I was reading in my Newsweek this week about Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. You might remember me mentioning how I resemble the character Shermy from his cartoons. from his cartoons. But nevermind that for a minute. Apparently there is a new, lengthy biography about him that has his family and others talking about what he was really like. Though the family doesn’t appreciate it, the author chose to present Mr. Schulz as a relatively depressed man who poured his life into his comic strip. The basic premise is that in reality Peanuts was just a way for Schulz to show his true feelings about life, death, and everything in between. It’s almost like his life basically resembled what he would merely joke about through our favorite characters, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. But as usual, this got me thinking.
How could a man with such talent spend the majority of his life depressed? Sure, I don’t think every day was a constant drudgery for him, but I honestly believe the author saw a side of Schulz that revealed a man that had problems. From a basically fatherless home, and having his mother dying of cancer, his childhood wasn’t something he probably cherished. He was rejected as an artist through high school and college, and married late in life. Even his marriage was skewed as he engaged in an adulterous relationship with a younger woman. Newsweek reported that he even asked that younger woman to marry him while he was still married to his wife. He very well may have been a gracious and kind man, as the family argues, but the truth is his heart was aching.
But it’s not just Charles Schulz, it’s a lot of people that we see in the spotlight. Others that come to mind are actors Jim Carrey and Owen Wilson. Jim Carrey is arguably one of the most talented comedians alive and yet he has been reported as being one of the most depressed actors in Hollywood. I recently saw him promoting his movie 23, and he explained how superstitious and freaky he was about that number. He went on saying how the number 23 really is everywhere and it’s something he really believes in. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I could put my faith in a number. Needless to say, we hear about famous people all the time with lives that are unfortunately bruised and broken. They spend their days creating entertainment and art for the world that we could probably never think up, but their hearts are still left in need.
It’s almost depressing just talking about how it. How can so many people, with so much talent, be so lost? Wasn’t there at least one Christian the knew Charles Schulz? Maybe there was. Maybe that person shared the love of Christ with him, but he simply rejected it. Maybe they told him what life would be like with Christ, and how a relationship with the living God would change his entire life. It’s just hard to think about things like Charlie Brown and Snoopy and all the kids they came in contact with, and then think that the creator of those memorable characters was so lost. I’m a fan of Charlie and the gang. One can always relate to the pickles Charlie Brown would get himself in. I, for one, can relate to how Charlie Brown was always so down on himself, never feeling like he could accomplish anything. How he went to Lucy the psychiatrist, and paid the nickel she charged just to get some help. Most of the time it was pretty self-explanatory what he needed to do, but it just wasn’t that clear to poor old Charlie Brown. I guess that was how Charles Schulz’s life was. He didn’t have a ton of answers, so he spent his life writing down his questions through a comic strip, even living his life vicariously through a silly, one-haired kid. I just wish that maybe he would’ve found some answer somewhere along the line and maybe good ol’ Charlie Brown would’ve been a different guy. Better yet, I would’ve hoped that Mr. Schulz would’ve experienced the love of Christ so that he could be experiencing it right now.