Monday, July 1, 2013

The Vicious and Unfair Attacks on Cap'n Crunch

America loves a scandal and the best scandals of all are when we can drag a respected public figure through the mud. Throughout history people have inflated their resume, have snuck around to have sex with someone they should probably not be having sex with, or otherwise have a skeleton in the closet.  Then at the proper moment, this dirt can be dragged out to destroy an otherwise virtuous scumbag and drag them down to his or her proper level.   This is as American as apple pie.

But sometimes an innocent cartoon figure is accused of villainry that we would otherwise only expect from a public servant.   Such is the case with the esteemed marketeer of sugary breakfast foods, Cap'n Crunch, whose character and background is being slandered by self-appointed guardians of public decency.

A fallen icon sacrificed to the bloodlust of a fickle American public?

The controversy has apparently been raging for some time, and it involves whether or not Cap'n Crunch is a real captain. The Wall Street Journal in a recent article, included below, has a discussion of anomalies in the Captain's uniform, the issue of Crunch's naval record, and the affectation of the Napoleonic-era hat.

When will America stop this self-destructive attacks on their cartoon characters? Cap'n Crunch is an icon of everything that is great about America: sugary breakfast foods, great animated commercials (by Jay Ward), appropriation of other culture's insignia, the use of the name by an underground phone phreak hero, and nostalgia for a happier time in our youth.

What could be more American than that?

I call on all Americans to stop this senseless and immoral attacks on a great animated public figure and support Cap'n Crunch.


The Wall Street Journal article can be found here:

WASHINGTON – A new scandal is consuming the U.S. Navy and one of the world’s most venerated captains: Cap’n Crunch.

The legendary cereal icon’s status as a captain has come under fire after eagle-eyed writers noticed that Cap’n Crunch only wears the bars of a Navy commander, not those of a captain. In the U.S. Navy, captains wear four bars on their uniforms, while commanders — one rank below captain – have three bars.

“The cheery Santa Claus in blue Napoleon hat is really just a big, fat LIAR,” wrote Charisma Madarang on Foodbeast, an online food news site.Gawker and other sites reported on the scandal as well.
Cap’n Crunch took to Twitter to defend his honor.

“All hearsay and misunderstandings!,” @realcapncrunch wrote.”I captain the S.S. Guppy with my crew – which makes an official Cap’n in any book!” And: “Of course I’m a Cap’n!” he wrote to anguished supporters searching for answers. “It’s the Crunch – not the clothes – that make a man. #PaidMyDues”

But his protests failed to tamp down the sense of betrayal and anger.

The controversy deepened on Wednesday when the Pentagon said it had no record of a Cap’n Crunch ever serving in the U.S. Navy.

“We have no Cap’n Crunch in the personnel records – and we checked,” said Lt. Commander Chris Servello, director of the U.S. Navy’s news desk at the Pentagon. “We have notified NCIS and we’re looking into whether or not he’s impersonating a naval officer – and that’s a serious offense.”

The Navy’s repudiation is fueling speculation the Cap’n Crunch, who wears a Napoleon-style hat, may actually be French.

According to official lore, Cap’n Crunch first set sail in 1963 when Quaker Oats Co. introduced the sweet children’s cereal.

According to his official biography, Cap’n Crunch, whose full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch, was born on Crunch Island in the Sea of Milk – “a magical place with talking trees, crazy creatures and a whole mountain (Mt. Crunchmore) made out of Cap’n Crunch cereal.”

It remains unclear if Crunch Island is part of the United States.

He took command of the S.S. Guppy and spent decades battling his arch-nemesis, the pirate known as Jean LaFoote.

The captain came to rule over a small empire of sugary cereals, from the original Cap’n Crunch to Mystery Volcano Crunch.

In 2011, Cap’n Crunch had to fend of rumors that he was being forced into retirement by health-conscious commanders at Quaker. “Food police kill Cap’n Crunch,” one headline proclaimed.

Cap’n Crunch survived. But the latest scandal – and a potential Navy investigation – could prove to be a bigger challenge. If tried and convicted of impersonating a military officer, he could face six months in jail.

A Cap’n Crunch publicist said she was “shocked” by the Navy’s allegations and she is investigating the matter.

“The Cap’n doing hard time? Gasp,” she said.

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