The world is becoming an increasingly stressful place to live in. Every new day brings with it new problems to deal with, constantly pushing the world towards an inevitable end. These scary times are made even scarier when the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic clock that shows how close the world is to its destruction, is moved even closer to midnight.
In these horrifying times, many forms of art are bringing solace to the people. One of the primary forms of such art is television. A recent episode of the hit Cartoon Network animated series, Adventure Time, highlighted the importance of the arts for giving hope to the people when things seem nothing but miserable.
James Baxter and His Beach Ball
The episode shows a gathering of mole children saddened upon the fact that their leader would soon pass away. But everyone rejoices when James Baxter, a horse that rides a beach ball, arrives at the scene. James Baxter’s sole purpose seems to be making others happy and bringing solace to them in times of need. He uses his beach ball as a means of artistic expression, so it’s understandable why he goes into depression when his beach ball suddenly pops.
The Need for Happiness
James’ friends try to make him feel better and take it upon themselves to find him another beach ball that he can use because without his witty charisma all the happiness from their world would be gone. However, Finn stays back at the scene with James and gives him a dose of reality by telling him that he doesn’t need his beach ball to be who he is. James takes these words to heart and when the others return with many new beach balls, James knows he doesn’t need them anymore to spread joy.
A Very Strong Character
James Baxter’s character stands out from the rest because of the richness of his facial expressions and body language. He doesn’t say much in the show whenever he shows up, but the way in which he is depicted brings joy to many. The flashbacks that show how he felt out of place in his old life, where horses like him worked the whole time, are what add an even deeper layer to his character in the show. James realizes early on in his life that he doesn’t belong to a world like that, and is supposed to be using his artistic gifts to spread joy and happiness everywhere.
A Lot More Than Children’s Cartoons
This episode holds more meaning than some people might realize at first. The episode came out at the time when the Trump administration in America had threatened to stop funding the National Endowment for the Arts. If this does happen, many artists will suffer from lack of financial support to pursue their passion. It is true that real life brings with it much more problems than can ever be shown in cartoons like Adventure Time, but this particular episode does a good job of highlighting how and why the arts are important for bringing solace to people in times when everything seems to be moving towards disaster.