30 September 2015

Danger-Prone Daphne, Where Are You?

In the face of a warming planet, we should all embrace our inner Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I'll explain later, but first, watch this video from Cracked:



To sum up the video, it argues that quartets from popular culture represent four enduring personality types. For example, Fred from Scooby Doo, like Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is a duty-bound leader. Scooby and Shaggy, representing two pieces of one personality, echo the recklessness and playfulness of the turtle Michelangelo. Meanwhile, Velma parallels her studious and practical reptilian counterpart, Donatello. Daphne, on the other hand, resembles the sensitive and rebellious Raphael.

Although the Cracked video sticks to connections in pop culture, I extend the discussion to the seasons. The clothing worn by the Scooby-Doo characters supports this contention. Velma, wearing a heavy sweater, represents winter. Shaggy is clearly dressed for summer. Both Fred and Daphne choose clothes for various types of weather. Their clothing is lighter than Velma's, but both have scarves, suggesting they are ready for the chance of cooler temperatures. That means, they are spring and fall. Fred, with his light hair and brighter-colored clothes is spring, and Daphne's rich, red hair and purple dress speak of fall.

The fact that Fred and Daphne represent spring and fall gains added support when examining the roles of the individual seasons. Summer and winter are about high-pressure weather systems with more stable patterns of heat and cold and stagnant air. Fall and spring are the forces that move the action in the weather game. In the universe of ninja turtles, Leonardo (Fred's counterpart) and Raphael (Daphne's) are also the ones who produce action. Leonardo does it through leadership, and Raphael makes it happen by questioning the direction of the group. Additionally, Leonardo's mask is blue and Raphael's is red, both primary colors--the strongest chromatic forces, and of course, Fred wears blue and Daphne is a redhead.

Daphne's role as fall supplies the connection to global warming. A warming planet is an environment more in line with the forces of summer and winter with their intractable systems, particularly summer because of the heat. What is more, a reckless approach to life similar to that connected with the goofy Scooby and Shaggy and the carelessness of summer has led us to produce global warming. Fall, meanwhile, is in danger because of global warming. As summer expands, the transition to winter shortens. According to her Wikipedia profile, the nickname "Danger-Prone Daphne" came about because in early Scooby-Doo episodes, Daphne was the damsel in distress. As the strength of global warming grows, we, like Daphne and fall, are in distress.

Still, we should look to Daphne for guidance in this scary time. Daphne's Wikipedia page also notes that as Scooby-Doo progressed and over its numerous incarnations, Daphne changed. These changes culminated in a karate-kicking portrayal by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the live-action films. While retaining her sensitivity and even vulnerability, Daphne became capable of taking care of herself. Consequently, we learned that she was danger prone not because she was a damsel in distress but because she ventured out and exhibited bravery when faced with scary situations (and as I wrote in my last post, when it comes to global warming, we should "walk unafraid"). Scooby and Shaggy, who supposedly represent a carefree lifestyle, are the ones who are constantly afraid.

We can't be Scooby or Shaggy or the summer they represent now. That's what got us here. The truth of the matter is that we, like Daphne, are fall, and we must own that and the precarious position it currently occupies. We must have the bravery to look directly at our situation, step outside of the path we know, and take the actions necessary to address global warming.

Daphne and the other pop culture figures who share her personality have already shown us the way.

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