Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On the Color of People

The most common topic of discussion regarding the show Doug is the color of people. Why are only a select few people in Bluffington like the Funnies in their apparent whiteness? Why is Skeeter that greenish blue aqua color he is? Where are the black people in Doug's world?
The obvious answer here is that we are seeing this world through the eyes of Doug Funnie, who we know is delusional in many ways I have already discussed. Doug's crazy mind sees people whatever color it wants to see people.
I've had discussions with people, and seen arguments about it before, where a simple replacement scheme is used to label a character based on their skin color and personality, but they never really hold up. Green people are jealous, purple people are rich, etc. Some people argue that Skeeter and other people with his skin color are the black people. I don't buy it.
What I buy is that Doug Funnie is fucking crazy, and in describing people to his journal, he assigns them colors as he remembers them.

Here is famous basketball player Sky Davis, as seen in the episode Doug's Cool Shoes. He is an obvious reference to many popular basketball stars at the time, most importantly Michael Jordan as he has his own popular shoes called, surprise, Air Jets. So it's safe to assume that this character is a black guy. He's clearly not the same color as Skeeter, the character most commonly pointed to when the issue of black characters comes up.

What is she?

Beebe is the same color as Sky Davis, but her character is that of a stuck up, rich white girl. And then there's whatever girl Beebe is talking to. What is that?

Here's a crowd of different colors. Nothing consistent at all.

Roger is that ugly green color. His friend on the right looks like he'd be a racist black stereotype if they hadn't given him pale, white skin. His friend with the phone looks like an orange fucked a pineapple. His other friend is the closest the show comes to having black skin, but it's really more Hispanic. In the idea that skin color is a replacement scheme for personality traits, Roger's three yes-men followers would have the same skin color, as they all have exactly the same personality and interactions with Doug.

Doug's teacher Ms. Wingo has the same skin color as Roger Klotz. Considering these characters are as completely different as they can be, it's safe to assume they don't have the same skin color for any real reason. Oh, and Chalky is pretty close to this skin color too...

So, I think I've made my point. Doug is colorblind when it comes to races. He describes people in colors he associates with them for whatever crazy reason his psychotic mind thinks up. I'm sorry there's not more to it than that, but there isn't.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah, you're pretty much right. Using rainbow skin colors is a harmless message to kids telling them "it doesn't matter what color you are." The reason Doug is white is because he's the "normal kid" protagonist just like you and me.
    You should check out a cool Doug video I made! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNawhId_bRQ

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  2. Quite an interesting theory as to what makes this show what it is. I often wonder if the odd surname puns in the show could also be Doug giving these friends and grown-ups these names instead of whatever they were in the real world he's practically distorting for the benefit of his daily journal. Oh well, that's one thought. Certainly Doug his the 'normal' guy you could be self-inserting yourself into to describe such troubles and pressures brought on by trying to socialize in a world you've been sheltered from for most of your young life until you hit your teens and these things become important.

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