ way off base

‘Wabbit’ column off-base

To the Editor:

I applaud The Freeman’s Journal‘s endorsement (3/10/22) of the anti-bullying activities held recently at Cooperstown Central School. I further applaud your reporting of the remarks made by two students to the CCS Board of Education stating they received “no support from ‘a member of the administration’ when they reported incidents of racial intolerance and bullying,” and I trust you will continue to follow that story and its ramifications.

What I cannot accept, then, is your willingness to use as a source of humor the travails of one Mr. Elmer Fudd as referenced in your editorial entitled Wabbit Season. Clearly, Mr. Fudd is the target of repeated and extensive bullying by Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. It is obvious that Mr. Fudd is at the mercy of the mental gymnastics and spiteful rhetoric of Bunny and Duck. In the film you reference (“Duck! Rabbit! Duck!”), Mr. Fudd, a hunter, is simply trying to ascertain which animal is in season. He is lied to multiple times:

Rabbit season

Duck season

Goat season

Dirty skunk season

Pigeon season

Mongoose season

Elk season

Fiddler crab season

The superior wiles and mocking intent of bullies Bunny and Duck gradually wear at the fragile psyche of Mr. Fudd. While admittedly it is the duck who sustains the bulk of the physical violence, the repeated verbal and emotional abuse imposed upon Mr. Fudd ultimately results in a complete mental breakdown; sadly, this is on full display in the final moments of the film when a broken and befuddled Mr. Fudd is told it is baseball season and begins firing his rifle at a baseball tossed out by Bunny. (Bunny also mockingly commands, “Here boy! Here boy! Go get it!” as if Mr. Fudd is a dog). He runs off toward the horizon laughing hysterically as he continues firing at the ball and we are left to only wonder about his ultimate whereabouts and well-being; it does not bode well.

The abuse of Mr. Fudd depicted here is at best a sad commentary on animated films of the early 1950s and at worst a serious indictment of all who would inflict permanent psychological damage on others. For your editorial (which, by the way, had nothing to do with hunting) to reference Mr. Fudd’s suffering to make a “humorous” point about New York State government is, frankly, despicable.

Yours,

Tothlo Laz

Rochester, New York


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