Cinema: The Conquering Zero

Everyone should have someone he can feel sorry for. That's why Charlie Brown was born. A human Edsel, a micro-Stassen, doormat to the world, Charlie has built a career on ineptitude and defeat. As a result, millions of idolaters have hailed the conquering zero, elevated him from comic strip to national pop artifact, and transformed his creator, Charles M. Schulz, into a new Disney.

Since reversal is the key to Charlie's prominence, it is only proper for him to pull the ultimate switch in films. Formerly, animated cartoon characters —such as Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny —would begin their existence in the...

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